This thread is dedicated to producing a pear database with pear specific information. While other headings will be added, here are the primary items to be collated.
Average fruit maturity date
Fruit use (fresh, storage, preserves, perry)
Fire blight R/S
Has Growing (Nursery or grower who has it)
Status (extinct, current, widely available)
Here is a preliminary list of varieties I’ve collected from various web sources, many are from growers here on GF. I also have the master list of Pyrus accessions in ARS-Grin which runs to nearly 4000 items. I have not yet attempted to integrate the ARS-Grin data as it is massive and has a lot of excess and unusable data.
Bartlett, Max Red
Bartlett, Red Blushing
Bartlett, Sensation Red
Butirra Precoce Morettini
Chinese White Pear (Pyrus bretschneideri)
Dr. Jules Guyot
European (Pyrus communis)
Hwa Byun Ri
Joséphine de Malines
Portuguese Black Pear
Red Clapp’s Favorite
Rotkottig Frau Oster
Vesilna (red fleshed)
Vicar of Winkfield
Vicar of Winkfield/Curé
I added some categories of information to collect. Here is the additional data I think might be useful.
Bearing (heavy, medium, low)
Bearing type (spur, lateral, tip)
Precocious (we want pears that produce withing 3 years of grafting!)
I like this idea. Maybe if there was a way to make it some sort of form that would populate a spreadsheet or something it would be easier? I might be able to help with data collection once term is over.
I need a good list of nurseries that sell pear trees and/or scionwood. I’ve seen a nursery list on the forum but suspect it is out of date. Do you have a few favorite nurseries for pears? Please post a link to the website if there is one.
I’m up to 4600 entries in the pear list. At a rough guess, 500 of them are commonly propagated. The rest are rarely if ever mentioned. There are still many duplicates to be resolved. Some are from misspelling of names, others are from multiple names for the same pear. I have descriptions for about 100 varieties on the list. The rest are just a name and a USDA reference if found.
From the presidency of Lincoln to the 1980’s, the USDA and land-grant colleges with USDA funded programs kept repositories of agricultural stock. Some consolidation occurred over the years at individual sites. When the USDA germplasm repositories were established in the late 80’s, the crop sector was consolidated at sites around the country. In this process, the records from original sites were preserved even if the specimen was no longer present. Hence the many PI numbers that can be found in the GRIN accession records. Since that time, further culling of clonal specimens has occurred. Clicking on them, you might discover they are designated as “historical record”.
Add that many accessions in GRIN have been lost over the years. I’ve ordered cowpeas, melons, and beans from GRIN in years past that are no longer available. Some of them were very useful to have a backup source. I am currently growing Alabama #1 pole bean from ARS-GRIN with intent to bring them back into commerce. I have grown a version for the last 20 years that was not pure. The beans I am growing this year will be appreciated by many growers who know and remember them.
Blake’s Pride is on the list as a highly fireblight resistant pear. I also see “Blake” in Scott Smith’s list of pears. @scottsmith, could you confirm that this is the same as Blake’s Pride? I’m cleaning up the database and this is an outlier.