Visit with Bob Vance!


Wow, plum is really that easy to graft.

Mixed up? Harrow Diamond peach and Harrow Delight pear ended up on the opposite trees. Didn’t work, of course.


NEW growth just showing up on Newberry!


It was time to out-plant Newberry, Neptune, and Jupiter up at the mountain!



Did the Nancy graft or any of the others take?

Did any of your pears ripen? How were they? Did you like Magness and Harvest Queen? Particularly interested to hear your review of Elliot. I’ve not tasted that one yet.


… and I forgot to ask:

Did you get any White River peaches to ripen? How would you describe them?


I think so, but I’m not sure. The real test for summer budding is if they leaf out in the spring.

Yes, I got a few, though not many. I’m not sure which was which by the time I let them sit for a week or so (or more in some cases in the fridge) to ripen. I do remember liking Magness and I think it was Elliot which was also good. I don’t recall HQ.

I got a ton of them. Bland. I’m not sure if it was that I let it over-set, or if they are inherently bland. I think a few of the upper ones were a bit better, but still nothing too good. I need to aggressively thin it next year. If it is still bland, then it is grafting time (last chance for it…). I do like the red streaks in the flesh, but I need a bit more flavor and sugar.

Carmen was my favorite white peach this year. But, it was a young tree and only had half a dozen fruit (not very heavily loaded). Best peach overall was without a doubt Carnival. On a relatively heavily loaded small tree, it was phenomenal. Loring was also pretty good, though it was more remarkable for fruit size and heavy load, all while maintaining adequate sweetness (not off the scale sweetness like Carnival). “Adequate sweetness” still puts it ahead of the other peaches I was getting at that time.

Among other fruits, I was very happy with Jilin (Asian pear), Lavina plum, and Winston (apple).


Hi Bob,
How does Jilin compare to the other Asian pears you have tasted?


Mine was great the first year and less good the next couple. It could have just been the weather though. I have had a general problem with mid-season whites ripening properly, a lot of them just stay too “green” even when completely ripe. Georgia Belle and Carolina Belle also did that. Nectar is the only one not doing that. Well, Silver Logan as well but it rotted…


Jilin is a bit unusual. It came from seeds brought back from a market in China. Of the seedlings grown, they displayed a variety of characteristics, including evidence of wild pear heritage.

I grafted it from ARS in 2015 onto 3 different trees (OHx333 multi-graft with Mishirazu, onto a Yoinashi, and a 20th Century). Two of the 3 had fruit this year. I didn’t record the brix, but I think it was in the 13-14 range, on both trees. Interestingly, the other pears on the Yoinashi were much lower brix- in the 10 brix area and barely worth eating (more thinning needed? maybe Jilin self-thinned a bit). Jilin was also very large and crisp, with a slightly unusual shape (a mix between round and pear shaped, with extra “feet” at the bottom, almost like a Red Delicious).

My wife likes Ya Li pears, which I found a bit bland, with bad tasting skin. But, Jilin appears to be one that takes what she likes in a pear and mixes it with what I like, as she complimented it and said it was like a Ya Li (not a compliment in my books). I bet it would keep well, but I lost patience and ate the last one I was saving after about a month (it was just as good as when picked). I liked Mishirazu (~13 brix) as well, but it was way lower in my wife’s book. It had at least similar sweetness, but lost texture much more quickly, while Jilin was like a big crisp juicy rock.


I’m not reading too much into it, as the brix wasn’t off the charts and it was merely very good, not amazing. I think I remember Pallas having a bit of green tint to it. And maybe some of the Carmens did as well. But even so, I don’t think it bothered me.

I should have mentioned Shu Mi Tao, as the 1 fruit I got from it was very good. 16 brix and plenty of acid, even though I picked it a bit early. But talk about small sample size… :slight_smile:

I need to do a better job protecting and tracking my fruit. I may have had an Old Mixon Free as well, but can’t remember. I know there was fruit set- I just don’t remember if it made it to being picked.


I should have clarified I didn’t mean green in the skin (which is what it sounds like I meant, doesn’t it?), I meant green in the taste. Much of the time peaches that are green in color still taste great. Pallas and Eagle Beak are the two main examples I had of that, I never tasted any “green” in them despite the color. But other peaches sometimes have an off flavor when they still have green color in them. My recollection at this point is a “tinny” flavor. That was what I was referring to. It might be something only some people taste. I don’t know how Belle of Georgia ever got to be popular as I can’t stand that aspect of the flavor.

BTW I topworked my Pallas last spring, I love the taste but it has far too much rot. I am probably going to topwork Shu Mi Tao as well for the same reason. Well, it also gets really bad bugs compared to other varieties, and its also prone to early fruit drop.


That’s interesting, as I don’t think any of the 3-4 Shu Mi Tao rotted for me, and they were grafted to Cavalier, a nectarine which had a 100% rot rate. I guess there are rotters and then there are rotters. And that nectarine was supposedly the result of research into rot-resistant stone fruit in Virginia, breeding necs with peaches. It’s also possible that the insects were causing the rot, just like cracking was causeing the rot in the nectarine- they are both susceptible if anything pierces the skin…I’m hoping that is more the case, as I was very happy with the 1 Shu Mi Tao I got and want more.

I’m just grafting Pallas back this spring, so I guess I should put it in a spot with good airflow and sun. Is Athena better from a rot perspective than Pallas? I think I recall you saying that they have similar flavor.


Jilin does sound like a pear that I would love.
Thanks for the detail description.


Athena has been much less prone to rot than Pallas. Its also in a sunnier spot, but its for afternoon sun only. Both get good morning sun.


The Neptune and Newberry you gifted me appear to have survived a rough winter on the mountain. I have high hopes for them this year.


Glad to hear it- the real test will be if any of the muscadines survived. But it is hard to say now, as they won’t leaf out for a while.



Newberry lives!

Neptune lives!