WARNING: This page is constructed entirely from my memory, as my written records are currently inaccessible*** My memory is quite OK, but not infallible. Like all the other pages on this site, it is also a work in progress. I will add information bit-by-bit as I have time.


Pears in the Southeastern US

Cultivar List
'Ayres' [Recommended: Fireblight-resistant, high-quality, buttery-textured, European-style fruit.]
'Bartlett' ('Williams Bon Chrétien')
'Belle Angevine'
'Belle Lucrative'
'Beurré Superfin'
'Blake's Pride'
'Carrick'
'Chapin'
'Colonel Wilder'
'Doyenné du Comice'
'Crisp 'n Sweet' (aka 'Green Jade') [Recommended: Fireblight-resistant, good-quality, although firm-textured fruit.]
'Dabney'
'Dana Hovey' [Recommended for limited trial: Fireblight-resistant, albeit in contrast to some literature, high-quality, buttery-textured, European-style fruit.]
'Duchess d'Angoulême'
'Eldorado (El Dorado)'
'June Sugar'
'Harrow Delight'
'Harvest Queen'
'Honeysweet' (U.S. Plant Pat. No. 4,379)
'Hoskins'
'Immamura Aki'
'Kieffer'
'Koyama'
'Luscious'
'Lucy Duke'
'Magness'
'Maxine (Starking® Delicious) [Recommended for limited trial: Fireblight-resistant, high-quality, buttery-textured, European-style fruit.]
'Meadows'
'Meigetsu'
'Mericourt' [Recommended: Fireblight-resistant, high-quality, buttery-textured, European-style fruit.]
'(US-)Michigan 437'
'Miss Label'
'Monterrey'
'Moonglow'
'Morgan'
'Mooers'
'Orient'
'P-3'
'Pitmaston'
'Pittsboro'
'Potomac' [Recommended: Fireblight-resistant, high-quality, buttery-textured, European-style fruit.]
Rootstocks
'Santa Claus'
'Seckel'
'Shinko'
'Southern Queen'
'Spalding'
'Starkrimson®'
'Tenn'
'Treasure'
'Tsu Li'
'Turnbull Giant'
'Tyson'
'Waite'
'Warren [Recommended: Fireblight-resistant, high-quality, buttery-textured, European-style fruit.]
'Wilder Early'
'Winter Nelis'
'Wolfe County'
'Ya Li'

Ayres
Breeder(s): Brooks D. Drain; University of Tennessee.
History: Not to be confused with a chance seedling with a very similar name found in Kansas. Originated from a 'Garber' X 'Anjou' cross made in 1937. Because 'Garber' is thought to be a P. pyrifolia X P. communis hybrid, 'Ayres' is one quarter Asian pear and three-quarters European.
It was named in honor of Dr. Brown Ayres who was elected president of the University of Tennessee in 1904.
Rootstocks used: Old Home x Farmingdale #'s 333 & 513 and P. calleryana seedling.
Orchards grown in: Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Excellent, buttery-textured pears with a rich, perfumed sweet, sprightly, slightly spicy flavor. These pears are very juicy. Flesh is smooth, with few noticeable grit cells. One otherwise fantastic book, Fireblight, unfairly implies that Ayres is poor quality by saying, "Garber, Kieffer, LeConte, Pineapple, and more recently Ayres, Mooers, and Orient are the best known of these gritty, coarse-fleshed fruit hybrids." But don't believe them, it's fake news, people! SAD! Seriously, Ayers (and possibly Mooers) are not like the others listed. I would agree with the authors' characterization on the others, but Ayres is neither coarse nor gritty!
Fruit size: Small. *** g/fruit. Larger than 'Seckel', but smaller than other supermarket pears.
Fruit appearance: Attractive golden, uniform russet with a beautiful red blush on the sunny side over a golden-yellow background.
Culinary characteristics: We've never cooked them. They are simply too delicious and beautiful, so even when we've had abundant crops, they were easily given away to very happy recipients. People who have tried them always ask for more.
Storage characteristics: Keep well for at least three weeks in common cold storage.
Harvest season: Early-mid; ripens after 'Wilder Early' and 'Dabney', but before 'Potomac'*** in Pittsboro, NC. In Tennessee, they were said to ripen from mid-August to early September (Brooks & Drain. 1954.)
Pollination: Male sterile. There are some reports on the Internet that 'Ayres' is partially self-pollinating. Then again, you can find all kinds of incorrect information on the Internet. I've always had more than one cultivar in my orchards with 'Ayres', but I generally think the careful work of the university and government scientists is more reliable than some random internet post. Bloom season: "Medium-late" according to Brooks & Drain in Tennessee. In my experience, ***vs 'Spalding'
Diseases: Very resistant to fireblight. I've rarely seen blight on any of my 'Ayres' trees, but the few times I have seen strikes, they progressed no more than 5-10 cm. Somewhat resistant to pear leaf spot.
Precocity: average precocity; first fruit set in *** year on *** rootstock.
Productivity: Tends to bear biennally unless thinned well in "on" years. With thinning and good pollination, they bear annually and yield well.
Growth habit: Too vigorous on standard (calleryana) stock. With a semi-dwarfing or dwarfing rootstock, 'Ayres' is still vigorous, but becomes quite manageable. It has mostly good, wide crotch angles.
If the inconsistent production problems of this cultivar could be overcome, it has commercial potential in the Southeastern U.S., in my opinion.

References other than my own experience:
University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station; Drain, Brooks D.; and Shuey, G. A., "Breeding and Testing Fire Blight-Resistant Pears" (1954). Bulletin #236. (can be downloaded at: http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agbulletin/227
Fireblight: USDA.

Bartlett
Breeder(s): Chance seedling found by Mr. Stair, a schoolmaster at Aldermaston, Berkshire, England.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York for the history up until the 1920's. Since then, 'Bartlett' has continued to dominate the world pear industry, constituting about 80% of the pears grown world-wide.
Rootstocks used: Unknown standard, probably 'Bartlett' seedling.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is very good, when home-grown. Texture is smooth, buttery and juicy. After only knowing store-bought 'Bartlett', I was pleasantly surprised at how good this pear can be.
Fruit size: Medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Attractive smooth golden-yellow.
Culinary characteristics: Well-known as the standard canning pear and the basis of just about every pear recipe known to modern Man. In Europe, a distilled spirit is made from this pear under its 'Williams' name.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least two weeks in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Mid-season; *** in Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Very susceptible to fireblight. ***Pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive.
Growth habit: Vigorous; crotch angles wide for a pear; rather easy to train.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast because of its extreme susceptibility to fireblight. There are better pears for its season now as well.
References other than my own experience:



Belle Angevine
Breeder(s): Unclear, but of European origin.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Inedible as fresh-eating pear, due to the rock-hard flesh.
Fruit size: Very large; *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform, dull greenish with irregular patches of russet.
Culinary characteristics: Prized for centuries as a cooking pear, and we also made several fantastic pies from the cooked flesh. However, other than their enormous size, there is nothing remarkable about their cooking properties. One characteristic often used to praise 'Belle Angevine' is that it "cooks into a pink sauce", but most other pears do, too, including 'Spalding'. The fruit are also rather hard to cut up and core because of their hard flesh. I'd rather process a bushel of 'Spalding' than a bushel of 'Belle Angevine' any day.
Storage characteristics: Very good- no surprise for a rock- Stores for a couple of months in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro.
Bloom season: *** in Pittsboro; *** days after 'Spalding'
Pollination: It is a triploid, so has sterile pollen, and won't pollinize other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer. It is also poor at setting fertile seeds, limiting its use in breeding programs.
Diseases: Very susceptible to fireblight. My trees all died of blight, but I did get a few crops first.
Precocity: ***.
Productivity: Very productive.
Growth habit: Very well-behaved growth; vigorous, but with naturally spreading scaffolds and a generally open structure.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast.
References other than my own experience:
Hedrick. The Pears of New York. Belle Angevine


Belle Lucrative
Breeder(s): Possibly Major Esperen, Mechlin, Belgium (Flemish region of Belgium).
History: see entry in The Pears of New York
Rootstocks used: ***
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor and texture are described in The Pears of New York, but my tree died of fireblight before fruiting.
Fruit size: see reference
Fruit appearance: see reference.
Culinary characteristics: see reference.
Storage characteristics: see reference.
Harvest season: see reference.
Bloom season: see reference
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Very susceptible to fireblight.
Precocity: see reference.
Productivity: see reference.
Growth habit: see reference
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast.
References other than my own experience:
Hedrick. The Pears of New York. Belle Lucrative


