Southern Pears


My impression is that Travis’s Southern Pear page is becoming less and less active on account of him becoming tired of it or maybe on account of him just not having time or the physical stamina to keep up with it. In any event, I started the FB page to help make a resource more widely available for growing southern pears. My sense is that folks get mislead a lot from nurseries and garden centers with respect to growing fruit generally and pears in particular. So the easier it is for prospective pear growers to find and access information about growing pears and which ones work the best, all the better.

Those of us who have been at this for a little while help others a lot just buy giving candid information about the varieties we grow or have tried to grow and to provide pictures and advice without having a marketing incentive to make varieties look better than they really are and so on.

In any event, I’m glad folks are enjoying the thread. God bless.



Travis sent me scions of Olton Broussard many years ago. Took it quite a while to come into bearing. Not sure the free-standing tree of it, on OHxF513 has borne fruit yet, but there’s a branch in a Kieffer tree that’s serving as a foster home to a dozen or so varieties. I’ve been pretty disappointed in OB… small fruit size and flavor is just sort of…blah.

I have or had a number of those pears that the Wildlife Group now sells( Ledbetter, Galloway, Dixie Delight, Sen. Clark, etc.), from Dr. David Griffith, years ago, before he turned them over to them. Ledbetter was a sentimental/nostalgic choice, as it originated in my home county, and I knew Dr. Alexander Nunn who selected and promoted it. Still waiting for Galloway to bear… not sure Dixie Delight is still here - or I’ve just lost it (deer ate a lot of my nametags)… think the two branches of Sen. Clark in an astringent ‘Orient’(NOT!) tree have declined and died out.


For those of you that are looking for low chill (200 hours) pears this one is interesting Perdue Pear. They are offering it at a good price here but there may be a better place to get it. I’ve not tried this one yet.


I’ll be watching this thread…I’ve got three pear trees, Kieffer, Leconte and pineapple just under two years old. Still waiting for them to produce some fruit.


Does anyone here grow Ubileen in the South? I’m thinking about getting one based on the description, but reviews from people that grow them seem few and far between.


I purchased a Purdue pear tree last winter. It’s still a baby and even thought it looks like it’s going to try to bloom this year, I doubt I will let it. The two or three people I’ve heard from with direct experience with it say it’s so, so. One thought it was bland and the other thought that it was too much like the Bartlett pears you can buy at the store. However, according to the type, it’s a good storage pear. So if it is a lot like a Bartlett from the store and stores four months, that would be useful. We shall see. God bless.



Jeremy, where did you get your LeConte from? Also when it produces, please give us a good description of it. Mine is so similar to my Goldenboy that I wonder if they might be the same variety. If they are not, I’m guessing Goldenboy is a LeConte seedling. It’s possible that Just Fruits messed up and mislabeled one of my trees. That has happened before. God bless.



Hey Marcus just my two cents here. I think Leconte is a pear that is capable of producing some variants. There are a few notable Leconte sports out there like Fan - Stil. I grew Fan - Stil and Leconte in the Austin area and the only diffrence was that FS was noticeably more vigorous for sure. The fruit was the same. Maybe Golden Boy is just a larger fruited sport? I also wonder if some of the other Louisiana/Houston origin pears like S. Bartlett may have Leconte as a parent. Now those pears are totally unique to one another for sure but have some similarities also. Enough for me to wonder if it has Leconte parentage. On a diffrent note you seem to have an interest in finding late ripening storage pears. What about old Kieffer? It would certainly fit the bill.


The mature Leconte tree growing here was a poor performer and also got fireblight, so it has been changed over to part Tennosui/part Acres Home. Much better now. I regret not topworking it years ago.


Well, sitting at an estimated +-365 chill hours so far at my place in Georgia.
For all my fellow Georgia growers, drill down on this site to your location for info. Back the end date up a couple of days if the data doesn’t load.


Yes, I visit that site a lot especially towards the end of winter. It says we have gotten 305 chilling hours here in Statesboro which is way better than last year at this time. I doubt chilling hours will be a problem for any of my fruit trees this year.

About LeConte, so far so good for my LeConte and fire blight. Folks who have grown Golden Boy way longer than I have insist that it appears to be pretty bullet proof when it comes to fire blight. Of course we should never take these things for granted.

