Question about a 'combo' pear tree

Hi all I purchased a combo Euro pear and it has been in the ground going on five years now. Not a blossom. Also the deer and rabbits ate three of the five varieties and those grafts are dead. I have left, Seckel, Bartlett and Flemish Beauty. I hope those three pears are not a waste of time! Can anyone give me a hint as to when it just might bloom and have fruit that doesn’t drop?

The second year in the ground there were about five blossoms on the seckel and not a hint of fruit since. (Lost the Comice and Anjou). Ugh, Those are the two I wanted. Next spring I already have on order an Abbe Fetel.


Sorry, I don’t have an answer to you but I was wondering if you are you sure you still have the Seckel? Any I have known have been pretty early to produce fruit, so it surprises me that it hasn’t bloomed again unless the deer and rabbits have done so much munching that it keeps getting back to square one.


I do hope your Flemish beauty graft is growing well as you will need it. I have always heard that
seckel and Bartlett are an exception to the pear cross pollination rule. They will not cross pollinate
each other. So the textbooks say anyway.

I have a beautiful Bartlett that is loaded with too much fruit this year. I grew tired of all the hand thinning and did not get the top thinned well. At least the lower areas are done well. I have no experience with Flemish Beauty but grow Bartlett and Summercrisp. My pollination seems to work out each year although the summercrisp comes into bloom several days before my Bartlett.

Mrs G,

I think Spartan is on to something here. Seckel and Bartlett do not cross-pollinate. I have heard that Potomac and Gorham pears are superior pollinators. You might ask USDA-Geneva for some budwood of Gorham, which they have available for free. I have it grafted onto my Harrow Sweet.

Thanks all! All of my grafts are labeled with copper tags and wires. Only two are missing, the others are fine. I would love Anjou scion wood in the spring along with Comice and start again. If certain pear varieties do not cross pollinate, would they still produce blooms? The Flemish beauty is the strongest of the bunch, second to Seckel third is Bartlett.

My Summercrisp pear and Flemish Beauty pear purchased in 2008 from St. Lawrence Nursery have not produced yet. The summercrisp had one clump of blossoms this spring for the first time. No blossoms yet on the Flemish Beauty. A Luscious pear planted the same year got its first six pears in 2013. This year it has lots of pears on it. A Clapp’s Favorite dwarf planted in 2006 got its first few pears in 2012. Pears take a while to bear, so give them time.

Yeah, I suppose you need flowers before the question of pollination becomes an issue.

Yes, it has no effect on blooming, just on whether those blooms have the opportunity to get fertilized.

Thanks so much. Pretty sure you have the right answer! Need flowers first. Cannot wait to add more pear varieties next year!

I wanted to correct my post. Gorham pear is at USDA-Corvallis. Not Geneva

Mrs. G, my Flemish Beauty on my combo took several years to begin to bear. It is quite a lovely pear here and was justly famous in its time. Fireblight killed the major orchards back east years ago, of course.

My “Seckel” is larger than what I hoped I was getting. But it produced after three or four years on the tree.

I don’t have Bartlett. Clapps has yet to produce after 9 years.

I recommend you consider Dana’s Hovey and White Doyenne. Another small, tasty pear, albeit quite firm and definitely gritty, is Gold Spice.

I haven’t mastered pruning my tree and I think I’ve slowed down its bearing time. I’m working on bending branches down and training the resulting verticals (pinching back to three leaves to induce spurring) as Kevin describes in hopes that they’ll spur up now and bloom next year.

Good luck to both of us, ay?

:- )Mark

Hi Mark, thanks for your ideas and comments. I have gotten the tree under control and it is now round with branches that are bent down. It has taken a while to do that. Unfortunately I do not like gritty pears at all. Yes, good luck to both of us, for sure!