Beurre Superfin
Breeder(s): M. Goubault, Angers, France, in 1837.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia, Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet, luscious, perfumed, encased in a tender skin. Texture is smooth and buttery with no grit cells. Best.
Fruit size: Small-medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Beautiful pyriform golden fruits with a rose blush on the sunny side.
Culinary characteristics: It would be wrong to cook such an amazing fresh-eating pear.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least a week in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Mid-season; *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight. I lost my first tree, in Georgia, to fireblight before it bloomed. It took a few years to regain the courage to try again and in Pittsboro, NC, I lost about half the tree in one epiphytotic, but with immediate pruning to save it, it recovered and produced several nice crops before we had to move away. Somewhat susceptible to Fabrea pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Average.
Growth habit: Medium vigor; crotch angles variable, but it is not difficult to train; Dwarfing rootstock recommended.
Bottom line: Recommended for the dedicated connoisseur, but not a homegrower who wants a reliable fruiting tree. It is too susceptible to blight to relax your guard.
References other than my own experience:



Blake's Pride
Breeder(s): H.J. Brooks. Released by Richard Bell and Tom van der Zwet, Kerneysville, WV (USDA) in 1998.
History: Originated as a US 446 X US 505 cross made in 1965. This is a pure P. communis background with 'Seckel' in its heritage. First evaluated in Ohio as OHUS66131-021
Rootstocks used: standard (Bartlett seedling?)
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is very good; sweet, rich, subacid. Originator compares the flavor to 'Comice'. Texture is smooth and buttery.
Fruit size: Medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform. Smooth golden-yellow partially covered in russet.
Culinary characteristics: We did not have enough to cook.
Storage characteristics: Storage characteristics not tested.
Harvest season: Mid-season; 3 weeks after 'Bartlett' in Kerneysville, WV; *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars; Compatible with 'Harrow Delight' among others. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Moderately resistant to fireblight. Susceptible to Fabrea pear leafspot. Bark has an odd scurfiness that only a few pear cultivars exhibit.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Originators claim it is productive. It was a shy bearer in my hands.
Growth habit: Moderate vigor; growth habit a bit rangy and floppy; not easy to control; Dwarfing rootstock recommended
Bottom line: Not recommended for the homegrower unless you don't mind additional time required for care. Commercial growers could trial this cultivar on dwarfing stock. The fruit quality is certainly good enough- the question is, "Will dwarfing rootstock bring this tree into good enough production to be profitable?"
References other than my own experience:
Okie, W.R. Register of New Fruit and Nut Varieties, List 41.


Carrick
Breeder(s): Brooks D. Drain, University of Tennessee.
History: Originated from a 'Seckel' X 'Garber' cross made in 1934. Named after the Reverend Samuel Carrick, who was the first president of the organization that would become the University of Tennessee.
Rootstocks used: calleryana and OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia; Pittsboro, NC orchard A.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sprightly and sweet, most of the time, but the first crop I got in Georgia was so astringent as to be inedible. Texture is smooth and buttery, but with some scattered grit cells. Should be peeled for optimal enjoyment.
Fruit size: Medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Described as yellow with a rose blush overspread with russet. The fruit from my trees had mostly red skin, but with enough russet as to make it not shiny. Pyriform shape. It is attractive, but not beautiful.
Culinary characteristics: ***.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least two weeks in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC, late August in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Bloom season: Very early, often overlapping well with 'Tsu Li' and 'Ya Li'; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Moderately resistant to fireblight. I had severe damage on a couple of trees during epiphytotics, but generally, they have little blight. Pear leafspot resistant according to the originators, but my trees were susceptible.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Said to be quite productive, but mine had a tendency for biennial bearing unless thinned judiciously.
Growth habit: Moderate-low vigor; crotch angles***; Dwarfing rootstock recommended
Bottom line: Recommended for limited planting in the Southeast. The red skin color gives it an unusual eye-appeal that balances some of its less-desirable traits.
References other than my own experience:
Drain and Safley. 1957. "Morgan and Carrick: Two blight-resistant pears". University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletins.



Chapin
Breeder(s): U.P. Hedrick, Geneva, New York.
History: 'Seckel' X o.p. seedling released in 1945. I chose to plant this partially because it was an introduction of one of my pomological heroes, Dr. Hedrick. However, though it is a good pear, it did not live up to my high expectations, at least in our climate.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia; Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet and spicy, rather like a muted 'Seckel'. Texture is smooth and buttery. Good.
Fruit size: Small, about like 'Seckel'. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: pyriform, covered in golden-bronze russet.
Culinary characteristics: We did not cook them.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Mid-season; *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight, but not so severely that one cannot grow it. Resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Slow to come into bearing; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Unproductive, at least in a hedgerow..
Growth habit: Vigorous; crotch angles average for a pear; Dwarfing rootstock recommended
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast. It is not exceptional in any way. It isn't the best eating pear of its season, though they are good; it is susceptible to blight, but not tremendously so; it isn't productive.
References other than my own experience:
Cricket Hill Garden.


Colonel Wilder
Breeder(s): Bernard S. Fox, San Jose, California.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York
Rootstocks used: OHxF #333
Orchards grown in: Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet and sprightly. Very good. Occasionally, one runs into a fruit that is very astringent. I'm not sure why, but I'm guessing this variability is mostly due to the accidental picking before they are really picking ripe. Texture is smooth and buttery with no grit cells.
Fruit size: Medium-large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Not very attractive; it has irregular russet covering a dull bronze-green skin.
Culinary characteristics: We did not cook them.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least two months in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Late; *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Late; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight, my tree eventually died from it. Moderately susceptible to pear leafspot. Resistant to pear blister mite.
Precocity: Slow to come into bearing; first fruit set in *** year on OHxF #333 rootstock.
Productivity: Shy bearing at first, but as the tree matures, it gets into a regular modest cropping pattern.
Growth habit: Moderately vigorous, with a rangy floppy, zigzag growth habit that is hard to control without a good trellis; crotch angles variable; Dwarfing rootstock highly recommended.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast, unless you want to breed for high-quality, late-ripening pears. In that case, cross it to something with good blight resistance.
References other than my own experience:



Crisp 'n Sweet (formerly known as 'Green Jade')
Breeder(s): Jules Janick; PRI (Cooperative effort of Purdue University, Rutgers University and University of Illinois).
History: Originally tested as `P448-2`. Originated from an [`US 386` (Michigan 437 x Roi Charles de Wurtemburg), X 'Star' ('Beierschmidt' x `NJ 1')] cross.
Rootstocks used: Standard
Orchards grown in: Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: These pears can be eaten while firm or after softening. Flavor is sweet, but with little aroma. Texture is firm and crisp for a European (P. communis) pear, but not crisp if you compare it to an Asian (P. pyrifolia) pear or an apple like 'Pixie Crunch' or 'Honeycrisp' Flesh is smooth, with no noticeable grit cells.
Fruit size: Large. *** g/fruit. Plant patent says: "...typical fruit about 3.00 inches long and about 2.8 inches wide at the widest point."
Fruit appearance: Attractive deep green mellowing to a yellowish-green when fully ripe; no russet. Patent says: "Oblong to ovate and symmetrical, with a typical length to diameter ratio of about 1.2; no ribbing or lobes on the calyx end of the fruit."
Culinary characteristics: We've never cooked them. People and squirrels love to eat these pears fresh.
Storage characteristics: No first-hand experience in storing them, but the patent says, "Fruit can be kept at room temperature for about one week and can be kept in cold storage (34°F.) for about two months."
Harvest season: Mid-season; *** in Pittsboro, NC. Patent says, "First picking date in 2001 was about August 6, and last picking date was about August 12." [in Vincennes, Indiana]
Bloom season: said to be late by the originator: "Time of flower opening.--Flower opening in 2001 in West Lafayette, Ind. was about April 17 and bloom peaked at April 23". In my experience, ***vs 'Spalding'
Diseases: Very resistant to fireblight.  The originators say that it has similar fireblight resistance to `Honeysweet', but in my experience, it is much more resistant than 'Honeysweet'. Somewhat resistant to pear leaf spot. The originators say it is sensitive to Psylla species, but they were never a problem in my orchards, so I can't comment further.
Precocity: average precocity; first fruit set in *** year on standard rootstock (probably 'Bartlett' seedling, although the stock was not labelled).
Productivity: Due to its unruly growth habit, the productivity of this cultivar is highly dependent on environmental conditions and care. Can be very productive and annual bearing. Patent says, "average production is 300 lbs. of fruit per tree" [on 'Bartlett' seedling rootstock].
Growth habit: Miserable on standard rootstock. The trees are vigorous and send up many vertical watersprouts that then flop over in unpredictable ways. Crotch angles tend to be narrow unless trained early.   Dwarfing rootstock is highly recommended! [Even though I have not personally grown this cultivar on dwarfing stock, putting wild, rangy and vigorous pears on dwarfing stock tends to be very useful in managing them.
References other than my own experience:
United States Patent Office, Plant Variety patent PP14034

