It’s an aggressive grower in the tree it’s in. But it’s taking its sweet time to bloom. The one in Baldwin acts just like Baldwin. All said, I’m not sure whether the person who sent me the scion got the label mixed up with something else. I was a FB friend with the person who originally found Leona. The fruit on the graft on the Baldwin tree did not look like his. By the way, the person who originally found Leona was Travis Callahan who died a couple of years ago. He also found Southern Bartlett and gave the scion to Just Fruits and Exotics. Travis eventually came to the conclusion that Leona was actually a Louisiana Beauty Pear which had been around for a while. Anyway, that’s a little bit of historical background to go with the pear.
Keefer is one of the very late bloomers here in SE Georgia.
Leona is an interesting pear very different from many I grow. Charles Harris has flowers this year as well. Cold may get them lets see what happens.
I hope they make it past the cold. That’s the problem with the early bloomers. Thanks.
Did you get to taste Leona this year?
No I didn’t yet.
Did you get any pears off of Charles Harris?
Just 1 and it’s not a fair sampling yet. Seems I might have had an inferior Leona at one point as well. When I get a small first year woody pear that’s not really fair to count that. If it’s 3 or more pears and second or third year I’m going to have a better idea of what it is then. Almost all 1st year fruit I would rate poorly. Leona is getting choked by an autumn berry i need to get off of it.
Rising Star might be a variety I am interested in, don’t know much about it, just like the article about this pear. Would like to know more about it.
Leona did not set fruit this year but it’s my fault I left autumn olives to encroach on it. Did prune those off of it now but it stunted the tree making it tall and skinny instead of full of fruit.
Leona is heavy with blossoms this year. The blooms are all in the top of the tree about 25 feet off the ground so i had to zoom in to take some photos. It will overlap other early blooming pears like ts hardy, douglas , kieffer, improved kieffer , Duchess D’ Angoulme , ya li, pai li etc. First i will find out if i like the flavor and go from there. Seems it produced a pear or two once but i didn’t make notes on first year pears. Don’t recall anything about them. The tree is a mess since it was growing in a wind break of autumn olives. Grafted this tree 7 years ago as shown above. Leona is a very rare southern pear. These are the types of pears i grow to determine if it will grow outside Texas. My suspicion is it wont have any problems. Many people suggested it would bloom to early but as you can see it appears ok. We wont know for sure until we are eating the type of quality pears many described as leona in Texas. It has bloomed many times. Today is march 28th 2023. Leona should overlap Charles Harris as well.
Charles Harris produced plenty last year. They were nice big pears. Quality was good but not great. They grow fine in Kansas.
Have you talked to Dr. Natelson since you left Texas? There are many varities like this and others he has preserved for that area.
I have 1 Charles Harris tree and one graft on another tree. Both are full of fruit buds this year.
Thanks for letting me know what you thought of yours.
Many said Leona was very delayed fruiting, but i feel in comparison to many other pears it is about the same. My mother always told me count on an average of 7 years for good fruit production from most standard fruit trees. She meant apples or pears. Many are much shorter and some are much longer. It flowered fairly early for me.
Leona are doing great here in Kansas. They bloom with other early bloomers. The true test is how they taste this year. Today is April 11th 2023. This tree was neglected while i was very ill the autumn berries all but choked it out.
Douglas, duchess D’ angoulme, kieffer, improved kieffer etc. will all work as pollinators.
Nice fruits on the tree this year again!
This is a delicious firm but not hard pear. It lacks complexity you might wish was there. Very sugary with a good balance of sour. Highly recommend it for the south. In places like this it grew free of diseases including fireblight. We will definitely grow more of them. Today is September 09th 2023.
The primary reason i made this post is noone had done the research to see if this pear could be grown at all in zone 6a. We now know it can be and has been. Lets face it this pear is so rare even pear collectors have never heard of it. In that respect it is like Charles Harris an asian pear from the south that can also be grown in zone 6a. I’ve done the research on these pears on the blooming, ripening, etc… That makes these rare pears available to many more people. I freely share scion wood at no cost if your in the area wanting to start a couple of trees or i share scions with @39thparallel who has a mail order business selling scions and trees. Now that we know they do well in zone 6a we need to focus on getting these pear trees out there for everyone. There is a great deal of satisfaction in knowing when i see scion exchanges over half the scions on the list came from me indirectly by the way of @39thparallel nursery and others. Corvallis has been generous with their scion wood for legitimate purposes such as testing pear varities like this in marginal areas. My trees need pruned some for crossed branches etc. yearly anyway.