Low chill pears or apples in Florida

Hello, longtime lurker here. I’ve recently bought a house in Tampa Florida. I’m curious if anyone has any luck with pears here. I’m fine with it just being a cooking type vs a fresh eating. In fact I’d prefer something that could be used to can pie fillings. While great if I can eat fresh too, if I can’t then oh well. Anyone have any thoughts? I’ve seen the ones reccomended by uf as low chill. But I can’t find anyone around me who’s had sucess. I know of an old unnamed sand pear fruiting on the other side of town. So hopefully that means there’s one I can buy somewhere out there. Also any luck with apples. I know those are even less likely here, but thought I’d ask.

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With respect to low-chill apples, there’s a good deal of useful information on the Kuffel Creek Apple Nursery website maintained by @applenut .

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@jeremymillrood @dutch-s @Latouraj

Tampa is pretty hot but Florida home and hood should work to name a couple. Think some long time Florida residents can answer this question better so let’s see what they say. Meanwhile this thread will help.

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Pineapple pear is the one that is grown a lot around the upper gulf coast of Texas. We have a little more chill hours but pineapple pear is one of the lowest chill hour pears, and has a decent taste. It does not have the grit cells like Kieffer.

Pears are easier to grow in the deep south due to better root stock. You will often see pears growing by old homesteads, but I can not remember the last time I saw an apple tree. There just seems to be too many soil borne disease for apples to survive along the gulf coast.

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I really doubted apples would be good here, but thought id ask anyways. As long as I can make pear sauce, pear butter, and pear pie I’ll be happy.

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@garybeaumont

Beaumont is so close to Louisiana it’s a scorcher in the summer. It’s not just hot there it’s humid. Literally I was sick from working in the heat there in July when i was younger and extremely healthy. Some of my pears like Leona love the heat but I don’t know how they survive it there so close to the gulf. Leona , pineapple, ten, and ayers to name a few are not even happy until it’s hot summer time here. Think your advice is very good for Florida! Like you my concern is chill hours in south Florida.

Here in NE FLA I haven’t had a lot of luck with pear…I’ve got one pineapple that’s hanging on, but I may take it out after this year…keeps getting hit with fire blight…The other that I have which has been good is the Leconte…healthy tree and produces a fair amount of fruit.

Not sure about the gulf coast, but I’ve got 3 healthy apple trees growing right now…1 anna, a dorsett and and a mollie’s delicious.

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Have you saw a florida native plant society malus angustifolia
Not thaf far North , but almost (9a your 9b see map)

https://www.fnps.org/plant/malus-angustifolia

I been to fort Myers a hour south of you (and punta Gorda where I meet new friends, )
the owner at the Motel told me just over the river coconuts will not grow N, (in pundta Gorda)
(and he grew a lot of fruit mango’s from India, and coconuts so I think the odds he “might know”.

So I assume the weather is variable in short distance , and if it is like that –
(I hope you could still get apples from a FL. native crab apple, but maybe not…)
I mean I was not in the winter,
but even the nights are extremely hot humid 80/90’s so it surprised me.

By the way I have a close childhood friend in Tampa named Lanaya.

at least that apple could be grafter onto if you did not like making jelly with it.

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I got lucky I browsed Usda this species poped up
was going to close it, but

http://temperate.theferns.info/plant/Malus+asiatica

Malus asiatica has a wide climatic adaptability, being cultivated in Yunnan in lowland subtropical areas (at elevations around 680 metres) to cool temperate areas (around 3,400 metres )

(Malus asiatica is a deciduous tree growing 4 - 6 metres tall.
This species has a long history of cultivation for its edible fruit in north and northeast China, being cultivated for over 2,000 years before being to a large extent replaced by the cultivated apple (Malus domestica) during the late 19th and early 20th centurie)

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Why didn’t I think Jujube it has a apple like taste , and you can dry them for storage.
I looked at flora of china it says see level to 2800 meters

Open slopes, sandy soils of plains; sea level to 2800 m. Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang.

This species is a famous fruit tree in N and NE China. During its long cultivation, many cultivars have been bred, the fruit of which differ in shape, color, size, and ripening period.

(INDIA apple )

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