Worden Pear

The Worden pear is a seedling of Seckel-- sometimes called “Worden Seckel.” It was discovered in New York in the late 1800s.

Anyone out there growing this pear? How do you think it tastes? Any first-hand fireblight trouble?

I needed a pear immediately, so I purchased a Worden today from White Oak Nursery in Strasburg, PA. They were out of Potomac, which was my first choice. I’ve eaten plenty of Seckel before, but I don’t ever recall seeing Worden in the markets. What can I expect?

I’ve read some of the literature on this pear, but am particularly interested in hearing of folks’ first-hand observations and experiences with it. Anyone have any photos of the fruit or tree form? All I can find online are old watercolors and plate-book prints!


Its a good pear. Here is what Pears of NY says about it (this is from 1915 or so). Many of the Seckels are in fact Worden Seckel, its larger so looks better to many people.


Possibly no pear has been more widely advertised during the last quarter-century than Worden Seckel. Nurserymen and* pear-growers alike describe it as a better variety than Seckel, and say that it ought to take the place of that good old sort of which it is a seedling. But it is not driving Seckel out in most pear regions, though in many it is considered the more profitable pear of the two. It is a splendid pear, but falls short of Seckel in not being quite as dependable in different soils and climates; the trees are not as vigorous, though just as productive in many places, they are not quite as resistant to blight, and the fruits are not as high in quality. On the other hand, the pears are larger and handsomer. Well grown, the fruits of Worden Seckel are voluptuously handsome in form and color. The pears are smooth, glossy, trim of contour, well turned, unusually uniform, with a beautifully blushed cheek on a handsome green and yellow background. The accompanying illustration does not do the pear justice in size or color and shows a lack of symmetry not usually present. When the crop is thinned so that the fruits attain their largest size, no pear is handsomer or will bring a higher price on the fruit-stands. The crop comes in with Seckel, but keeps longer, lasting until December in cold-storage. The tree is very hardy and bears young, but does poorly in the nursery. Commercial growers should give this variety a thorough test, and amateurs everywhere will find it worth planting.

Worden Seckel, as its name suggests, is a seedling of Seckel, raised by Sylvester Worden, Minetto, Oswego County, New York, about 1881. Smiths and Powell, Syracuse, New York, placed it on the market about 1890. The American Pomological Society added the variety to its fruit-list in 1909.

Tree large, vigorous, upright-spreading, rapid-growing, very productive; trunk thick; branches reddish-brown, nearly covered with thin, gray scarf-skin, marked with numerous lenticels; branchlets short, with internodes variable in length, light greenish-brown, dull, glabrous except near the ends of the new growth, sprinkled with numerous small, conspicuous, raised lenticels.

Leaf-buds very small, short, pointed, appressed. Leaves 2’ in. long, i’ in. wide, thick, leathery; apex taper-pointed; margin tipped with few minute glands, finely or coarsely serrate; petiole ij in. long, glabrous, slender, tinged with red; stipules very small when present. Flower-buds small, short, conical, sharply pointed, plump, free, singly on very short spurs; flowers showy, i’ in. across, in dense clusters, 8 or 10 buds in a cluster; pedicels ij in. long, slightly pubescent.

Fruit ripe late September to October; medium in size, 2’ in. long, 2’ in. wide, obovate-acute-pyriform, symmetrical; stem f in. long, thick; cavity very shallow and obtuse or lacking, the flesh folded up around the base of the stem and often lipped; calyx open, large; lobes narrow, acute; basin shallow, narrow, obtuse, smooth or gently furrowed, symmetrical; skin thin, tender, smooth, glossy; color pale golden-yellow, blushed on the exposed cheek with solid bright red, becoming almost crimson in highly colored specimens; dots numerous, small, russet, obscure; flesh yellowish-white or dull white, fine-grained near the skin, granular at the center, tender and melting, buttery, very juicy, characteristically spicy and aromatic; quality very good. Core closed, axile, with meeting core-lines; calyx-tube conical; carpels ovate; seeds wide, plump, obtuse.

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How is your Worden pear doing? Do you have any photos of this pear?


My tree is multi-budded, and still quite small. No fruit yet:

USDA Corvallis has some photos:

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