The most disease / pest resistant pears

What have you found to be the most disease resistant pears? Kieffer, Douglas, Duchess, seem to do well here. Here is a picture of my Kieffer pears


Do you spray?

I do typically but I did not spray this tree at all this year. I’m not afraid to lose it since I have 8 of these.

my bartlett will be ripped out this winter…it has fireblight probably down to the roots. Starking delicious pear (which is actually Maxine) is doing great with very few fireblight strikes in a year when fireblight has been very active here in the mid-atlantic. Moonglow had a few fireblight strikes here but the tree seems fine. I could never get any decent fruit on my seckel pear so I cut it down. The fruits were always really scabby when maxine pears were practically free of blemish. My moonglow pear trees are too young to produce.


I have not had good luck with Seckel but I do have a red Bartlett that shows no signs of Fireblight going on 16 years. It’s been said by many pear experts it depends where you are as to which varieties do the best. Maxine and pineapple I have heard good things about in terms of FB resistance.

Duchess is relatively easy to grow here as well and is a world class quality pear- big fruit with sweet rich flesh. Harrow Sweet is still the winner for precocity and consistency in cropping and overall pest resistance in my orchard.


Hi Clark!

From my limited experience, most of the Asian Pears do well with little or no spraying. There thick skin seems to discourage insect damage. I will have 40 varieties of Asian and European Pears planted by spring. It will be interesting to see how they fair in coming years. You just don’t see to many pear varieties planted in the midwest.

1 Like

I’m using callery for rootstock and currently growing 50 or so of these types of trees. Half of my pears are grafted. Clapps favorite was a complete failure after having grown it for years and getting several giant crops Fireblight killed it to the ground. I have another clapps favorite remaining because I love the flavor. It’s days are numbered I know. I’m doing tests with Clara frijs and so far it’s fantastic. I have another doing well in tests called Atlantic.

Is Calary dependably hardy in your climate? Bet is on the cusp in 6 according to my reading of the issue and Cal is more tender still. I often plant Bet a bit deep as a precaution here.

1 Like

I’m having trouble finding good scion wood for Harrow Sweet. I have tried to grow it and glad to Here it does well overall.

Alan a few people have asked me that saying it’s not hardy to my zone according to several experts. These are very hardy seedlings I dug up wild here that never have die back. They are so hardy they would take a zone colder I think. What’s strange is I got trees from burgess and gurneys and the tops died back of course and the rootstock was callery. Trying to add a few varieties only they offered.

39th I do grow drippin honey which does fine here but does occasionally get some Fireblight.

Ah, you have your own strain. That’s great.

Yes I guess they are all genetically different but the people around here successfully grow Bradford, aristocrat etc. and the seedlings are without question hybrids of their ornamentals. I also grow pear seedlings from oikos and from pear seed from my kieffers. I’m not sure how well they will work as rootstock but I’m growing what I bought as an old fashioned Kieffer from the arbor society that spreads through shoots off the main tree. I’m looking for a better rootstock than callery long term because though they are very hardy here as I mentioned they are all genetically different which means inconsistent grafting at times. The nice part the callery are 100% resistant to Fireblight in all seedlings I’ve used. They do not even get die back in places or signs of the disease. They do get spots on the leaves which don’t bother them.

1 Like

Looking back on these old threads i realize we have come full circle and callery and BET still work best in Kansas. The hardy disease resistant pears are tried and true and still loaded with pears. Atlantic queen i think is one of my last 2 mystery pears. They are slow to fruit on callery but i suspect worth the wait! We are very fortunate to have so many types of pears and in large quantity! I remember grafting Atlantic queen and then i came back to unreadable tags. I will laugh so hard if i wound up with another type of pear!

Here in the northeast, pears tend to be inconsistent bearers, they require a lot of sun to make fruit. They fail in partial shade and they fail on seasons when there is too much grey in spring.

This year’s spring has been very grey and wet until the last couple weeks and the pear crop around is pathetic. The exception in the orchards I manage is Harrow Sweet, which may not need thinning much, but is well cropped everywhere I manage it.

It’s funny to see a Seckel or Bartlett tree with a couple HS grafts, and all the fruit is on the grafts, a site I’ve seen several times this season including on my own originally Seckel pear tree.

Gourmet varieties lose their charm when they are a no show half of the time.

I don’t manage many Harrow Delight, but they also are holding enough crop this season. None of the other varieties I grow are- none.

1 Like