Tenn pear

The real Tenn pear is ready to bloom heavy this year. This one was sent to me by Corvallis. Be prepared to wait on this one in my area it takes many years. It’s growth habit is similar to ayers. Today is April 9th. Ayers is about at the same stage as tenn but a little behind it.

This is one of the most mislabeled and misidentified pears there is but Tenn is only known as Tennessee Properly Identifying the Tenn. AYRES Pear . The problem is like many pears the people identifying these don’t know the difference because they don’t grow them. Corvallis is the most reliable source only equaled by Dr. Natelson himself.


Just in case you want to know more

Breeder(s): Brooks D. Drain, Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Fruit quality: Flavor is tart, unusual for a pear, but balanced by sweetness. Texture is firm, but not crisp with smooth, grit-free juicy flesh. Good overall.
Fruit size: Small-medium. 120 g/fruit according to the University of Florida
Fruit appearance: Dull red blush over a greyish-green background. Skin is smooth.
Culinary characteristics: Its unusual tartness makes me wonder if it might be good for desserts. The tartness coupled with the juiciness suggests it might make an excellent blended perry, however both of these musings have not been tested by me or anyone else I’ve talked to.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least 4 weeks in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Mid-season (early September in northern Florida). Unfortunately, it comes up against several better pears (for fresh eating); Early-mid-September in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Early; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Resistant to fireblight. Susceptible to pear blister mite. Somewhat resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Like most Asian/European hybrid pears, it is precocious; first fruit set in *** year on OHxF 513 rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive, but with a tendency for biennial bearing. It is very important to thin these trees early an vigorously in the “on” years to ensure good annual crops.
Growth habit: Very vigorous; crotch angles quite narrow when the trees are young- be sure to spread the limbs while they are small and limber. Use the most dwarfing rootstock you can find. Really, OHxF #513 is not dwarfing enough."SE Pears

Looks like tenn will have some fruit this year.


I got Tenn from Ethan Natelson about 20 years ago (we go way back to NAFEX and SFF days together). It never did well in Sebastopol, CA grafted on OHxF 97. Fruit was not worth eating and the tree went into decline - ? reason. I finally removed it.
My first experience with it was in MS where it grew well but was not a favorite eating pear. That scion actually came to me with the Tenn experimental number. Unfortunately, I no longer have those records and don’t remember anything but that the ID started witht the letter S.
Let us know how it does this year for you. I have Dabney, Ayers, Carrick and Mericourt from the same Tennessee breeding program growing here. All but Dabney are fruiting this year.

BTW, we are haveing a bad fire blight year. I’ve already lost two varieties topworked to other trees, a lot of limbs on others and innumerable fruit cluisters.

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Yes Dr. Natelson is well known for his southern pear interest. I’m growing those you mentioned with the exception of mericourt but I need to add that one! Will keep you updated on how Tenn tastes here in Kansas.

Not as good a fruit set as I hoped for but there is some.