Starting this one as it seems to be a common topic interspersed amongst other related threads. If you find something REALLY good (or just good enough to go back), feel free to share!
Here are some roadside pears I had my eyes on for a week or so before stopping. I thought for sure that all the fruit on the ground would be rotting. To my surprise, only the stuff damaged by bees or a big gash from falling was ripe. I assume this is a canning pear? Some are very large and even the ripe ones are not super juicy and have lots of crunch.
Speaking of… I was just speaking with my buddy @etheth32992 about how there are fruit tasting events for named varieties, but it would be super useful to start doing fruit tasting events where participants all bring along “found” varieties to share and discuss.
The Lawson Dawson mulberry (an M.rubraXalba hybrid) is a roadside tree that I was alerted to by a coworker who cut hay on the farm where it grew, in the corner of the barnlot, right next to KY Hwy 109.
The reason that i even joined this forum was due to a roadside fruit find.
An old man on my road has 3 large peach trees in his yard. Late August in the intense heat i noticed that the trees were laden with thousands of peaches.
I stopped and talked to him and asked if i could get a sack full. He told me i could have garbage bags full… that no way could he eat them all… even giving them away to neighbors didnt thin them enough.
The peaches were ugly. Small. Full of spots and insect holes. A very undesirable looking peach.
I bit into one… and in the heat and drought of August… the flavor exploded. Sweet/Acid… amazing.
I talked to the old man and asked what kind they were.
“OHenry… everyone around here wants these trees…but nobody sells them. Ive asked Gurneys and Starks and Burpee and they dont sell them”.
I wrote the name down on paper and began googling… and found talk of the peaches on here and joined this forum.
Since then i have went the extra mile and i ordered a dozen trees from Vaughn and gave them to him to give to the neighbors that want them. These old folks dont know about internet and rely on catalogs or whatever is sold at big box stores.
Perhaps someday another person will taste this peach in someones yard and go on their own journey as it has led me.
Roadside fruits are a treasure… and can lead to conversations and new knowledge and possibly new friendships.
i have found dozens of once cultivated apples on old farmland here. never tried to figure out what they were. would love to find a pear. up until relatively recently pears weren’t hardy enough to grow here. great thread!
Did you propagate that from cuttings ?
I tried propagating gerardi this past spring but had no luck. got some top growth, shoots, leaves even fruit starts… but no roots… they eventually all failed.
I hear that some mulberries root easily from cuttings and some do not. Gerardi does not evidently.
Looks like it is a larger tree… perhaps like Silk Hope.
I might be interested in one of those… would sure like to hear more about it, how it taste, (I prefer sweet/tart berries)… how long it produces fruit (second flush sounds encouraging)… resistant to popcorn disease ?
Do you have a Silk Hope ? if so is the Lawson Dawson significantly different than Silk Hope in some way ? I plan to start a Silk Hope here soon, perhaps next spring.
PS… on roadside fruit finds… I harvest persimmons from a couple of roadside trees now… and several Shag Bark Hickories along the Natches Trace (roadside).
I have 3 grafted Lawson Dawson trees here within sight of the house. I think I managed to root a mid-summer greenwood cutting several years back (I didn’t work real hard at it), but it died due to neglect.
LD has been well liked by growers in the Northeast, and looks like it may be zone 4 hardy, as Buzz Ferver has been growing it in VT for a few years now.
LD trees that get the benefit of manure/urine from cows/horses lounging in their shade produce larger tastier berries than the one out in the yard (Imagine that!). IDK how commercial fertilizers will work in improving fruit quality.
I still prefer Silk Hope over LD… but fruits from ‘fertilized’ LD trees are pretty doggone good. I’ve not seen Popcorn DZ on LD(yet).
The best (of very few) local persimmon trees I’ve found. @jaunders1 beat me to it yesterday but there are probably thousands of fruit left on this fully mature tree. It’s probably at least 50 feet tall, taller than the average arm could lob a branch to knock fruit loose