Older Pear ID Help


Pear ID Help

Last September we were at a polka dance and a young couple brought in a wonderful basket of beautiful medium-small pears for the snack table. My experience with pears was pretty much limited to occasional canned ones and a few of our first small Stacy & Summercrisp pears. Not expecting much, but very happy to have something other than sugar-snacks, both husband and I took one. Then I took a bite. Wow! I had no idea pears could be that good. Nicely sweet, smooth, great texture. Immediately back to the table for another one.

Of course I wanted to know more about the pears. But this was a large lively noisy polka party and the young couple had their three young children with them to manage so indepth conversation just wasn’t going to happen. But I found out that the trees were “old” (inherited when they bought the house), were well known in the area for decades of good fruit, were wonderfully prolific, and they didn’t know the variety. Later, by quieter email, I got a promise for scions. The trees are growing near the south shore of Lake Superior.

I have the scions now and am again wondering about the variety if anyone has an idea. I have this one photo (pears are about 3”) and this info from the current owners of the pear trees:

“This type I believe is either a Forelle pear or a Tyson pear. Many of the flavor characteristics remind me of the Tyson description, however the blushing seems to give it away to a Forelle. Perhaps it is neither of these. They typically come mid August - 1st week of September [we had them Sept. 17]. … the blossoms I think they are pink. Very sweet, hints of cinnamon and other spicy flavors. … fully matured pear trees are quite old – I estimate that they were planted in the 1940’s - 1950’s.”

This chance encounter opened up a whole new world to me. There just aren’t that many pears growing in our area (yet!). Thanks to a GF member I have 5 Ussuriensis rootstocks planted waiting for warmer weather to graft to – the above pear, another “maybe yellow bartlett” from the same folks, and Patton and Sauvignac. I’ve always been fairly patient for fruit but now I’m carefully considering all the many recommendations on this list for encouraging early fruiting for my new pears.


Haven’t grown them, but I’m pretty sure Clark has, and they sure match the descriptions I’ve read.

Congratulations on a great find, whatever it turns out to be.


They sure are a pretty little pear, and sound delicious. I hope @clarkinks can give some input on what variety, but in the end a good tasting pear is worth growing even if you don’t know for sure what it is!


Those pears scream quality at me when I see them. The first thing that popped in my mind was conference pears though of course I can’t be sure What they are yet. The wopsided neck that’s thin is typical of many good quality pears. Some have a red blush. Can you take a picture of the wood itself they sent you? When I see that slender neck on a few of those pears I can say with certainty there is no bad tasting pear with that feature. Sue realizing your zone 3 part of me wants to think they must have came from the pear breeding program in Canada. I’ve looked at a few other sources and came up empty handed https://www.google.com/amp/s/laidbackgardener.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/pears-for-cold-climates/amp/

If they were zone 4 pears There are many more candidates. The most likely zone 4 pear would be tyson which is ancient and very high quality The pears you may not have heard of and should consider growing
This picture is tyson taken by tallcloverfarm.com

There is a possibility it’s a seedling from this program Canadian Pears Enie, Menie, Miney, Moe, Phileson but that will be difficult to determine. My small yellow pears may be from that program but of course that has yet to be determined. Those unknown pears can be seen in this thread Here comes the 2016 apple and Pear harvest!. High quality pears are rare. Thousands of pears are grown in the world but it’s estimated less than 100 of those are high quality.


Does not look like Forelle. They have very pronounces lenticals that are reminiscent of the spots on a trout.


I don’t think we have enough information yet to determine what they are.


Hi Clark – here is a photo of the wood I received.


That wood helps me a lot to know what’s it’s not. Still im not sure what it is in Zone 3. Gold spice is a smaller pear that ripens up in late august in zone 3 but is not known for a good fresh flavor. GS is known very well for canning and other delicious uses. The wood could be GS.


I just looked at hardiness zones for Michigan and it appears that the coldest it gets there is zone 3B, and many years it’s zone 4A in the coldest parts of Michigan.

Yet I just noticed sue mentioned that the trees are growing in a warmer part of Michigan than her, the trees are in Zone 6 Michigan, the part near Lake Superior. That is why we were so confused.


“Near the south shore of Lake Superior” could be 3b, 4a, 4b, or 5a…it all depends on how close to the lake we’re talking.


I based what I said upon a hardiness zone map for the south shore of Lake Superior it showed zone 5 or zone 6 the entire southern part, maybe zone 4B at the coldest on the colder years.


You must be looking at a different zone map than I am.


Whatever it is one things for sure it looks fantastic! Once the graft gets a few leaves we will know even more about it. I’m fairly sure I know almost enough about it to identify it now.


Analyzed your pictures carefully and I can say with 95% certainty it’s tyson. The slight ripple by some of the stems is characteristic of some tyson pears. The dots on the scion wood , color of the wood, and buds shape all look like tyson. The cold hardiness matches up. Here is a link that further corroborates my hunch with ripening time and even similar pictures https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/AccessionDetail.aspx?id=1436442 . I think we can put the mystery to rest provided once the leaves grow out of your grafts that they match up. There are very few high quality pears as I mentioned and it’s reportedly one of the best.


Do you grow it Clark? I didn’t find much on it as far as fire blight resistance


I do grow it but it has not been a real fast grower for me. Like all good quality pears it’s going to take it’s time producing. I grow clapps favorite as well which is the pear it’s compared to often times. Tyson is FB resistant.


Following the conversation here. I now want a Tyson pear tree. :wink:


Me too, doesn’t appear to be many sources for them bareroot.


It’s certainly possible (the Tyson identity) except that the pears skins are smooth and not at all tough, very easy eating fresh. No matter what they are I’m looking forward to growing them.

As far as zones, the U.P. is probably similar to many areas in having a wide variety of zones, though I think z6 would be really stretching it and z5 kind of iffy. The Great Lakes add an additional dimension to the usual elevation change differences. But I figure any fruit tree that has made it through the years and decades of extended -30’s that used to be common and some -40’s, will most likely be hardy enough to survive here (we live in an inland valley where the cold settles).


Not sure if you can order from Canada (Ontario), but Whiffletree Farm and Nursery sells it.