They have declared war on callery in my area of Kansas because of what other states say. Callery has been a very good rootstock for most of us for a number of years. Wish they declared war on some true invasives like elm trees.
An orchardist friend in Colorado gave me a tip that can sometimes prevent losing an entire tree to blight. He removes all twigs (not scaffolds) growing from the trunk., up to a certain height so his trees have a “clean trunk”. This prevents a blossom on the trunk getting infected and bam, down the leader and its gone.
Good advice in my opinion. Clean trunk.
Its been a long time since I’ve posted on this thread. I’ve had so much fireblight the last couple of years, I don’t know that I can recommend any of my varieties really.
Anyway, pear season is well underway for me, and I do have some pears. A new one producing for me for the first time this year is the Savannah Pear. This was given to me by someone from this group claiming that it originated in the yard of an old mansion in Downtown Savannah, GA. I have been able to find absolutely zero information about the strain. I’ve lost contact with the person I got the scion from, and don’t know of anyone else who has this variety. It straddles bloom time with Tennousui and Korean Giant, so it is a very, very late blooming pear for a European type.
There were only two pears this year in a branch grafted into my Korean Giant tree. I do have a stand alone Savannah pear that hasn’t bloomed yet. I tried to bend the branch down to get a photo of one of the Savannah pears, and this one fell out of the tree while I was trying to bend it. Well, that usually means its ready to be picked.
Here are my thoughts based on one pear.
It’s russet, kind of like a bosc pear. Its very sweet and flavorful. The flesh is not juicy or particularly crunchy but not soft either when just picked. I don’t like the texture at all with the pear just off the tree. The good thing is that the texture is not at all grainy, so I think it will make a soft pear eventually. It very much reminds me of storage pears which must be cured in cold storage before they are ready to eat. If this variety ever softens, it will be very, very good, and if it is a storage pear it will add something important which we don’t yet have available for Deep South growers.
I plan to pick the other pear late this afternoon, put it in a paper bag and sit it near the air-conditioner and see how long it takes for it to soften if it ever does. I for one don’t have a good set-up for storing a bunch of pears. But if this turns out to be a storage type, I will keep the tree for the sake of selling scion because there isn’t another good storage pear for this far the Deep South other than Asian types that I know of.
Another southern pear without a trace of fireblight here is leona. How is your doing? Hopefully i get a good tasting this year its loaded last time i looked. Wind storms have been bad this year for my pears.
It, Baldwin and Acres Home are the three that haven’t gotten any fireblight. To be honest I can tell any difference between it and Baldwin. In fact I have a branch grafted into my Baldwin tree, and were it not for the graft scar, would never know which branch is Leona. Thanks.
That is very interesting. Leona takes a long time to produce fruit , 5-6 years. Looking forward to learning more about your new pears soon. Is Dr. Natelson still getting around and could you ask him about the Savannah Pear? Would like to send you frost if you got space for a graft next spring to trial. Have a few others you could trial.
The best new one so far is Southern King. It and Tennosoui came about as a cross between Tennessee and Hosoui. Tennosoui tastes and looks just like Hosoui. I’ve had issues with fireblight this year but that’s because it was in full bloom with Scarlett which turned black over night while both trees were in full bloom. There are lots of strikes which I need to deal with, but the tree has contained them. The tree’s too big for me to get them off without a major pruning and me knocking all the pears off. I’ve also been trying to make up my mind on whether to keep the tree or replace it with another plum tree. Plums are a heck of a lot easier to sell than plums. Anyway, given the situation, I think Tennosoui is fairly fireblight resistance, at least more resistant than Hosoui. However, its an early ripening pear and it doesn’t seem to store like some Asian types.
Southern King very much takes on some characteristics of the supposed sugar pear ancestry of Tennessee. They are little pears kind of like a seckel. Yellow with a red blush and pear shaped. The tree only got one strike this year, but it got pretty big. But that seems to be it.
Another relatively new one for me is Acres Home. It’s very, very similar to Southern Bartlett, but its much better in my opinion. Like Southern Bartlett it wants to over crop and quality goes to hell in a hand basket when it does. However, the pears are bigger and sweeter if they don’t over crop. The skins a little tougher than Southern Bartlett. It blooms with the other early bloomers. I haven’t seen any fireblight in it. Southern Bartlett will have a twig turn black here are there, but its never more than a twig even if you ignore it.
Do you grow fan-stil pears?
No but I was recently in an online online NEFEX meeting where it was pointed out that genetic research indicates that Fan Still is actually a misnamed LeConte. When I asked if it was the real LeConte or the low quality one mentioned in Pears of New York, he didn’t know.
I take it Golden Boy, Ayers, and Scarlett have been hit bad by fireblight for you then?
For those growing Baldwin, any comments on FB?
It’s a variety mentioned by my state Ag department.
Extremely resistant for me so far. But it is not resistant to leaf spot.
Scarlet has been killed by it. I don’t have Ayers anymore on account of not getting enough chill hours for it. Goldenboy is hanging in there. I did a major summer pruning to make it easier to keep fire blight cut out.
Thanks for replying @coolmantoole
I’m zone 9a, so it Ayers didn’t work for you I doubt it will for me… Unless it just takes many years to bear and you hadn’t gotten there yet.
I am getting a Hood tree this spring but I’ve been looking to start a 3 variety espalier as well (on OHxF87). Ideally the most vigorous variety is grafted first. These need to be varieties I can buy scion for (besides the obvious low chill and fireblight resistance).
This was the list I was looking at initially:
Hood (will have tree to grow and harvest scion)
Fan-Shil I couldn’t find scion and whether it’s truly under patent.
There are others for sure, but ideally I get 3 varieties with different harvest times and flavor / appearance / use profiles.
Any help would be appreciated.
That is a good list indeed. Fan-stil pear is not under patent
Here is more information than you are likely to find elsewhere Fan-Stil pear new variety or old variety? .It will need 400- 500 chill hours.
Yes I did run through that thread. Thanks.
I just can’t find any nursery selling the scion. I’d say the home growers interest is minimal as I’d say more people in this forum live in higher chill areas.
I can’t really afford space wise to buy a whole tree for every variety I’m interested in trying out.
If I can decide and find the 3 varieties I can graft one on my rootstock and park the wood of the other two onto my new Hood coming in 2024 or try grafting to an Asian pear. As long as it lives until next spring I can harvest and graft over.
Or if this next year gets good growth on the first graft I can try chip grafting of the second variety in the same year.
Ayers, Potomac and Warren all require about 800 chilling hours and won’t work here in Statesboro Georgia (HZ 9a).
Therein lies the problem. There is no consensus from nurseries on what chill requirement they have.
For Ayers as an example one site has it at 150 hrs. Several others have it at 300-450. Others at 600. One had 900 hours.
It’s my fault for wanting what perhaps I shouldn’t even be looking at.
With a few exceptions, most of the information you get from nurseries about fruit in the South is a bunch of crap. If you think information is bad with pears, try plums. It’s better to talk to people who have experience growing in similar climates.