Turnbull Pear

I ordered and received a Turnbull pear tree. Descriptions of it seem good, but I’ve seen mixed reviews from those who have it. What do you think of Turnbull?

3 Likes

I only know that it is the most fireblight resistant pears I have grafted. And it is the only one in my collection that hasn’t bloomed nor fruited. And my wife accidentally pruned it off from my collection.

2 Likes

I had a friend who grew for years and he said it wasn’t much on taste. Have not had it myself.

I had it for a few years. Disease resistant, Large fruit, and a taste like no other I have ever had. Sweet/tartness/undetermined. I would like to have a limb of it again but not a tree. Hope this helps a little.

6 Likes

Thanks, all, for the responses thus far!

I tasted one off the tree last Fall and it was so unusual that I thought, come scion time, I’ll get me one. I didn’t manage to get one last week at the NCGR, though I got a bunch of units that are talked about a lot here…but I’m supposed to get one in the mail pretty soon plus, I hope to get to the Propagation Fair coming up and I think it will turn up there. I wasn’t even sure I really liked it when I tried it, it was just so different, with a lot of potential. A lady who also took a bite of it felt the same way.

1 Like

I have a Turnbull Pear Tree in my orchard and it is the largest, most precocious tree. It truly does have a follow-up bloom if the first, main flush of blooms are caught by a late freeze, but even the second light bloom was killed by a super late freeze here last year. The flavor is FANTASTIC, much different than my other Asian or European pears, and the yield this year (its third year of blooming, and its 6th year in the orchard, is far larger than any other tree, even those that are a few years older. Turnbull seems completely resistant to fireblight. It has a very willowy growth habit, so that when loaded, its limbs easily bend to the ground. I may prune differently after seeing what a heavy yield it can bear. I did loose a few smaller limbs at the top from overload of fruit.
The fruit is large, often up to a pound each, and VERY crisp. It has a way more complex acid profile than any other pear I’ve ever tasted, making me think it’d be a great cider pear. Think of a sweet, but tart crisp apple. The fruit begins to drop way before it looks ripe, but it already has an intensely pleasant flavor at that stage. They are green-skinned and rock hard at this stage and rarely get damaged by dropping.
The fruit that remains on the tree continues to sweeten and mellow, but not really soften. the color turns a bit yellow, and the flavor grows more and more “fruity”. I cannot say enough about how wonderful they taste. When I’m processing pears, any pear that I taste after eating a sliver of Turnbull tastes so single-dimensional and bland. Sure, sweet, but bland.

11 Likes

@Laura
Good report. Thanks
I have some young ones, so this is encouraging !
About where are you located?
Welcome to the site.
Hillbillyhort

3 Likes

Where did you order it from out of curiosity? Definitely peaks my interest. :smile:

1 Like

Hidden springs in Tenn. is where I got mine.

3 Likes

I didn’t get a scion of it this year. I remember asking the Curator (NCGR) about it because it was so strange and he gave it a Meh. I thought it was so odd, but good…and that was right off the tree, no ‘curing’ time. I’m going to try to get out to the gubmint orchard on days separate from work party times to concentrate on having some me time.

1 Like

Thanks Laura! I hope mine will hold its fruit next year so I can try it!

1 Like

@laura- Where do you grow your Turnbull without fireblight? I don’t see your location in your profile- that helps interpret reports.

2 Likes

Good to know we have heard highly variable reports about turnbull! Some love it others claim its bland. I suspect it is higher or lower quality is location specific like so many other fruits.

2 Likes

I don’t currently have Turnbull but when I did there wasn’t any FB issues that I remember.

3 Likes

Located in NW Arkansas, at about 1800’ elevation. Zone 7a on maps, though hits the below zero of 6b more often than not.

7 Likes

The one I ate was anything but bland. Strongly flavored and odd but good…was my experience, ha ha. My trees are all so small but I suppose I ought to get a scion of Turnbull along with a few Curator’s choice units.

5 Likes

Hidden Springs Nursery

4 Likes

I had my first Turnbull today. Like others have said, it was quite an experience. It was tart like an apple-- but a very particular taste. I really liked it though! But my wife not so much!

5 Likes

Makes the best mock apple pie

4 Likes