Thursday, March 11, 2021

Pear varieties for "Monument" trees through the mid-regions of the country

All mistakes are mine in categorizing whether a variety is a Deep North, Deep South or Malcolm-in-the-Middle. Obviously, some of these varieties can be used in the deep south or far north as they have a wide range of adaptability.

Again, many thanks to Barb Gilmore and her staff at Corvallis.

-Harrow Sweet (PI 617562). -A high quality late-season pear for the fresh market, selected for precocity, productivity, cold hardiness, and fireblight resistance. Originated at Agriculture Canada Research Station, Harrow, Ontario by D.M. Hunter, P. Pinsonneault, F. Kappel, H.A. Quamme, W.G. Bonn and R.E.C. Layne in 1992. Cross of Bartlett x Purdue 80-51 made in 1965 by R.E.C. Layne, selected by H.A. Quamme in 1980 and tested as HW-609. Fruit: medium to large, pyriform, yellow with red blush; visible lenticels, some russetting, appearance resembles Bartlett; Flesh white, sweet, juicy, flavorful; stores 10 weeks at 10C. Tree: medium size, upright to spreading, productive. Fireblight resistance similar to Harrow Delight. Pollen cross-compatible with Bartlett; graft compatible with quince. - Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties

- Honeysweet (PI 541320). - A high quality, fire blight resistant pear with medium size fruit from Indiana. Seckel x US 220 (Vermont Beauty x Roi Charles de Wurtemburg); cross made in New Hampshire in 1955 by L.F. Hough, Rutgers University, New Jersey; seedlings grown and screened for fire blight at Lafayette, Indiana; first fruited in 1967; tested as 117-1 and TH7-230; selected in 1969 by Jules Janick, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Released in 1977, US plant patent 4499 issued February 13, 1979 to Stark Brothers Nurseries. Fruit: pyriform-turbinate; ripens to golden russet; flesh smooth, buttery, no detectable grit; flavor rich, sweet, resembles Seckel; cultivar sets without pollination, but fruit size is reduced; pollen is fertile; local market use; ripens 1-10 September; expected to be adapted to the Midwest. Tree: spreading; does not defoliate even without spraying for leaf-spotting diseases; resistance to fire blight rated with Kieffer. - Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties

- Cayuga (PI 541160). -Originated in Geneva, N.Y., by U.P. Hedrick, New York State Agriculture Experiment Station. Introduced in 1920. Seckel o.p. seedling; seed borne in 1906. Fruit: of Bartlett size; similar in shape to Seckel; color of Clairgeau; mediocre quality, shy bearer at Southern Oregon Experiment Station. Tree: has some fire blight resistance. -- Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties.

- Devoe (PI 541172).-Originated in Marlboro, New York, by Charles A. Greiner. Introduced in 1947. Plant patent 728; 25 Mar. 1947. Parentage unknown, but thought to be Clapp Favorite o.p. Fruit: shape similar to Bosc; coloring similar to Clapp Favorite. Tree: vigorous; tolerant to fire blight and pear psylla. -- Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties.<P><P>Fruit medium to above medium, obovate pyriform, cavity wanting. Skin greenish-yellow becoming often blushed with red over more than half of fruit. Flesh soft, fine, buttery, tender, melting, white to yellow, subacid; stone cells absent. Flavor fair to good. Harvest date second week in September, two weeks after Bartlett. Keeping quality possibly similar to Bartlett. Has not stored well at Wooster. Red tinged fruits fairly attractive, fair quality, good size. Very susceptible to blight at Wooster. -- F.S. Howlett, Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, 1957.

- Eller Bartlett (PI 541308).-Originated in Yakima, Washington, by Walter H. Eller. Introduced in 1954. discovered in 1942. Plant patent 1184; 12 May 1953; assigned to Eller Pear Co. Yakima. Bud mutation of Bartlett. Fruit: flavor good; resembles Bartlett; good keeping qualities; claimed to ripen 4 to 5 weeks before Bartlett. Tree: claimed to have some fire blight resistance; productive; said to bloom earlier and have less second bloom than Bartlett. Appears to be no different than other Bartlett clones in bloom and ripe dates at the pear germplasm collection in Corvallis, Oregon - Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties

