As i search endless amounts of forums, wesites etc in search of the perfect pears i came across some new to me varieties such as the 2 ledbetters thst i know nothing about. Here is a link and i hope maybe your familiar with them. http://www.wildlifegroup.com/shop-for-pear-trees
The reason why I’m interested in these varieties is they don’t get fireblight. The tradeoff for not getting fireblight is typically gritty pears. Someone may be growing these and can save me the trouble of testing them myself.
I’m not familiar with the 2 ledbetters pears but they look like great selections for those areas such as Alabama which are fireblight prone. Hunting clubs around here plant Kieffer pears for the deer and it looks like these would be great for that purpose. Although the Orient pear is listed as hard and mild tasting it is one of our favorites for fresh eating. No help here but I did enjoy reading about these pears. Bill
Moonglow and Ayers pears are reported to be fireblight resistant without the grit. The small sampling from my trees this year backs up both claims of no fireblight or grit. Ayers is a medium size, sweet, and without grit. The Moonglow was a large size, mild taste, and without grit. Bill
I have several of those here. Got what I presume is the ‘Arthur Ledbetter’ from Dr. David Griffith (Dadeville, AL dentist & fruit/nut explorer) and visited the daughter & son-in-law at the Loachapoka home & orchard of the late Dr. Alexander Nunn who originally selected and propagated it, in my home county (Lee Co., AL).
Also have (though I can’t definitively ID Dixie Delight any more), DD, Galloway(correct spelling) and Senator Clark.
None have fruited here, yet…but Dr. David Griffith sent me a box of Ledbetter pear fruit 15 years ago. I liked them - but having grown up eating Keiffer… my preference in pears runs to firm, gritty, juicy pears, not the soft, cloying ‘butter’ pear types.
If you have access to back issues of POMONA, Dr. Griffith described those, and other Southern pear selections that he’d collected, including notes from Dr. Nunn on the Ledbetter pears…somewhere back around 1998-2000 IIRC; I have it somewhere.
Travis Callahan, the former(?) NAFEX Southern Pear Interest Group chair still has a nice page on southern pears here: http://tandeecal.com/page10.htm
The folks at The Wildlife Group are principally offering FB-resistant Southern pear selections for outplanting on hunting properties as ‘soft mast’ trees; but they’ll appeal to folks like me as a good eating or preserving pear; most will probably be quite firm and gritty, as they’re probably all ‘sand pear’ hybrids.
I have another Alabama pear that I discovered, several years ago, in Tallapoosa County that still had many pears hanging in the tree on January 1, more still intact on the ground underneath it… Had been through multiple freeze/thaws, so I have no idea if it’s even edible, by human standards… but was growing in a residential yard on AL Hwy 49, a few miles south of the intersection with Tallapoosa 50 at Walnut Hill. Round, russetted Asian-type pear. Might make a great wildlife tree, even if it’s not worthy of human consumption.
Lucky_p as your already aware I like your taste in pears. I don’t want all varieties that wind up being more trouble than they are worth. I want some canning varieties like these if that if I’m on vacation two weeks they have not died of fireblight before I came home. I had a clapps favorite I checked on and saw no disease came back three weeks later in the summer and it was dead to the ground.
The pears you mentioned will definitely be on my to get list.
Auburn, how long did it take your Moonglow & Ayers to bear? What rootstock are they on?
btw I believe Hidden Springs sells the Ledbetter
I’m not trying to make a long story out of what should be a short answer but it is a little complex. My only standard size pear tree is on a seedling Callery pear found on my lot and relocated to a sunny spot. Then I grafted different varieties to each limb. these limbs grew for about three years without fruiting. Alan H. was so kind as to give me some guidance on bending limbs downward and they started flowering and fruiting (3-4 years). My other pear trees have Callery roots and a long dwarf interstem (14-16 inches). The ones with interstems are starting to flower in about 3 years. I am now a strong believer in the Alan method of bending down limbs for early fruiting. I’m pretty sure you were looking for a more straight forward answer but I tinker with all my trees. Bill
I learned that trick from Scott and am an avid believer in it as well. There are several of those people on here practicing that method.
Thanks Auburn, thats what I wanted to know
Warren is another FB-resistant variety that is, as far as I can tell, gritless (as well as high-quality). I had a few recently that were ripe but not melting, and it was like eating a cloud.
My experience with Clapps was similar - acute death due to fireblight the first year it bloomed and set fruit.
I know this is an old thread but I can’t help wondering what varieties were selected.
What i found is I never selected the 5 magic pears or even 50 or 100 rather it’s a work in progress that continues.
Did you purchase from that nursery? Did you ever plant smitty off those varieties?
I grafted ledbetter and many others from the group.
I got a few scions this spring for Arthur Ledbetter. A couple of the grafts seem to have “taken” but it will be a few years until I get fruit.