Dabney
Breeder(s): Brooks D. Drain, University of Tennessee.
History: Originated from a 'Seckel' X 'Garber' cross made in 1935. It was named in honor of Dr. Chas. W. Dabney, who was president of University of Tennessee 1887-1904. In 1883, he also served as the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in Chester A. Arthur's administration.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513 and OHxF #333
Orchards grown in: Apex, NC, Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor has been rated as among the highest at the USDA Pyrus germplasm repository in Oregon. There must be a dramatic climatic effect on 'Dabney' quality, because, while it is one of the better early pears, it still has the same problems of all existing early pears in the Southeast, namely, it turns to mush within 24 hours of ripening. If one take shallow bites one the day it ripens, then one can taste a pretty good sweet and sprightly pear, but the core is probably already mush and the rest turns to mush soon thereafter. Texture is firm and smooth, but not crisp and then mushy.
Fruit size: Small. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform, smooth skin.
Culinary characteristics: Never cooked them. They scored poorly in University of Tennessee canning trials because they didn't hold their shape.
Storage characteristics: Stores for maybe two days in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Summer in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Resistant to fireblight. Extremely susceptible to pear leafspot. Only 'Hoskins' rivals 'Dabney' for susceptibility to leafspot. The trees typically defoliate by August, unless a spray program is implemented to control leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: ***.
Growth habit: Vigorous.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast. Enjoy the summer stone fruits and wait till Fall for the good pears.
References other than my own experience:
University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station; Drain, Brooks D.; and Shuey, G. A., "Breeding and Testing Fire Blight-Resistant Pears" (1954). Bulletin #236. (can be downloaded at: http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agbulletin/227 )


Dana Hovey
Breeder(s): Francis Dana, Roxbury, Massachusetts.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513, P. calleryana
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is wonderfully sprightly sweet. Excellent. Texture is smooth and buttery with no grit cells.
Fruit size: Small-medium, a little larger than 'Seckel'. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Ripens a bronze-golden covered with a thin russet.
Culinary characteristics: We never cooked them.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Late, *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Late, ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: In a very rare case of my experience showing LESS fireblight than Hedrick suggests, my 'Dana Hovey' trees were remarkably free of blight. In more than 15 years and multiple trees and rootstocks, I only saw small blight strikes, which were easily controlled by pruning alone. Resistant to pear leafspot and pear blister mite.
Precocity: Slow to come into bearing; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Productive, once the tree matures.
Growth habit: Low vigor, like Seckel; crotch angles wide for a pear, but with a tendency to send up the occasional vertical watersprout right from the point at which a scaffold attaches to the trunk; Grows well on both rootstocks I tried, but OHxF 51 or 513 are recommended. When I say "low vigor", it is relative to other pears- it is still a strong grower. On calleryana, you see more wild, rangy floppy growth.
Bottom line: Recommended for both home and commercial use in the Southeast. Commercial growers should proceed with caution, because it could be that the low fireblight I experienced with this cultivar was mainly a genetics X environment interaction and your environment might be different.
References other than my own experience:



Doyenné du Comice
Breeder(s): Unknown, from the first seedbed at Comice Horticole, Angers, Department of Maine-et-Loire, France.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York
Rootstocks used: Angers quince, OHxF #***
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia; Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is rich and sweet. Texture is smooth, juicy and buttery, with no grit cells. Very good, but doesn't reach its full potential in the Southeast, in my opinion.
Fruit size: Large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Squat pyriform; golden-yellow smooth skin, often with a blush on the sunny side. In the Southeast, it tends to develop more russet than seen on supermarket Comice.
Culinary characteristics: We did not cook with them.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least a month in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight, but not extremely so. Susceptible to Fabrea pear leafspot.
Precocity: Slow to come into bearing; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Low.
Growth habit: Moderately vigorous; crotch angles average for a pear; Dwarfing rootstock recommended
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast.
References other than my own experience:




Duchesse d'Angoulême
Breeder(s): Chance seedling found near Angers, France.
History: Heirloom/ heritage pear: see entry in The Pears of New York
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia; Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet and juicy at its best, but in some years it is bland and dry. Texture is also variable, ranging from smooth and buttery to somewhat coarse and fibrous with occasional grit cells.
Fruit size: Very large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Greenish-yellow with smooth skin and a bit of an even appearance with bulges irregularly spaced over the fruit.
Culinary characteristics: We did not have enough to cook with them as this last tree had only borne a couple of crops before we had to leave.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Variable susceptibility to fireblight. I lost several trees before they bloomed to fireblight in Georgia and North Carolina before trying one last time in Pittsboro. This last tree has grown nicely, produced good crops and shown almost no fireblight despite being quite close to a 'Belle Angevine' and other susceptible cultivars that were producing massive quantities of inoculum. Resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Productive.
Growth habit: Moderate vigor; crotch angles average for a pear; Dwarfing rootstock recommended. This is one of the best pears to grow on quince as a Belgian fence or other type of espalier.
Bottom line: Recommended for the adventurous home orchardist.
References other than my own experience:



Eldorado
Breeder(s): Chance seedling.
History: Probably a seedling of 'Bartlett' originating in California.
Rootstocks used: calleryana, OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia; Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet and juicy. Texture is generally smooth and buttery, but with noticeable fibrous elements. Good, but not excellent.
Fruit size: Large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform, golden-bronze.
Culinary characteristics: We didn't cook with them.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least a month in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Late; *** in Coal Mountain, Georgia and in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Tolerant of fireblight. 'Eldorado' gets blight pretty frequently, and it will sometimes kill young limbs, but it doesn't go that far, so can be controlled with pruning. Somewhat susceptible to Pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Can be a shy bearer, but some of that is due to the fact that one has to protect the fruit from pests for a longer period because it ripens late.
Growth habit: Vigorous; Very vertical growth habit with many watersprouts arising from near the main trunk; crotch angles tend to be narrow; Early and diligent training, including festooning and dwarfing rootstock recommended.
Bottom line: Recommended for homeowners who like a challenge. Otherwise, it is best to avoid this one as it is high-maintenance. It would be a good one to include in a breeding program for late-ripening, high-quality pears.
References other than my own experience:
USDA Pyrus collection, GRIN.


June Sugar
Breeder(s): Someone who should know better than to have released such a thing.
History: Heritage pear whose claim to fame was that it 1) survived in the South and 2) produced pears very early in the season. The "Sugar" part of its name has been alternatively said to be as sweet as sugar (by someone who was drunk) or that its flesh was as dry as sugar.
Rootstocks used: P. calleryana
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is dry, astringent and basically inedible. Texture is hard, but not crisp. Maybe people who planted this were starving, but they would have been better off cutting off a big limb, killing a rat with it and eating that. The worst pear I've ever grown.
Fruit size: Medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform, green. Unattractive, but not as unattractive as it tastes- that would truly be butt-ugly.
Culinary characteristics: Maybe you can cook with it. I didn't try. Maybe you can boil a softball, add lots of sugar and make something of that, too. I suggest trying the softball broth first.
Storage characteristics: I don't know and I don't care.
Harvest season: Early in Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Unknown.
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight, but not enough to kill this miserable tree. Very susceptible to pear leafspot as well.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: ***.
Growth habit: Vigorous and upright; crotch angles narrow; to add to this miserable cultivar's bad characteristics, it has an unruly growth habit; Dead rootstock recommended so that you are never subjected to these awful pears.
Bottom line: At this point, do I really have to say? Not recommended in the Southeast or anywhere else this side of Hell.
References other than my own experience: May or may not be the same as 'Early Green Sugar'.



Harrow Delight
Breeder(s): H.A. Quamme, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Government), in Vineland, then Harrow, Ontario, Canada.
History: The pear breeding program was started in 1962 by R.E.C. Layne and many of the crosses, including the one that led to this cultivar were done in subsequent years by Dr. Quamme. The program sought to breed high-quality pears with equal or better resistance to fireblight (under Canadian conditions). 'Bartlett' was used as the high-quality standard comparator and 'Kieffer' was the comparator for fireblight resistance. Originated from a 'Bartlett' X ('Early Sweet' X 'Old Home') cross. Tested as HW603. 'Harrow Delight' and 'Harvest Queen' were the first introductions and were both released in 1981.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #51 and P-3.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is excellent, rich, sweet and juicy. Texture is smooth, buttery and free of grit cells. Although I never grew it side-by-side with 'Wilder Early', it is definitely the better pear. It may, however, ripen a bit later. I would need to grow them in the same orchard to really compare them well. It could be that 'Harrow Delight', not 'Wilder Early' deserves the title of "best early pear for the Southeast". The introducing station recommends picking them before they turn yellow to ensure best quality.
Fruit size: Medium-large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform, greenish-yellow with a red blush.
Culinary characteristics: We did not cook them, but they have been rated good as a canning pear, though not as good as 'Bartlett'.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Early, about 2 weeks before 'Bartlett' in Harrow, Ontario and *** days before 'Spalding' in Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars, including 'Harvest Queen', 'Bartlett', 'Bosc' and 'Anjou'. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Not as resistant to fireblight as the introducers found in Canada. Under Southern conditions, it is more susceptible to blight than 'Kieffer' and eventually I lost all of my trees to blight. I was away from home during some of those years, so probably with greater care, they could be maintained in the South. Resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Precocious; first fruit set in *** year on OHxF #51 rootstock.
Productivity: Productive and annual bearer.
Growth habit: Vigorous; crotch angles wide for a pear; easy to maintain. Dwarfing rootstock recommended
Bottom line: Recommended for early pear production for homegrowers willing to take some time to control blight. Worth looking at again for commercial pear production due to its exceptional quality for its season.
References other than my own experience:
Hunter, David A. 2016. Meyve Bilimi (Fruit Science)3(2):1-7.
Pyrus germplasm repository, USDA, GRIN

