Eldest son and DIL look to be closing on a property in Silver Spring MD, with a sizeable backyard.
Both are interested in planting a few fruit trees… but knowing that they don’t have unlimited space like me, I’m exploring possibilities for them, and espaliering pears and apples along the property-line fence looks like a good potential solution to preserve open space for other purposes.
I have the vaguest knowledge of espalier techniques, but have been reading some… but certainly welcome any input from this braintrust as to what has worked/what hasn’t, links to good instructional articles and videos, etc.
I’m comfortable grafting any/all pears/apples they might need to start with, and my son’s tastes are similar to mine, with regard to Asian and sand-pear hybrids… but DIL prefers soft, buttery/dessert-type European pears… so I’d be open to suggestions from those of you who grow those types. I have several in my collection, like Warren and Magness (and probably some others, if I can find them).
Thanks in advance,
I hope Dana Hovey and White Doyenne are suitable to that climate because they are great here in the arid west, and should suit DIL’s excellent palate!
Your climate in Kentucky is not all that different for pears so you have a pretty good idea already on what would work. Warren and Magness are very good, but as you probably know Magness can take a very long time to fruit. Aurora has been a very good pear for me. The Harrow pears are also supposed to be good but I don’t have much experience with them myself. Mark, White Doyenne also does very well for me here. Dana Hovey I have had problems getting to fruit, not sure if its me or the growing conditions though.
I’m only an hour away from Silver Spring and tell your son he is welcome to visit my orchard. I don’t have any espalier but I have hedge-style plantings.
Use OHxF stocks… or Quince underneath.
Magness is pollen sterile and takes years to bear, but it is delicious and grower friendly. Put it on 333 or Quince. A top 5 pear here for sure. Perhaps 2nd place in growable pears overall behind…
Harvest Queen tastes the best. Hard to come by. Cummins selling trees now. My favorite growable pear. I have on 87 and Quince.
Gorham is another great pear. Free scions at USDA Corvallis. Does well on 87.
Harrow Sweet shows promise. Does well on 87.
Seckel is the old standard. Small tree. Small fruit. Put on 87 or 97.
All of these are top tier buttery blight-resistant pears.
Need space and sunlight. Parts of that area (in the lower elevations) can be insufferably humid and stifling.
I’ve got standing trees of Warren and Harvest Queen… supposed to have Magness somewhere in the orchard… I think I know which tree it is, but I’ve never seen it bear, so who knows?
I’ll probably need to hit up some of my friends here or elsewhere for a stick or two of Seckel. and possibly some others that may come up during discussion.