Which is the real Bartlett pear

I have noticed the Bartlett pear I grew up with is different than the Bartlett they sell now . I like the old type for wildlife . They fall in October . They have some grit cells and some russet . Were self pollinating . The descriptions now say ripe in August . These are grit free . Needs a pollinator .

Your old time Bartlett sounds more like Kieffer. I don’t think any Bartlett ever had grit cells or matured that late. That’s not Bartlett. The first pear of my memory was eating Kieffer picked up off the ground as wildlife would. That was northern Illinois.

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I have grown Kieffer and this is better . Kiekker is best for throwing at something IMO . Grit cells are near the core . I am propagating some on quince and Callery for wildlife on my acerage . I have access to Grandma’s old tree . A dwarf or semi dwarf root . That tree is on my mom’s family . Dads family had the same pear on standard . Planted in the 1890’s . All the old orchard trees are gone there . I like the Bartlett they sell now for myself . The lateness of the old pear is perfect for deer season . We can not bait here but planting is ok.


It’s not Bartlett nor is it likely kieffer by your description. Mislabeled trees are nothing new. I grow several trees all supposedly kieffer only one of which is. I’m not disappointed about the mix up as one of my families favorite pears was supposed to be kieffer and instead it wound up being a delicious pear. Bartlett ripen in July or August in Kansas and the tree your talking about is something different than that. As Fruitnut said it was only called Bartlett. Your family likely bought it under that name and always called it that. Bartlett by the way in Kansas have a small bit of grit now and again just not like a sand pear such as kieffer. The Bartlett are typically very delicious due to our hot dry summers. Bartlett will ripen on the tree and not rot. Everything in this picture except the pears on the right that are green are Bartlett. The green pear in the upper right is the supposed kieffer that is and likely always will be a delicious mystery pear. The picture is the first day of 2 weeks of picking from just those 2 standard pear trees. Yes the boxes you see behind are full of pears as well. This is what my kitchen looks like in July and the table was likely full of blackberries.

Clark surely you and family don’t eat all that do you? Are you selling fruit?

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I accept that they are not Bartlett . Just wondering what they really are . Widespread variety in this area . Many still around .Took some photos of one in a park near me . Not sure if i know how to add them .

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Yes Fruitnut There is an owner of several grocery stores I sell to. I can’t produce enough though yet. We do eat a lot of fruit so not to say we don’t consume a good amount. I usually don’t have more than an extra bushel or two to sell him. In a few years I will have a large operation put together and he won’t be able to keep up with what I will produce. It takes time with pears and I did test crops first for several years to figure out what works. Pears are not grown commercially here right now. I don’t have it all figured out . I will do more tests to figure out how to go 100% commercial. I’m working out the details right now. At the moment I’m better than an amateur but would never make it professionally.

They do look like Kieffer in many ways because of the roundish appearance. Typically Kieffer here are all light yellow though and those have more brown. Maybe they have been on the ground awhile. Do they almost all have an inch or so of russeting on the bottom that is a brown color? The other thing is Kieffer are very uniform here. Those appear a bit lop sided are they? If I liked them I would just graft a ton on those wild callery in March. They are perfect for your deer plot. How is the taste? Very sweet? The ripening time and everything is right for Kieffer in zone 5. If they taste good you should graft some for yourself also.

They have been on the ground awhile and many have bug damage making them odd shaped . We used to wrap them in newspaper to ripen for eating and canning . The only other grown were seckle . The kids loved those . The russeting varies but all have some . Grit is near the core and not much . I thought maybe it was like apples have many versions of red or yellow delicious . Whatever it is they were very common . Ideal for my wildlife use as they fall late and last until wildlife eat them . I used to watch starlings eat the frozen ones in January . A few would still be clinging on the branches .

They could even be a Kieffer sport that grew from the seed of a Kieffer. Do they grow wild now or are there just old trees around? I think Fruitnut had your mystery tree identified . Great pears for canning and wild life . The other tree that still has hard pears is interesting to. If you get extra scion wood maybe closer to grafting time you can swap some for another variety your interested in. Good luck with the deer! In a few years your going to have a hundred of them in that pear patch. You will always have plenty of deer and pears. Since you have wild callery anyway you might be able to swap for Moonglow or pineapple pears scions and wind up with more variety of pears for you and the deer.

I have Moonglow , Maxine , Ayers , and sugar or honey sweet . The one that needs a pollinator . Still too young . Except the sweet pear . Waiting for a pollinator to get to blooming age . As you can tell I by my selections I like sweet soft juicy pears .

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Could be Douglas or one of the other Kieffer hybrids that were grown back then. Just a guess, Man those pictures look just like Texas grown Kieffers. I have heard people for years tell me that you can wrap kieffers in news paper and let sit for a month or so and then eat them and supposedly they get quite good! Still crisp with some grit but quite tasty. I have never tried it myself but have always been curiuos if its true. Jerry I think you will really like Ayers when you get it fruiting. It only fruited once for me because we didint quite get enough chill but the one year I did get fruit it was excellent.

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Douglas is an earlier pear. Here is an article that discusses ripening times http://www.harvesttotable.com/2010/12/how_to_choose_a_pear_tree_for/

Curious if you were able to graft over some of your pears on callery rootstocks? If your still having problems identifying the tree I thought maybe you could take some pictures of the tree before leaf drop. Hopefully you have one growing now.