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.
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/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).