Harvest Queen
Breeder(s): H.A. Quamme, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Government), in Vineland, then Harrow, Ontario, Canada.
History: The pear breeding program was started in 1962 by R.E.C. Layne and many of the crosses, including the one that led to this cultivar were done in subsequent years by Dr. Quamme. The program sought to breed high-quality pears with equal or better resistance to fireblight (under Canadian conditions). 'Bartlett' was used as the high-quality standard comparator and 'Kieffer' was the comparator for fireblight resistance. 'Harrow Delight' and 'Harvest Queen' were the first introductions and were both released in 1981. Originated from a 'Bartlett' X ('Barseck' X 'Bartlett) cross. Tested as HW602.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #51.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet, rich and perfumed. Texture is smooth and buttery.
Fruit size: Medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform.
Culinary characteristics: We did not cook with them, but they have been rated as an excellent canning pear, equal to 'Bartlett'.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Mid-season, about 1 week before 'Bartlett' in Harrow, Ontario and *** days after 'Spalding' in Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars, especially 'Harrow Delight', 'Bosc' and 'Anjou', but will not pollinize 'Bartlett'. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Said to have equal fireblight resistance to 'Kieffer' in Canada, but it is definitely more susceptible than 'Kieffer' in the Southeastern US. All my trees were killed by blight, and after only a few cropping years. ***Pear leafspot.
Precocity: Slow to come into bearing; first fruit set in *** year on OHxF #51 rootstock.
Productivity: Moderately productive, but tends to bear biennially.
Growth habit: Vigorous with rangy, floppy habit and narrow crotch angles. Dwarfing rootstock recommended. It wasn't too hard to train on OHxF #51, but I can imagine that it would be a mess on a more vigorous rootstock. Quince compatible.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast. There are several pears that ripen at the same time, but are equal or better quality and have much better blight resistance and growth habits.
References other than my own experience:
Hunter, David A. 2016. Meyve Bilimi (Fruit Science)3(2):1-7.
Pyrus germplasm repository, USDA, GRIN

Honeysweet
Breeder(s): Dr. L. F. Hough of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
History: Originated from a 'Seckel' X US 220(31S51) cross made in 1955 in New Hampshire. 700 seeds were sent to collaborators, in September, 1955. "From these a total of 137 seedlings were planted in the Purdue University Nursery in 1956 and screened for fireblight in 1957 by artificial inoculation. Fifty three seedlings showed little or no infection and were transplanted to the field in October, 1957. Severe winter injury decimated the fall planting and only eighteen seedlings survived. Of these, eight eventually fruited and one was selected. The selection was located in a cultivated tree at the Purdue University Orchard at the Throckmorton Farm, Lafayette, Ind., and assigned the progeny number PF 117-1 and known under its location designation as TH 7-230. This seedling first fruited in 1967 and was selected in 1969." (Plant Patent #4379)
Rootstocks used: ***
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia and Apex, NC.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is said to be rich and sweet, similar to 'Seckel'. Texture is smooth and buttery.
Fruit size: Small-medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform to turbinate in shape. Yellow with a fine russet covering the skin uniformly.
Culinary characteristics: ***.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Mid-September in Lafayette, IN.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Somewhat self-pollinating. Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer for largest fruit size.
Diseases: In the Southeast, the claims about its health just haven't held up in my experience. It is moderately susceptible to fireblight. It is very susceptible to pear leafspot or some other defoliating leaf fungus that is unique to 'Honeysweet'. Either way, it trees get sick and defoliate badly without a good fungicide program.
Precocity: Slow to come into bearing; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: ***.
Growth habit: Vigorous; crotch angles narrow and the growth habit is floppy, a bit like 'Tyson'; Dwarfing rootstock (and a good spray program) recommended
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast. Despite what the catalogs and patent claims, this cultivar is not healthy and is weak on crime. SAD!
References other than my own experience:
Janick, Jules. 1979. United States Plant Patent #4379.


Hoskins
Breeder(s): Brooks D. Drain, University of Tennessee.
History: The intention of this pear was, and remains an excellent one: to develop a disease-resistant, Southern-adapted, high-quality, late-ripening pear. Such a pear would give Southern growers an advantage that others in the country would not have, namely a pear that was freshly going into storage when all the rest of the nation was pulling pears out of storage. It could mean that, during the Christmas and New Year's seasons, Southern pears would have the potential to be notably superior. Also, the cool nights of Autumn, tend to aid in subsequent storage, whereas all current Southern pears ripen during hot weather. Anyway, this noble effort led to 'Hoskins', which unfortunately is a failed attempt, in my opinion. Originated from a 'Seckel' X 'Late Faulkner' cross made in 1938. 'Late Faulkner' is a pyrifolia X communis(?) hybrid chance seedling found on a farm in Tennessee near Knoxville. Named in honor of James D. Hoskins, who was president of the University of Tennessee from 1934 until 1946.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: I never got to assess flavor and texture of ripe pears even though I went through several cropping years with them. This is because either the limbs with the fruit would blight and die or the fruit on the unblighted limbs would crack from leafspot, scab or some other fungal malady that I could not ripen the fruit. The originators said it has good quality, melting, subacid flesh. The USDA's pear germplasm repository said it was inedible, but that could be because they can't ripen it up North.
Fruit size: Small, about like 'Seckel'. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Supposedly covered with golden russet, but mine were covered with fungus- black spots. Squat pyriform in shape.
Culinary characteristics: Undetermined.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Undetermined- probably late, but the disease pressure prevented me from ever ripening fruit in Pittsboro, NC. The originators said they picked them in late September to early October in Knoxville, Tennessee and then ripened them in storage through the Christmas season.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Resistant to fireblight. Very susceptible to pear leafspot, the most susceptible of any pear in my collection. Trees would defoliate far earlier than any other cultivar and even the fruit would be infested with lesions and cracks that looked like something caused by pear scab (yet we have almost no pear scab in the South).
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Unproductive, again, probably mostly due to the multiple diseases this tree was subject to.
Growth habit: Vigorous, but plagued by unruly, floppy growth; it seems more to want to crawl along the ground than be a tree. Crotch angles often narrow, probably because it can't seem to stay upright, so has low apical dominance. Dwarfing rootstock recommended.
Bottom line: Strongly not recommended.
References other than my own experience:
University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station; Drain, Brooks D.; and Shuey, G. A., "Breeding and Testing Fire Blight-Resistant Pears" (1954). Bulletin #236. (can be downloaded at: http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agbulletin/227 )


Imamura Aki
Breeder(s): Chance seedling.
History: Pure P. pyrifolia, Asian pear found near Takaoka, Kochi Prefecture, Japan. Imported into the United States from the Narusada Fruit Farm near Fusan, Korea in 1929.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513 and P. calleryana.
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is very good- sweet, juicy with nice butterscotch and watermelon notes. Texture is crisp with few grit cells. Fruits should be peeled for optimal enjoyment, though some members of my family seem to like the peels left on. Of the Asian pears, my family usually chose either this one or 'Meigetsu' as their favorites. University of California rated it only "fair".
Fruit size: Medium-large. 260 g/fruit (California)
Fruit appearance: All-over deep greenish-bronze russeted fruit with prominent lenticels. Attractive, but not gorgeous like 'Koyama'.
Culinary characteristics: We did not cook them, but, if peeled, would certainly make a good addition to salads.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Early (like most Asian pears); a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars, except itself and 'Tsu Li'. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight. I lost several trees to blight, but it seems to be more resistant than 'Koyama'. Resistant to pear leafspot and black spot.
Precocity: Moderately precocious; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Moderate yield, low for an Asian, actually.
Growth habit: Moderate vigor; crotch angles wide for a pear; With proper fruit management, either dwarfing or callery rootstock recommended.
Bottom line: Recommended only for the diligent risk-taking home-gardener who appreciates good quality Asian pears.
References other than my own experience:
Griggs and Iwakiri. 1977. Asian Pear Varieties in California. University of California Bulletin #4068.