- Magness (PI 541299).-Originated in Beltsville, Maryland, by U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Introduced for trial in 1960. Released in 1968 by Howard J. Brooks. Seckel seedling x Comice; tested as US 3866-E. Fruit: size medium; oval; skin lightly covered with russet, relatively tough, somewhat resistant to insect puncture and decay; flesh soft, very juicy, almost free of grit cells, flavor sweet, highly perfumed, aromatic; ripens at Beltsville about I Sept., being a week later than Bartlett; ripens for prime eating in about 10 days when held at 70F; can be held in cold storage up to 3 months, then ripens with good quality. Tree: very vigorous and spreading for a pear; original tree and first trees propagated from it have some thorns, which may be expected to decrease with additional repropagations; begins bearing at about 6 years; early fruiting mainly on medium long terminals; entirely pollen-sterile, but sets well with all varieties that have been tested; very resistant to fire blight. Recommended for general trial because of high degree of blight resistance and high quality of fruit. Named in honor of John R. Magness who retired in 1959 as chief of the fruit and nut crops section at U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Center, in Beltsville, Maryland. --Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties.

- Marks (Marks Seedling) (PI 541446). Originated in Geneva, N.Y. Introduced in 1973 by George D. Oberle, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State University, Agriculture Experiment Station. Parentage unknown. Seed sent to New York State, Agriculture Experiment Station. (NYSAES), in 1928 by a Mr. Marks, from an area near the Hudson River, for identification; seed planted and germinated by Richard Wellington, NYSAES, and tested as Marks 1; selected in 1940 by George D. Oberle then of NYSAES, and tested by him in Virginia since 1948. Fruit: small; ovate, short pyriform; skin olive green to yellowish ground color, unattractive, smooth to slightlv russeted; flesh creamy white, tender, juicy, very few grit cells, flavor and quality good, flesh qualities resemble Sheldon; ripens 1 Sept. or 1 week before Seckel. Tree: size average or below; upright with profuse branching; moderate vigor and productivity; shows more tolerance to fire blight than most P.communis types; recommended for cooler areas of Virginia. --Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties.

Spartlet (PI 541351) .-Originated in Farmington, Michigan, by Edward Palacky. Introduced in 1964. Plant patent 3705; issued 15 April 1975 to Hilltop Orchards and Nurseries, Hartford, Michigan. Chance seedling of Bartlett. Discovered in 1963, tested since 1964 as Bartlett-x by Michigan State University and Gerber Products Co. Fruit: larger than Bartlett, with large basal end; skin smooth, green-yellow at maturity, often with a bright scarlet blush on exposed side, dotted with numerous pin-pointed russet lenticels; flesh aromatic, fine-grained to granular in nonripened state, smooth to buttery and slightly fibrous when fully ripened, quality rated closely to Bartlett but slightly coarser; ripens midSeptember, 12 days after Bartlett; has stored well until mid-February at 31F, makes acceptable packs of puree and sliced canned halves. Tree: large, spreading to upright; moderately vigorous; hardy; productive; shows more tolerance to fire blight than Bartlett. Recommended as a complementary choice to Bartlett not as an alternate. The name is a concatenation of Bartlett and Spartan, the Michigan State University athletic teams. -- Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties.

- Mac (PI 541343).-Originated in New Brunswick, N.J., by L. Fredric Hough and Catherine H. Bailey, New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station. Introduced in 1968. Gorham x NJ 1. Cross made in 1950; first fruited in 1958; selected in 1958; tested as NJ 6. Fruit: size medium; acute-pyriform; skin straw yellow when tree ripened; flesh creamy white, texture fine, nearly buttery, no indication of astringency, quality good, comparable to Gorham; ripens with Gorham or 2 weeks after Bartlett; as resistant to fire blight as Kieffer, the best quality blight resistant variety selected so far. Tree: vigor below medium; central leader with open branching; not as productive as Lee or Star, pollen good, compatible with other varieties. --Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties.<P><P>Mac, tested as NJ 6, is from the cross of Gorhan x NJ 1. (NJ 1 was a fire blight resistant seedling identified by Professor M.A. Blake in the 1930's and was probably a hybrid between P. pyrifolia x P. communis). Mac first fruited in 1958. The fruit is acute-pyriform and only medium in size. It ripens to a straw-yellow on the tree. It ripens about with Gorhan, or two weeks after Bartlett. The flesh of Mac is creamy white and of a fine texture that is nearly buttery. The fruit quality is quite comparable to Gorham at its best. There never has been any indication of astringency in the skin of Mac as their may be with Gorham. The original tree is below medium in vigor. It has a central leader with open branching. It has good pollen. On the basis of Mac's performance both as a male and as a female parent in the hybridization program, it will be compatible with other varieties. Mac has not been as consistently fruitful as Star or Lee. Again, the original tree of Mac is not growing in a favorable site in the seedling orchard. The blight resistance has not been as thoroughly tested as that of Star and Lee; but it is apparently as resistant as Kieffer. Certainly, it is the best quality blight resistant pear variety that has been selected so far... --L.F. Hough and C.H. Baily. 1968. Fruit Varieties and Horticlutural Digest 22(3):43-45.

