Pear and Plum recommendations

I am looking to add some pears and plums in the future. I am in Southern IL Z7A (recently changed from 6B). I don’t mind spraying as I already spray my apples and peaches. I’m looking for 2 of each for pollination. We like soft, sweet, and juicy. Does anyone have any recommendation on what varieties will fit this bill? Thank you in advance!

Harvest Queen and Gorham are tasty pears. They would cross-pollinate, and have some resistance to fireblight, but I cannot rule out the possibility that fireblight could destroy them in your area, which occasionally sees heavy fireblight pressure. Trees grafted onto OHxF.87 or OHxF.97 understocks are preferable.

Beauty and Methley are delicious Asian plums that can be grown in the U.S. Expect to spray one of the sterol-inhibiting azole antifungals onto the fruitlets to prevent otherwise inevitable ruin from rot diseases (rinse off with water prior to eating). Methley can also get Black Knot strikes on the branches but this disease can just be pruned out of the tree.


Euro pears - it is hard to pick just 2 but this list would be a good place to start

An early good one nye russet Bartlett or Aurora and a later one Beurre superfin or Comice (also paragon not on the list)

Plums we are z5 and I go with a lot of @alan’s recommendations (castleton, empress, valor); a newer one Bluebyrd is more resistant to black knot; others have recommended coe’s golden drop and Bavay’s green gage

Good luck

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Something to consider on plums is freestone versus cling.

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We prefer freestone.

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I was excited about the idea of this one, but grafts I made a few year back never have a lot of fruit and what there is doesn’t get very good here. Maybe it does better in warmer places than S. New York. The type of Green Gage sold by Cummins hasn’t performed well on my site either, but at another with dawn to dusk sun I manage it is quite good. At least the one in my orchard is productive, but only some of the fruit gets up high sugar and I can’t tell which by looking.


Coe’s does not ripen in time for me most years. The tree is in full sun. On a dry, warm year, it ripens well and is excellent. It is also attract a lot of bugs. It has had more bug damage than my other Euro grafted on the same tree. It has frustrated me so much that I grafted it over to other varieties that ripen more reliable.


Z6a Southern Rockies, here.

I like Harvest Queen. Harrow Sweet is new for me but looks even more promising. They are precocious, (very unusual in pears) and maybe not especially vigorous anyway. Size up a step in rootstock.

Castleton has been a good tasting reliable plum recommended by Alan Haigh. Castleton ripened OK here. Stanley did not, to give you an idea.

I had luck also with Geneva Mirabelle. A bit earlier than others.

The pears of course, are particularly attractive fruit trees, so take that into account in placement. Both the Mirabelle and the Castleton are spreading type trees.

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