Kieffer
Breeder(s): Selected by Peter Kieffer.
History: Thought to be a Chinese Sand Pear (P. pyrifolia) X 'Bartlett' seedling selected in Pennsylvania near Philadelphia and first fruited in 1863. Because of its resistance to fireblight, ease of growth and high productivity, it was the nation's leading commercial pear for a time. It was during its heyday that U.P. Hedrick wrote the most amusing entry in The Pears of New York. He clearly didn't think much of 'Kieffer', but in the South it has become quite a beloved pear. Because of fireblight, Southerners couldn't grow pears. 'Kieffer' was a pear we could grow, and so we grew to love them. I have fond memories of my grandfather telling stories from his moonshining days or other mountain life stories on his front porch, while cutting up apples and 'Kieffer' pears. All of us sitting around got kernels of wisdom and slices of both life and delicious home-grown fruit from the Georgia mountains. Pear preserves are a quintessential Southern topping for homemade buttermilk biscuits or toast and these preserves were typically made from 'Kieffer' pears. Southerners also canned their 'Kieffer's and yes, we even let them mellow and ate them fresh, and we like them! Now that I've grown and tasted better pears, I prefer buttery-textured classic European pears, but I still like 'Kieffer' pears, to the amazement of folks from up North or out West who don't share this Southern tradition.
Rootstocks used: Unknown standard, probably 'Bartlett' seedling.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is mildly sweet and bland. The fruit acquire a nice perfume and become sweeter after mellowing, but they never become a great eating pear. As I say above, I (and many other fellow Southerners) like them, but given a choice between the best 'Kieffer' ever and an average 'Comice' or 'Mericourt' or 'Potomac', I'll take the latter. Texture is crisp, but hard, like biting a softball until it mellows for a month or so in storage. After mellowing, it gets softer, but never buttery and the large and frequent grit cells do not soften.
Fruit size: Large-very large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Thick-necked with a larger bulge near the bottom- The Pears of New York describes the shape well. Greenish with increasing yellow as they ripen, turning brighter yellow upon mellowing.
Culinary characteristics: ***.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Early; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Self-fertile- another characteristic that made them a ubiquitous home orchard pear in the South. Being deprived of good pears for so many generations encouraged Southerners to turn to other fruits for desserts, but they could make room for a single 'Kieffer' pear. Both of my grandparents had a single pear tree in their yards/orchards, and it was a 'Kieffer'. It was one of the first three pears that I planted in my first orchard.
Diseases: Resistant, but not immune to fireblight. Resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Precocious; first fruit set in *** year on standard rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive and an annual bearer.
Growth habit: Very vigorous; crotch angles narrow until the tree begins to bear, then it mostly behaves, but will send up vertical watersprouts with some regularity; Dwarfing rootstock recommended.
Bottom line: Recommended for the nostalgic or for someone wanting to try their hand at a truly Southern perry. Not recommended in general due to its poor fruit quality.
References other than my own experience:



Koyama
Breeder(s): Lon Rombough.
History: The USDA's National Germplasm Repository (GRIN) states that Koyama originated as a 'Nijisseiki' (Asian, P. pyrifolia) X unknown P. communis (European). However, after growing and fruiting it for several years alongside many Asian X European and pure-species cultivars, I will state for the record that I will be shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!, if this pear is anything other than pure P. pyrifolia. It may be a self-pollinated 'Nijisseiki' (also known as 'Twentieth Century'), if some reports on the Web are accurate, but like a lot of stuff on the Net, I doubt it. A scientific study done by the University of California found no self-pollination from 'Nijisseiki'. Either way, 'Koyama' has zero European attributes. Mr. Rombough was an avid and knowledgeable fruit grower, especially grapes, an active member of the fruit-enthusiast non-profit, NAFEX (North American Fruit Explorers), and a very good writer. He sometimes combined these two skills. His excellent book, The Grape Grower, is a good example of this. Lon also bred grapes for his Pacific Northwest climate. Lon sent scions of 'Koyama' to me and I grafted them wherever I had rootstock. Unfortunately, Lon passed away soon afterwards.
Rootstocks used: P. calleryana, OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: One has to be patient with this pear. Its beauty far precedes the development of its flavor. When fully ripe, it is sweet and juicy with a nice watermelon-like flavor. Texture is very crisp with no grit cells. Peeling is required for maximal enjoyment. Pick them before they are ready, though and they have less flavor than a raw Irish potato.
Fruit size: Medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: These pears are fabulously beautiful. They shine a bright bronzed golden color and have prominent white lenticels. They are round-oblate in shape. They would almost certainly sell well. I sold a few, but through an outlet that bought all my pears. I didn't get customer feedback from the retailer- they were a bit sloppy with their produce and I wouldn't sell to them again.
Culinary characteristics: We didn't cook them, but they would almost certainly be wonderful in salads.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least two months in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Untested, as far as I know.
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight. Resistant to pear leafspot. Like most Asian pears and other pomes with a rough skin, they are quite attractive to codling moths as well and require a good control program.
Precocity: Very precocious; first fruit set in second year on both rootstocks. Two of the top-worked calleryana trees even tried to set fruit the first year they were grafted! If this happens to you, don't let them, it will runt the tree. I carefully removed the blossoms to prevent fruit set that first year, then let them make one fruit each the following year.
Productivity: Extremely productive and annual bearing. One must thin judiciously to get large, high-quality fruit.
Growth habit: Vigorous if prevented from fruiting, but this cultivar is geared to fruit and if allowed to fruit while young, vigor is easily controlled. Crotch angles wide for a pear. If managed for production early, it does as well on P. calleryana rootstock as it does on OHxF #513. On either rootstock, it is strongly recommended to thin aggressively to prevent overbearing. You just can (and should) allow more fruit to stay on the tree and allow it earlier in the tree's life, if you use callery stock.
Bottom line: Not recommended for large-scale commercial production in the Southeast because of its susceptibility to fireblight. However, if one is willing to stay on top of the blight and ensure proper picking time for flavor, then it might be worth a try because it is so beautiful that customers would snap it up. Not recommended for the home-grower because there are better Asian pears, in my opinion. However, it would be quite interesting to cross it to 'Shinko' for blight resistance, then cross the best seedlings to 'Immamura Aki' and 'Meigetsu' and see if some of the seedlings improve in quality and blight resistance.
References other than my own experience:
Rombough. The Grape Grower: A Guide to Organic Viticulture.
Griggs and Iwakiri. 1977. Asian Pear Varieties in California. University of California Bulletin #4068.

Lucy Duke
Breeder(s): Mrs. Lucy Duke, Beaufort County, North Carolina.
History: Supposedly originated from a 'Bartlett' X 'Winter Nelis' cross about 1880. For more information, see the entry in The Pears of New York.
Rootstocks used: P. calleryana and OHxF #513.
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard A.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet, sprightly. Texture is smooth, juicy and buttery, but skin needs to be peeled for optimal enjoyment.
Fruit size: Medium-large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Hedrick sings the praises of its appearance, but the fruit on my trees were not especially attractive. They had thick greenish skin with some yellow color upon maturity.
Culinary characteristics: We did not cook them.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight. The trees I had on OHxF stock were killed by blight and the one I had on callery stock had significant damage every year after it started bearing. Somewhat resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Not very productive.
Growth habit: Low-moderate Vigor; average crotch angles for a pear. Size can be controlled on callery stock if grown in sod.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast. It is too susceptible to blight and though the quality is very good, there are other pears of equal or better quality in its season that don't have its failings.
References other than my own experience:



Luscious
Breeder(s): Ronald M. Peterson, Brookings, South Dakota Agriculture Experiment Station.
History: Part of a program to breed pears that were fireblight resistant, cold-hardy and high-quality. Introduced in 1973. SD E31 x Ewart; cross made in 1954, selected in 1967, tested as South Dakota 67SIl.
Rootstocks used: Unknown standard
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is insipid. It is sweet, but without spiciness or complexity. Despite their small size, one pear is generally enough and you are ready to move onto something else. Texture is smooth and buttery. Skin is thin, but peeling is still recommended.
Fruit size: Pyriform. Small- slightly larger than 'Seckel'. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Beautiful golden-yellow with a red blush on the sunny side. Perhaps their beauty raises expectations for the taste too high, because the taste disappoints.
Culinary characteristics: They make very good dried pears, though they brown readily.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least a month in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Coal Mountain, GA.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Moderately susceptible to fireblight. Resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive.
Growth habit: Moderate Vigor; crotch angles wide for a pear. One interesting odd characteristic of this cultivar is the redness of the mature trunk and scaffolds. It is really and attractive feature of the tree and might be worth incorporating this trait in new, higher-quality, more blight-resistant cultivars for the home-grower.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast. The fruit is good, but not excellent quality and the trees aren't sufficiently resistant to blight.
References other than my own experience:
Pears for the South. Donna Cook via Lucky Pittman.