- Beierschmidt (PI 541455). Originated in Fairbanks, Fayette County, Iowa, by J.A. Beierschmidt. Introduced in 1927. Considered to be a seedling of Bartlett; seed planted by Marie Beierschmidt, mother of J.A. Beierschmidt, about 1900; first fruit borne about 1908 to 1910; original tree died when about 15 years old, but many suckers had been transplanted from it; first called to attention of S.A. Beach (Apples of New York author) in 1921. Fruit: medium to large; broader than, and not as necked as Bartlett; skin thin and tender, greenish-yellow to clear pale yellow when ripened, with slight russet; flesh firm, tender, very juicy, highly aromatic, of high quality. -- Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties.<P><P>Fruit medium to large in size, globular, sometimes pyriform, irregular in shape. Skin straw-color, some tendency to blemish, tender and susceptible to bruising. Flesh fairly fine, juicy, buttery, quite free of grit. Mild, pleasing flavor, rates rather high in dessert quality. Probably too tender of skin to withstand commercial handling. Keeps somewhat longer than Bartlett. Tree fairly vigorous, spreading or willowy in habit, productive, some resistance to fire blight. -- H. Hartman, Oregon Ag. Experiment Station, 1957. <P><P>Keeping quality reasonably good for several weeks. Fruits fairly attractive but show surface injury rather readily. Dessert quality very satisfactory. One of better varieties on trial at Wooster but unfortunately coincides with Bartlett in harvesting season. Variety does not blight as basly as bartlett and reported to possess considerable resistance to low temperature in Iowa. Recommended as pollinizer for Bartlett in Ohio and for limited commercial planting. -- F.S. Howlett, Ohio Ag. Experiment Station, 1957.

- Potomac (PI 617594).-A fire blight-resistant mid-season pear with good fruit quality. Released in 1993 jointly by R.L. Bell and T. van der Zwet, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, W.Va., and The Ohio State University Moonglow x Beurre d'Anjou; cross made by H.J. Brooks in Beltsville, Maryland, in 1961; tested as U.S. 62537-048. Not patented. Fruit: medium size, 65 mm in diam.; ovate-pyriform; skin light green, glossy. Flesh moderately fine, buttery with some small grit under skin; flavor subacid and mild, similar to Anjou. Ripens 2 weeks after Bartlett; stores for 8 weeks or less. Tree: medium size; precocity and productivity similar to Anjou; fire blight resistance greater than Seckel. - Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties <P><P>'Potomac' originated from a cross of 'Moonglow' x 'Beurre d' Anjou' made in l961 by H.J. Brooks. The seedlings of the progeny were grown at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, Md. 'Potomac' was selected in 1968 and was tested under the original seedling number US 62537-048. The original source of resistance to fire blight is the American cultivar Seckel. The parentage is entirely derived from P. communis germplasm. The fruit of' Potomac' is ovate-pyriform or obovate-obtuse pyriform in shape and is assigned an International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) shape rating of 13 (Thibault et al., 1983). Symmetry is regular, with occasional sligh bumpiness. The cavity is obtuse and occasionally lipped. The basin is open, narrow, medium in depth, with a convergent, persistent calyx. Fruit are moderate in size, averaging 68 mm in diameter, with a mean fruit weight of 167 g. The core is small, averaging 21 mm in diameter. The skin color is light green and the finish is glossy with inconspicuous lenticels. In some years, light calyx-end russet can develop. Fruit sometimes have a light red blush on the sun-exposed side. The stem is moderate in length and thickness, flexible, and slightly oblique. Harvest maturity is 14 days after 'Bartlett'. The flesh is creamy white, The flesh texture is moderately fine, buttery, and juicy. Grit cells are small and confined to a thin layer under the skin. The flavor is subacid, with mild aroma, and similar to 'Beurre d'Anjou' in character. The fruit may be ripened after harvest without postharvest chilling, but is as susceptible to storage scald as 'Beurre d'Anjou' if stored for more than 2 months in air at -1 C. It is, therefore, not suitable for long-term commer-cial storage without application of scald control measures. The tree is moderately vigorous and spread-ing. Flowers have white petals, and the anthers are pink to red. Full bloom at Kearneysville occurs with 'Beurre d'Anjou', -2 to 4 days before 'Bartlett'. 'Potomac' is self-incompatible and reciprocally cross-compatible with 'Bartlett' and 'Beurre d'Anjou'. Fruit are home on terminal flower buds of short lateral shoot and spurs in young trees, but production shifts almost exclusively to spurs as trees age. In a preliminary yield trial on 'Bartlett' seedling rootstock, 'Potomac' has been less precocious than 'Bartlett', and with lower yield until 6 years after planting (Table 2). Yield per tree rapidly surpassed 'Bartlett' after year 6, due in part to loss of bearing surface to fire blight in 'Bartlett' trees.

