Seckel pear from Felix Gillet in Vista CA

A year ago I obtained 2 bareroot Seckel pears from Felix Gillet Institute and planted this one in the ground in December. The fruit stock is said to have originated from a 120 year-old tree nearby and grafted on grandchildren seedlings of the same. It is also said this specimen is fireblight hardy - we shall see!


From what I have read it is one of your must have pears. It is nick named the candy pear because of it’s sweetness. In fact it is known to be one of the sweetest pears out there. If you go to the CSU extension they do state the Seckle as heavily fire blight resistant. Of course I would still prune when trees are dormant though. The downside is the pear size. The seckle pear is a small pear for sure. To quote one of the reviews on Stark Bros they stated it took 4 years for it to fruit and was small when it did fruit. The fruit makes up for any of the shortcomings though. There is no indication on if this person reviewing got a dwarf or a standard tree so the standard tree could take longer than 4 years for all we know. I believe the seckle and Comice pears are the parents of the Warren and Magness which are known as some of the best pears because of their taste and disease resistance too. You will need two pears for fruit with the seckle so I would consider the Warren if you need a pollinator. Also there is controversy on where the seckle came from. Some say it was planted there.

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Who knows what Stark brothers is selling! The perimeter of the planter in my photo is 20 ft from the planter of a mature Hood Pear. Their flowering was concurrent this year and they both set a lot of fruit. I might have to remove it all from the Seckle for it to develop properly. I can attest that the Hood is a mighty warrior against fireblight here in CA.

Felix Gillet was a major source of fruit trees back in the day so the English Ranch tree could have been one of his, or not. I don’t know where he obtained his Seckle pears from either but there are USDA records (e.g. from Swingle) which might have that data.

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Judging from your careful protection I’m guessing you have rabbits in your neighborhood.


Actually it’s to keep this one from causing damage while chasing lizards. The cottontails around here usually don’t try to brave the fencing. About 4 years ago one came in at night and an owl or redtail killed it before it could find a way out.


Lifted right off but still underripe. Very good flavor though.



5/2. Today I removed the lower juvenile sprouts from the trunk, leaving the upper portion to begin the upright form common to western pear orchards.

Here’s the result:

This is the structure I’m aiming for (our mature Hood):


I can never get them picked at the optimum time


That doesn’t look like Seckel to me. If it is, it’s the biggest one I’ve seen. Maybe you thinned quite a bit? Usually has pronounced red blush too. You did say it was slightly underripe though.


I was thinking the same thing. This one I believe is Seckle. Whatever I have has the blush even when not ripe. Quite a small sized pear.

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See photo in original post. There were only two fruits on the sapling. One fell off and the cut fruit farther down is the second.

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Looks more like comice to me. Especially with all of prominent lenticels. Shape and size check out too.


Seckel is bigger than a golf ball, but not a lot bigger. It’s pretty unique looking too. Hard to mistake.


I look forward to seeing more fruits in the coming years. I really can’t judge a cultivar by the first fruit of a one-year old sapling graft. In particular, notice the shape of the fruit.


I made an inquiry to Felix Gillet with photos included. They believe it is Sugar Pear (aka Sucré) sent in error. They are sending a replacement late this Fall.


That seems a more plausible ID. Funny too, because Seckel is also known by the appellation ‘sugar pear’.



That is a very obscure term they used. It is not really a pear variety but it is instead a group of pears. That is like referring to a car as a car but there is also a type of a car not just a group. Frequently nurseries use the term “sugar pear” to generically define all small sweet pears that are similar to seckle but encompass a much larger group. The group is all small and sugary tasting pears.
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Pyrus communis ‘Seckel’

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
PY-russ kom-YOO-nis KOM-yoo-nis

This easy-grown tree is very productive. It is cold-hardy and frost resistant. It also resists to Fire Blight and some other common pear diseases. Needs at least two cultivars to ensure adequate pollinating.

Usually what happened was a pear was called sucre or sugar to indicate it was sweet. These are not a pear called sucre.



It is like when speaking Chinese we dont realize Li means pear. When we speak of pears we say we have ya li , pai li, tsu li etc…We are effectively saying pear pear. In English i call a pear ya li because people dont know what i mean if i say ya. If i say li the chinese know im saying the generic term pear. In French Beurre is a group of pears that are buttery. " Inherited from Middle French beurre (16th c.), from a regional (eastern or western) variant of burre , from Old French burre , bure , from Latin būtȳrum , from Ancient Greek βούτῡρον (boútūron, “butter”, literally “cow-cheese”)." beurre - Wiktionary

Beurre Bosc or Beurre D’Anjou are only 2 members of the butter pear group Beurre D'Anjou and Beurre Bosc

Literally to look up Beurre would be to find 20+ varieties in that group. . NCGR-Corvallis: Pyrus Catalog


Funny how this redundancy can creep into our parlance. Two examples I chuckle at sometime are “GI Issue” (since GI is an abbreviation of “government issue”) and “chai tea” (since chai is the word for tea in many languages)

I get what you’re saying, ‘sugar pear’ is sort of a conceptual grouping of varieties that may or may not be related based on them being perceived as having similar attributes. Somewhat like (and maybe less specific than) a given apple being a ‘reinette’.

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Exactly it is like saying i sent you a limbertwig apple. There are many types. Seckle is considered a sugar pear as are many others. I have seen literally several fake seckles. One i received was attacked so hard by fireblight i was shocked by it. Im confident what i got from the usda is seckle. Still many asked if it was seckle. The real question is how many are seckle seedlings? Sports of seckle etc…

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The person at Felix Gillet was referring to a specific cultivar in their collection.

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