Magness
Breeder(s): Howard J. Brooks, USDA.
History: Introduced in 1968 by the USDA as part of their program to breed blight-resistant, high-quality European-type pears. Originated from a 'Giant Seckel' X 'Comice' cross.
Rootstocks used: Angers quince
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet, perfumed ambrosia, like a perfect 'Comice'. Texture is smooth, buttery and juicy.
Fruit size: Large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: ***.
Culinary characteristics: We never cooked them.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least two weeks in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Coal Mountain, GA.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Sterile pollen, so will not pollinize other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Odd interaction with fireblight; it is resistant to blight through the blossoms (the most common route of entry), but if the trunk is inoculated (in nature, this usually means a hailstorm), then it is susceptible. My tree produced several crops before a hailstorm hit when there was blight in the orchard and the tree quickly succumbed. The breeders also noticed this attribute. Resists pear leafspot.
Precocity: Slow to come into bearing; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: A bit of a shy bearer, but bears annually if thinned properly.
Growth habit: Moderate Vigor; spreading habit (for a pear)
Bottom line: Recommended for the connoisseur who is willing to risk the loss of the tree, but not for commercial production in the Southeast.
References other than my own experience:
Van der Zwet and H. Keil. 1979. Fireblight: A bacterial disease of Rosaceous plants. Handbook No. 150.


Maxine (a.k.a. 'Starking® Delicious')
Breeder(s): ***.
History: "Originates from Ohio, discovered in 1930 and introduced by Stark Bro’s in 1953." (Stark Bros. catalog description) Maxine was the original name, but Stark sold it under their own name of 'Starking® Delicious'. They are identical otherwise.
Rootstocks used: Standard, P. calleryana and OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia; Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet, perfumed and delicious. Texture is buttery. I can't remember if the peel was thin and tender or if peeling was needed for maximal enjoyment.
Fruit size: Medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform-shaped, smooth-skinned pears of a golden color when eating ripe, often blushed with red on the sunny side.
Culinary characteristics: We didn't have enough to try recipes.
Storage characteristics: I had not enough fruit to test storage, but other sources, including Stark, say it stores well.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Resistant to fireblight, pear blister mite and pear leafspot.
Precocity: Very slow to come into bearing, especially on non-dwarfing stock; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock. Interestingly, one pear tree in which I had grafted eight different cultivars onto a bird-planted 'Bradford' P. calleryana seedling included a 'Maxine' limb that bore the year after the others had begun bearing, suggesting that grafting a scaffold of 'Maxine' with more-precocious cultivars might bring it into bearing sooner.
Productivity: Maybe they are productive when they mature, but they are so slow to bear that I never got to see them be productive.
Growth habit: Moderately vigorous, upright growth habit with narrow crotch angles that should be spread while young and limber; Dwarfing rootstock highly recommended.
Bottom line: Recommended for the Southeast except the Deep South, where it would not get sufficient chilling to grow properly. Recommended for trial as a commercial cultivar in the South. Unfortunately, they are so slow to come into bearing that I have always moved away before I got many crops from these trees, but in my limited experience, the quality was very good and certainly the trees were healthy. A commercial grower would also need to account for the years lost to unproductivity as the trees matured.
References other than my own experience:
Stark Bros. Nursery catalog


Meadows
Breeder(s): ***.
History:
Rootstocks used: ***
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet and perfumed when fully ripe. Texture is crisp and juicy with some grit cells, especially near the core.
Fruit size: Medium-large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Wide oval shaped, rather like 'Kieffer' except they retain more green color when ripe.
Culinary characteristics: Good for baking, pies, preserves. We made some nice cranberry/pear pies with this pear in a blend, but we haven't used it this way as a varietal. Almost good for salads, but the grit cells detract.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least a month in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Very early; this is the first pear to flower in my Pittsboro orchard, sometimes in full bloom in February; *** days before 'Spalding'
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. I suspect that it is at least partially self-pollinizing because it is often ending bloom when the next cultivar begins, yet it almost always bears a good crop.
Diseases: Very resistant to fireblight- I've never seen a strike. Resistant to pear leafspot, susceptible to pear blister mite.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Productive and annual bearer.
Growth habit: Upright and Very vigorous; Dwarfing rootstock recommended. This would like be a huge tree on non-dwarfing stock.
Bottom line: Recommended for the Deep South where fireblight resistance and low chilling are requirements. There are better quality pears for most of the country, though.
References other than my own experience:



Meigetsu
Breeder(s): ***.
History: The name of this Japanese cultivar of P. pyrifolia translates as "full moon", one Japanese colleague told me.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513 and P. calleryana(?)
Orchards grown in: Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is bland and insipid unless one waits until the fruit is fully ripe. Once fully mature, the fruit takes on a wonderful flavor- I can't decide whether it tastes more like butterscotch or watermelon. Some people say it tastes like pineapple. I highly recommend peeling the fruit before serving because the skin detracts. Texture is crisp and juicy with no grit cells.
Fruit size: Large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Golden brown with prominent lenticels. Round-oblate shape.
Culinary characteristics: Fine in preserves, pies and salads when peeled.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least a month in common refrigeration. One of the references says four months, but they are Canadian. As I will explain again elsewhere, the main reason why the storage times are always longer for Northern-grown fruit is the reduced heat around the ripening fruit. In the South, the same cultivar will ripen much sooner than in the North because the trees start growing earlier in the year. Also, the days tend to be cooler and the nights much cooler than in the North. Another trivial factor is that I have historically grown only one to a few trees of any given cultivar, and my family like fruit, so the fruit was usually consumed well before it reached its limits in our refrigerator. Despite this personal difference, you will notice that Southern pomologists generally report the same shortening of storage times, because of the heat. This is also why late-ripening cultivars that ripened too late for them to be grown in the North were so valued by Southerners. It allowed Southerners to have fruit store for just as long as their fellow Northern fruit-growers.
Harvest season: One of the last Asian pears to ripen in my orchard; *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Reported to be partially self-pollinizing, but a pollinizer with an overlapping bloom season is recommended.
Diseases: Moderately susceptible to fireblight. I was able to control it with pruning, but some years it was so severe that a year's production was lost. Resists pear leafspot.
Precocity: Precocious; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive. Like most Asian pears and Asian X European hybrids, one must judiciously thin to prevent overbearing that will reduce fruit quality, fruit size and diminish tree vigor and health.
Growth habit: Very vigorous; crotch angles average to wide for a pear; Dwarfing rootstock recommended. Does well as an espalier.
Bottom line: Recommended only for the careful gardener who prizes excellent Asian pears and is willing to accept some loss to fireblight.
References other than my own experience:
V. Kraus Nurseries


Mericourt
Breeder(s): Crosses and selection done by Dr. J.A. McClintock. Released by Brooks D. Drain; University of Tennessee.
History: 'Mericourt' resulted from a 'Seckel' X 'Late Faulkner' cross and was tested as Tenn38S63.
Rootstocks used: OHxF#'s 333 & 513, P. calleryana seedling and Angers quince (Grootendorst Nurseries- avoid them insisted on sending 'Mericourt' scions grafted onto quince, even after I informed them that 'Mericourt' is incompatible with quince! These trees not-surprisingly failed to grow more than a few centimeters and then died.)
Orchards grown in: Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Excellent flavor and texture. Flavor is sweet and juicy, but with wonderful perfumed aroma. Texture is buttery and flesh and skin are smooth, with no noticeable grit cells. One doesn't need to peel these pears, as the skin is not objectionable at all.
Fruit size: Medium. *** g/fruit.
Fruit appearance: Attractive bright smooth yellow, often with a red blush on the sunny side when fully ripe; no russet. Pyriform shape.
Culinary characteristics: We've never cooked them. They are too good for fresh-eating and fruit salads.
Storage characteristics: Keeps in common refrigerated storage for at least 4 weeks- they were eaten before we could keep any longer.
Harvest season: Mid-season; *** in Pittsboro, NC. Just after and overlapping with 'Ayres'
Bloom season: In my experience, ***vs 'Spalding'
Diseases: Very resistant to fireblight.  Somewhat resistant to pear leaf spot.
Precocity: average precocity; first fruit set in *** year on *** rootstock.
Productivity: Low productivity could be the most-limiting characteristic for using 'Mericourt' in a commercial setting. Then again, it hasn't really been looked at by professional horticultural scientists, who may be able to boost yields. It tends to bloom heavily, but then set on a few fruit. I have seen productive specimens on both OHxF 513 and calleryana rootstock, but I have not had a chance to understand why those trees were productive and other trees were shy bearers.
Growth habit: Pretty decent growth habit on both dwarfing and calleryana rootstock. Spreading and mostly wide crotch angles (for a pear).
References other than my own experience:
B.S. Pickett 1966. The Mericourt Pear from Tennessee. J Fruit Var & Hort Digest. (APS) 20:76-77.