- Daisui Li (12-44) - A large, smooth skinned, pyriform shaped Asian pear developed in California. Orig. at UC Davis, by Ben Iwakiri and evaluated as selection '12-44' near Winters, California. Plant Patent 6075 issued in 1988 to the University of California. A cross between the Japanese cultivar Kikusui and the Chinese cultivar Tse Li (Tsu Li). Fruit: large to very large, obovate to globular, more pear-shaped than most Asian cultivars, including sister cultivar Shin Li. Smooth thick skin is light green at maturity. Flesh: white, firm, coarse, crisp, juicy, sweet and subacid. Ripe early September in Davis, California. Distinct aroma similar to Tse Li. Fruit stores 5-6 months at 0 C. Tree: large, upright to slightly spreading, open, hardy, more vigorous than other Asian cultivars. Leaves: large, wide and leathery. Blooms with Chojuro and Kikusui, slightly later than Ya Li and Tse Li, earlier than Bartlett. Resistant to fire blight.

- Shin Li (12-43) (PI 617663). A fine textured, slightly pear-shaped Asian pear developed in California. Orig. at UC Davis, by Ben Iwakiri and evaluated as selection  12-43  near Winters, California. Plant Patent 6076 issued in 1988 to the University of California. A cross between the Japanese cultivar Kikusui and the Chinese cultivar Tse Li (Tsu Li). Fruit: medium to large, round-oblate, slightly flatter than Daisui Li. Skin is thick, smooth, light green to yellow-green at maturity. Flesh is firm, tender, crisp, juicy and sweet with finer texture than Daisui Li. Ripe early September in Davis, California. Stores 5-6 months at 0 C. Tree: vigorous, large to medium, upright to slightly spreading, open, and hardy. Leaves: large, wide and leathery. Blooms early, with Chojuro and slightly later than Ya Li and Tse Li. Fruit must be thinned. Resistant to fire blight. -- Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties.

- Blake's Pride. --A fire blight resistant, mid-season Pyrus communis cultivar. Origin: Released in 1998 by R.L. Bell and T. van der Zwet , USDA Agricultural Research Service, Kearnysville, WV and R.C. Blake, USDA/ARS, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Wooster, OH. A cross of US 446 x US 505 made in 1965 by H. J. Brooks. Selected in 1977 at OARDC, Wooster, Ohio by R. C. Blake and T. van der Zwet and evaluated as OHUS 66131-021. Only Pyrus communis background with fire blight resistance from Seckel. Fruit: Moderate size, symmetrical, pyriform to round-pyriform, 66 mm diam., 80 mm height with short upright stem; skin yellow, glossy, approx. 25% covered with smooth, tan russet; matures 3 weeks after Bartlett, about September 11 in Kearneysville, WV; stores 3 months in common storage; flesh moderately fine buttery texture, juicy, with small grit cells at core and beneath skin; flavor subacid, and aromatic, more like Comice than Bartlett. Tree: Upright-spreading moderate vigor on Bartlett seedling rootstock. Moderate to high yield, precocious. Fruit borne on both spurs and terminal blossoms of lateral shoots. Fire blight resistance greater than Seckel; blossoms exhibit moderate resistance following artificial inoculations. Moderate field resistance to pear scab; susceptible to powdery mildew and Fabraea leaf spot. Blooms 1-4 days before Bartlett; self-incompatible, but Bartlett, Beurre Bosc, Harrow Delight and Packham's Triumph are suitable pollinizers. Named in memory of Roland C. Blake. -- Brooks and Olmo Register of New Fruit and Nut Varieties List 39, 1999.