I am fairly convinced that there must be at least two quite different strains of pairs out there under the “LeConte” pear. The Pears of New York says of LeConte that its eating quality is inferior to that of Keeffer. In the 1850s LeConte pears from Georgia were bringing high prices in places like New York. My LeConte has delicious pears that are nothing like Keefer pears. They are soft although not as soft as a Bartlett or Southern Bartlett pear. The Pears of New York simply can’t be describing the same pear growing in my yard or the pear described by the LeContes back in the late 19th Century.

Lastly it would not surprise me at all if LeConte turns out to be the parent variety for a lot of the soft pears simply found growing near a farmhouse somewhere in the Deep South. It was one of the very first if not the very first soft pear fire blight resistant enough to take our climate. I imagine that a lot of folks who ate pears from these trees planted the seeds in the hopes of getting a similar pear tree. It would be interesting to run a genetic analysis of the various southern pears with unknown origins to find out who is related to whom. God bless.



According to the database at Corvallis, Southern Bartlett is a pure Pyrus communis. If LeConte were a parent, it would have sand pear in its genome. When Major LeConte brought the LeConte mother tree home to the LeConte Plantation in 1850, he had purchased it as a sand pear seedling in Philadelphia, When the tree matured folks quickly realized that it had the highest quality pears anyone had encountered in that part of Georgia before. By the 1880s the LeContes and others were getting $5 and $6 per bushel for them. That was big money back then. God bless.



This is exactly what I was thinking also Marcus. That is interesting to know about the Southern Bartlett we may never know the true origins of some of these.



Bought the Leconte at a local nursery here in Jacksonville. This was a couple years back. I’ll be happy to give a description when/if it produces fruit…maybe I’ll get luck this year.


Finished my 2017 tree planting this past weekend. 12 total, 8 in this pic. 6 Dixie Delights, a Becton and a Warren. The 6 on the right are Fuyu/Jiro persimmons planted last year. 3 in the back are crabs. Older pears/crabs on the right side in the shadows and my large orchard across the creek in the background. Photo taken with a DJI Mavic drone.


I liked the weeds barrier. Are you going to mulch the base of the trees to prevent overheat.



Tony, Thanks and yes, I do intend on covering the weed mats with mulch before it gets hot.


I like the weed barrier as well and have done likewise with some of my trees with light mulch on top.

My concern is fertilizing with granular products such as 10-10-10 and liming the soil which I need to do from time to time with dolomitic lime. I would like others opinions on if the fertilizer adequately leaches down thru most weed barriers to the tree roots or if the barrier needs to be pulled up to fertilize, thanks, Chris.


If the fertilizer is water soluable then it will go where the water goes. When it hits the soil some, like nitrate nitrogen, will keep going with the water and some, like P, will attach to the clay and organic matter.

Dolomitic lime is basically insoluable in water and is best incorporated into the soil or at least applied to the soil surface.


Do to a late frost this spring after an obscenely warm winter, the pear crop in my yard was a total loss. But the two huge unknown pear trees in my late aunt’s yard produced bumper crops. The squirrels let the trees actually ripen the pears this year I’m guessing because non of the fruit have any viable seeds in them. Squirrels like pear seeds much better than pairs themselves. Anyway, the first pic is of the earlier blooming of the two. This pear does not fully soften up, at least not at room temperature. I’m trying to see what happens when the fruit is refrigerated for a while. Fruit size can be quite large but is not uniform. They are yellow when ripe with no blush. This may be the perfect canning pear. They don’t fall apart of or cook up to nothing. And yet they are not hard to peel. When ripened inside they have a pleasant spicy flavor but remain pretty crunchy.
Same pear tree.

More pics from the same tree. Another characteristic that should be pointed out is that this tree is a very early bloomer. It will start blooming in late January and early February here in Statesboro Georgia Zone 8B. I’ve never seen the crop destroyed by frost even in years when crops on all other trees are destroyed. Squirrels are another matter. The crop is usually destroyed by squirrels long before the pears are ready to be picked. The tree is about 50 ft tall too which is another picking challenge.