US-Michigan 437
Breeder(s): USDA and Michigan State University collaboration.
History: A numbered selection widely used in the USDA's breeding program for blight-resistant, high-quality pure communis pears. It was never released, but can be found in the background of many pears released by the USDA in the last 60 years, including Moonglow.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513 and P. calleryana(?)
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia; Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet, but often with unpleasant notes of astringency. Texture is smooth and buttery.
Fruit size: Medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform, attractive golden-yellow with red blush on the sunny side.
Culinary characteristics: We have not cooked with them.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least a month in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Moderately resistant to fireblight and pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: ***.
Growth habit: Moderate vigor, very limber and floppy branches and therefore difficult to train; only 'Green Jade', 'Tyson' and 'Colonel Wilder' are crazier in their growth habit, in my experience. crotch angles are narrow; Dwarfing rootstock recommended.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast, though
References other than my own experience:



Miss Label
Breeder(s): Unknown.
History: Miss Label started as an innocent purchase of a tree labeled as 'Waite' from Lawson's Nursery in Ball Ground, GA (one of my favorite nurseries when I was in Georgia).
As a brief aside, I would like to pay homage to Mr. Jim Lawson, who started the nursery and who taught me a great deal about fruit trees. He was never one to put on airs, but was a store-house of pomological knowledge and practical information that rivaled many products of the universities. The last time I visited, he was in poor health and I fear this earth no longer has him around. He was a blessing on the human species. His daughter appears to have taken over the business and I wish her the best of luck. Jim started a great nursery that brought back and made available many old Southern fruit cultivars that might otherwise have been tragically lost.
That said, somehow this tree was not labelled correctly, as I eventually found out from reading descriptions of true 'Waite' pears (and eventually growing them myself). To this day, I don't know what it is, but it is certainly too good to let disappear. I briefly thought about calling it 'Miss La Belle' as another play on the phrase mislabelled, but this is not a European type pear, so I stuck with 'Miss Label'. Rootstocks used: Calleryana, OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, GA, Apex, NC, Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is surprisingly good considering that all its other growth and fruit characteristics suggest it is a communis X pyrifolia F1. Most first-generation hybrids between these species are not good quality, but this one retains the crispness a typical Asian pear with a perfumed juicy sweetness that is quite refreshing. This is only one of two pears I've grown that can be relished right from the tree, like an apple (the other is Green Jade). Texture is crisp and its thin skin only has a miniscule amount of bitterness- not objectionable in my opinion.
Fruit size: Large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Round, greenish maturing to a dull greenish-yellow. Skin is smooth.
Culinary characteristics: We made some nice cranberry/pear pies with this pear in a blend, but we haven't used it as a varietal. Probably would make decent canned pears. In my opinion, its greatest promise is for perry, as part of blend, not a varietal.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least three weeks in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Early; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Very resistant to fireblight. Resistant to pear leafspot. Susceptible to pear leaf blister mite.
Precocity: Precocious; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Moderately productive as free-standing trees, highly productive on semi-dwarfing rootstock when planted two feet apart in trellised rows.
Growth habit: Very vigorous and upright; It is the most columnar pear tree I know of which makes it so well-suited for high-density plantings. Considering its extremely upright growth habit, Crotch angles below the apex are often surprisingly wide; Dwarfing rootstock highly recommended, otherwise one is constantly fighting the extremely tall central leader.
Bottom line: Not generally recommended, but worth considering for perry production.
References other than my own experience:


Monterrey
Breeder(s): ***.
History: "Monterrey pears were first grown in Monterrey, Mexico, about 80 miles southwest of the Texas and United States border." They result from a 'Garber' X open pollinated (o.p.) made sometime in the late 1800's or early 1900's. It "...was first made available at a local nursery just outside of San Antonio, Texas in 1952." "... Monterrey pears are primarily found in the San Antonio area." (quoted text from Specialty Produce)
Rootstocks used: P. calleryana and Angers quince with Old Home interstem.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is said to be sweet. Texture is crisp, according to reports.
Fruit size: Large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Round, golden-yellow when fully ripe with prominent lenticels.
Culinary characteristics: Some advocate using them in pies, tarts, cakes, savory dishes and salads. I doubt they would be superior to some of the other gritty, early pyrifolia hybrids, but because my trees dies early of fireblight, I can't dispute it with much confidence.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least a week in common refrigeration according to reports.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: It is said to be resistant to fireblight, but my experience is quite different. I planted three trees, two on callery and one dwarf on quince with an interstem. All of them died young of fireblight infection. ***Pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: ***.
Growth habit: Very vigorous; crotch angles***.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast. I don't know how they are growing them in Texas, as some claim, because this cultivar was quite blight susceptible in my hands. Add to that a mediocre fruit quality and I just can't see how to recommend it.
References other than my own experience:
Speciality Produce


Moonglow
Breeder(s): USDA.
History: Resulted from a Michigan 437 ('Bartlett' X 'Comice') X 'Roi Charles de Wurtemburg' and released in 1960. The cross was made as part of an early attempt by the USDA to breed blight-resistant, high-quality pears. It was one of the first pears that I grew, so I thought it was quite good for a fireblight-resistant pear until I tasted some other contemporary or more-recent selections.
Rootstocks used: unknown standard rootstock
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet on most specimens, but a relatively high frequency of fruits are inexplicably astringent to the point that they are almost inedible. Texture is buttery and juicy, but grit cells do occur and can be large. Skin is smooth, but peeling before eating is recommended. Overall rating is fair for fresh eating.
Fruit size: Medium-large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Golden-yellow on a green background and sometimes with red streaks or blush on the sunny side. No russet. Pyriform shape.
Culinary characteristics: We did not cook them, but reports say it is good for canning.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least three weeks in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Good pollen for other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Resistant to fireblight. Resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Moderately productive.
Growth habit: Vigorous; crotch angles average for a pear; Dwarfing rootstock recommended
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast. It is a good pear and is pretty blight resistant, but it is nowhere close to being the best pear for our region and several of those better pears also have superior blight resistance. Moonglow was a good early attempt, but now you can do significantly better.
References other than my own experience:
Orange Pippin

Mooers
Breeder(s): Brooks and Drain at the University of Tennessee.
History: Resulted from a 'Duchess d'Angoulême' X 'Late Faulkner' cross made in 1934. Duchess is pure P. communis, while 'Late Faulkner' is thought to be an F1 between communis and pyrifolia. Named in honor of Director Emeritus of the University of Tennessee's Agricultural Experiment Stations, C.A. Mooers. He served from 1923-1946, the time when the 'Mooers' pear was being developed.
Rootstocks used: calleryana & OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is said to be mild subacid. Texture is said to be crisp.
Fruit size: Said to be large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Said to be an attractive golden-yellow and covered with russet.
Culinary characteristics: Said to be quite good for canning.
Storage characteristics: Said to store for at least three months in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Late. Late September in Tennessee.
Bloom season: Almost two weeks after 'Kieffer', thus barely overlapping with it in Tennessee. A few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Very resistant to fireblight and said to be especially resistant to pear leafspot, though the latter doesn't seem to be true, in my experience. In my Pittsboro orchards, it was healthy, but not particularly so with regard to leafspot.
Precocity: Very slow to come into bearing; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Unknown. My trees had not produced when we sold the orchards.
Growth habit: Moderately vigorous; crotch angles average for a pear; Dwarfing rootstock recommended.
Bottom line:
References other than my own experience:
Drain, Brooks D.; and Shuey, G. A., "Breeding and Testing Fire Blight-Resistant Pears" (1954). University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin #236. (can be downloaded at: http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agbulletin/227 )


Morgan
Breeder(s): Brooks D. Drain and L.M. Safley at the University of Tennessee.
History: 'Morgan' resulted from a 'Bartlett' X 'Late Faulkner' cross made in
Rootstocks used: ***
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor ranges quite a bit from fruit to fruit, but at its best is perfumed, sweet and delicious. Unfortunately, it is rarely at its best. More commonly, it is bland and flavorless. Texture is a bit coarse, often dry rather than juicy, though some specimens come close to being buttery and juicy. Grit cells are not too common, but definitely present and often large.
Fruit size: Large-Very large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Roundish, with golden skin overspread with russeted lenticels. It can be somewhat attractive, especially when a rose blush forms on the sunny side.
Culinary characteristics: ***.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: September in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Late for a communis X pyrifolia hybrid; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: The originators claimed that 'Morgan' was highly resistant to fireblight, but under my growing conditions, it was moderately susceptible. I lost one of my three trees to fireblight and the other two were severely damaged during an epiphytotic. The 'Morgan' trees were damaged by blight every subsequent year and a couple of years prior as well. It is somewhat resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Productive. You will get much limb breakage if you don't thin well.
Growth habit: Vigorous, but not extremely so; crotch angles wide for a pear; They are quite easy to manage on OHxF 513.
Bottom line: Not recommended for commercial production, but they might have a place for the hobbyist that wants a big pear and isn't so picky about high flavor.
References other than my own experience:
Drain and Safley. 1957. "Morgan and Carrick: Two blight-resistant pears" University of Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletins.