- 'Shenandoah' is a new European pear (Pyrus communis L.) cultivar which combines resistance to fire blight with fruit of good quality and long storage life. The original seedling tree was selected in 1985 at the USDA, Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville, West Virginia from a cross of 'Max Red Bartlett' x US 56112-146, and was tested under the original seedling number, US 78304-057. The original source of fire blight resistance is 'Seckel'. The fruit of 'Shenandoah' is pyriform to round-pyriform in shape and moderately large in size, averaging 72 mm in diameter and 92 mm in height. Skin color at harvest maturity is light-green, turning yellow-green when ripe. The skin finish is glossy and 10-20% of the fruit surface is blushed red. Under the humid climatic conditions in the eastern U.S. there is light russet at the calyx end of the fruit. Lenticles are slightly conspicuous and are surrounded by small, light brown russet. The stem is medium to long (~25 mm), of medium thickness, upright, and slightly curved. The cavity and basin are obtuse and shallow. The core averages 21 mm in diameter. Harvest maturity occurs about four weeks after 'Bartlett', and the fruit will store in refrigerated (-1 C) air storage for at least 4 months without the development of core breakdown or superficial scald. The flesh texture is moderately fine, juicy, and buttery. Grit cells are moderately small and occur primarily around the core and in a thin layer under the skin. The flavor is aromatic, similar to 'Bartlett', and is moderately acidic during the first 2 months after harvest, becoming to subacid after longer storage. The tree is moderate in vigor on 'Bartlett' seedling and 'Old Home' x 'Farmingdale' 97 rootstocks, and upright spreading in habit. 'Shenandoah' blooms in mid-season, similar to 'Bartlett'. Yield has been moderate to moderately high, and precocious, with first fruit setting 1 to 2 years after planting. Production has been regular with no pronounced biennial pattern. Fruit are borne primarily on spurs but also on terminal blossoms of lateral shoots. Fire blight resistance is similar to 'Seckel' with infections extending no further than 1 year old shoots. Artificial blossom inoculations indicate a moderate degree of blossom resistance to fire blight infection. - Bell, R.L., Miller, D.D., Van Der Zwet, T. 2004. 'Shenandoah' a new fire blight resistant pear cultivar. Hortscience, 39:805. 2004

- AC Harrow Gold pear is a high quality, early-season, fresh market pear. the tree is moderately productive with no evidence of a biennial bearing habit, and has excellent resistance to fire blight. Developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Harrow, Ontario, Canada. Originated from a cross of 'Harvest Queen' x 'Harrow Delight' made in 1975 by H.A. Quamme and G. Spearman. Propagated and evaluated by the Ontario Fruit Testing Association beginning in 1987 as selection HW616. Named and released in 2002 by David Hunter, Frank Kappel, Harvey Quamme and Gordon Bonn.

- 'Uta'. Origin: 'Madame Vert€' x 'Bosc's Flaschenbirne'. Breeding no: Na20. Tree: dwarf growth with good loose branching, flat crown. Maturity: winter, like 'Alexander Lucas', storable until February/March. Fruits: excellent quality, size large, skin undercolour green, 100% gold-bronze russeting, very attractive, 280 g. Yield: very high, precocious, regular. Resistance: no scab or mildew infection, only slightly susceptible to fireblight. Rootstocks: not directly compatible with quince rootstock. Pollination: diploid, good pollinators include: ‘Clapp’s’, ‘Bartlett’, ‘Conference’, ‘Tongern’, ‘Paris’, incompatible with ‘Anjou’.


  1. Sadly, Bradford pear trees have killed most of our producing trees in this part of the country thanks to their aggressive pollination...

  2. I'm almost embarrassed to say I've never met a pear I like. As a child you'd find the pear pieces remaining after having fruit cocktail.

  3. I'm puzzled Old NFO. How can one variety kill another by aggressive pollination? I never heard of that. Or do you mean that they prevent them from producing fruit?--ken

  4. Regarding Bradford pears corrupting domestic pears: studied the use of ornamental pears to pollinate domestic pears. Advantages were better disease resistance (of pollinators) and fewer trees per orchard, simplifying management. One of the accessions they investigated (called P9935 in the report) was a common "Bradford pear". No issues with fruit quality from the P. calleryanna pollen were noted.

    I had discussions with Lucky in Kentucky, a fruit-growing genius. He suggested that the "corruption" argument might be driven by pear trees sold by nurserymen where the graft did not take and they sold the rootstock as a grafted tree...whether by inattention or unscrupulousness. Or, a newly planted tree might have been girdled by mice or rabbits and the rootstock, often P. Calleryanna, sprouts up.

    While Mother Nature can do many weird, unpredictable things, the consensus of the fruit growing community is that Bradford pears are nasty, thorny things but don't corrupt the quality of domestic pears.

    "Bad" pollen CAN impact sweetcorn since it is the seeds that we eat. It can also make sweet peppers "hot" since seeds and seed coats are part of what we eat. But for most domestic tree fruits, we don't eat the seeds. The analogy for mammals is that we eat the placenta, not the baby animal.

  5. Thank you for the information. I plan on planting a few pear trees, this is useful.


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