Orient
Breeder(s): Dr. Walter Van Fleet, (Pennsylvania?, Florida?).
History: Orient resulted from an interspecific cross between the European P. communis and Asian P. pyrifolia. Sometimes incorrectly called Oriental... I really wish people wouldn't do that because that makes it sound like it is just a generic Asian pear, whereas it is actually a specific hybrid pear.***
Rootstocks used: Standard (calleryana?)
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is bland. Texture is coarse, somewhat crisp and with frequent large grit cells.
Fruit size: Large-very large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Unattractive thick green skin with russeted lenticels on a squat round fruit.
Culinary characteristics: Quite OK for juice, preserves and canning. Pretty decent for salads as well, if you enjoy sand in your salad and the unwashed lettuce doesn't have quite enough.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Coal Mountain, GA.
Bloom season: Early; a few days *** vs Spalding; a few days later than 'Kieffer' in Tennessee.
Diseases: Very resistant fireblight and quite resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Very precocious; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive.
Growth habit: Very vigorous; crotch angles rather narrow, but wood is strong, so not a lot of crazy flopping around like 'Colonel Wilder' or 'Tyson'; Dwarfing rootstock recommended.
Bottom line: Not recommended due to poor fruit quality. Of course, for a low-maintenance canning pear, it isn't bad.
References other than my own experience:
Drain, B.D. 1947. The Orient Pear. University of Tennessee Experiment Station Circular #95.


P-3
Breeder(s): Anton Callaway, Georgia, USA.
History: This never-released cultivar is a genetic curiosity. Its grandparent was an isolated tree of 'Kieffer' that was growing in my grandparents yard, more than a mile from the nearest other pear tree. After this tree was about 60 years old, one of its seedlings in a pasture about 300 meters away, began to produce pears that were very similar to 'Kieffer'. My grandmother gave me some of these pears and I planted the seed from them. One of these offspring, produced large pears on vigorous trees very like 'Kieffer'. It appears to suffer no inbreeding depression and one of its offspring is now blooming in Pittsboro orchard B. I grafted several trees of this cultivar.
Rootstocks used: P. calleryana
Orchards grown in: Cumming (Coal Mountain community), GA; Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is bland and slightly sweet, very like 'Kieffer'. Texture is crisp with frequent grit cells.
Fruit size: Large-Very large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Roundish, mostly covered with brown russet, more apple-shaped than 'Kieffer'. Picture of unripe fruit shown here.
Culinary characteristics: Good for preserves. The flavor is good for pies, but the presence of grit cells detracts. The pears must be peeled for pies as the skin is tough.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least two months in common refrigeration, but at least in Pittsboro there was a high frequency of an internal brown physiological disorder after long storage. The pears would look fine from the outside, but when cut the flesh was laced with a brown breakdown substance that was not edible.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Early; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Resistant, but not immune to fireblight. Early in the Pittsboro tree's life, it was stricken so bad with blight that I thought it might not recover. After removing the affected tissue, the tree recovered completely and never had significant problems with blight afterwards. Resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Very precocious; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive.
Growth habit: Very vigorous; crotch angles variable, tends to watersprout aggressively where pruned; Dwarfing rootstock recommended.
Bottom line: Not recommended. It was an interesting tree and had some good features, but I ultimately removed it because of the low quality of the fruit, although I kept it's offspring and a tree of it may still exist in the Apex, NC orchard.
References other than my own experience:


Pitmaston
Breeder(s): John Williams, Pitmaston, England.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard A.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Mine didn't fruit before they died of fireblight, but you can check out what Hedrick said.
Fruit size: Said to be large.
Fruit appearance: Said to be attractive.
Culinary characteristics: Said to be especially good for cooking.
Storage characteristics: Unknown by me.
Harvest season: Unknown from my experience. The one time I had fruit on the tree, the limbs bearing them snapped off where they joined the trunk.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Very susceptible to fireblight, contrary to Dr. Hedrick's findings in New York. Moderately susceptible to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Slow to come into bearing, though this may partially due to loss of limbs to fireblight and more limbs to breakage; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Unknown by me.
Growth habit: Vigorous; crotch angles pretty average for a pear, meaning lots of narrow crotches. The really odd thing about this cultivar is the extreme brittleness of the wood. One must take extreme care when spreading limbs to do so early and not overtax the attempt because the limbs will just snap off at the trunk. This also happens when the tree bears fruit. A small fruit load will cause the tree to break apart.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast.
References other than my own experience:



Pittsboro
Breeder(s): Unknown.
History: I don't know where the original tree came from, but near the town center of Pittsboro, NC is a huge pear tree that produces bushels of pears each year, without any care. Some locals call it "that Chinese pear tree", but no one that I've met so far seems to know its true origin, so for the meantime, I'm calling it 'Pittsboro'. It is clearly a either a pure P. pyrifolia or perhaps a hybrid among Asian species.
Rootstocks used: P. calleryana & OHxF #513.
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: In my opinion, this pear is inedible with the peeling left on, but, if the fully-ripe fruit is peeled, the flesh has a nice sprightly piquant flavor that is unique among Asian pears that I've eaten. Texture is slightly rubbery when fully ripe. There is a brief time after it is ripe that it is also crisp, but then the texture loses some crispness while the fruits gain flavor and complexity.
Fruit size: Medium-small. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Attractive deep brown completely covered with russet. The fruits have prominent lenticels and the skin is somewhat rough.
Culinary characteristics: I have not tried cooking it as a varietal, but as a 30% addition to a pear pie, it was quite delicious. Because of its juiciness and sprightly flavor and the tannins within the skin, it would be very interesting to make perry from this, trying with and without the skins and in blends with sweeter pears.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: September in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Very resistant to fireblight. Resistant to pear leafspot. I have also not seen pear leaf blister mite on these trees, even though in one orchard the pest is prevalent.
Precocity: Very precocious on OHxF #513, less so on calleryana; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Extremely productive. Must be thinned properly to prevent overbearing.
Growth habit: Vigor is very dependent on rootstock and management style. The original tree, still standing a couple of blocks from downtown Pittsboro, NC, is huge and probably more than 100 years old. My trees, on OHxF #513 and calleryana were easily manageable and stayed small, though not runty. Crotch angles are wide for a pear and much of the spurring is on the main trunk and scaffolds; Calleryana rootstock recommended if sod grows near the tree. In richer soils with less competition, OHxF #513 is recommended.
Bottom line: Recommended for trial for those that like Asian pears and for production of perry.
References other than my own experience:



Potomac
Breeder(s): H.J. Brooks, then released by Richard Bell et al. from USDA's Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kerneysville, WV.
History: Originated from a ‘Moonglow’ x ‘Beurre d’Anjou’ cross made in 1961. "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." (Bell et al., 1996.)
Rootstocks used: Standard ('Bartlett' seedling)
Orchards grown in: Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: 'Potomac' pears strongly resemble their 'Anjou' parent. They are sweet and very juicy with a thin tender skin that enhances the eating experience. I've not seen any chromatography data on aromatics, but to my nose, they smell just like an Anjou pear. The flesh is on the firm side of buttery, again, like Anjou. Flesh is smooth, with no noticeable grit cells.
Fruit size: Large. *** g/fruit. About the same size as 'Bartlett' in controlled trials (Bell et al., 1996.)
Fruit appearance: Attractive yellowish-green with a rosy blush on the sunny side; smooth, unrusseted skin. (The publication says they have some russet, but it sure wasn't memorable to me.)
Culinary characteristics: We've never cooked them. They were my go-to lunch during their ripening season. I'd cut up one ripe 'Potomac' pear, rinse my hands and wrists because they would be covered with pear juice, then fill the rest of my lunch container with either plain Greek yogurt or Harris Teeter cottage cheese and then enjoy a fantastic lunch at noon.
Storage characteristics: Unblemished 'Potomac' pears stored for weeks in our crisper. he patent says, "Fruit can be kept at room temperature for about one week and can be kept in cold storage (34°F.) for about two months."
Harvest season: Mid-season; *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***vs 'Spalding'
Diseases: Very resistant to fireblight.  Somewhat resistant to pear leaf spot.
Precocity: Average precocity; first fruit set in *** year on standard rootstock (probably 'Bartlett' seedling, although the stock was not labelled).
Productivity: Productive and annual bearing.
Growth habit: Vigorous. Overall a good growth habit once it starts to fruit. Sends up a fair number of vertical watersprouts. Dwarfing rootstock is recommended. (Even though I have not personally grown this cultivar on dwarfing stock, putting wild, rangy and vigorous pears on dwarfing stock tends to be very useful in managing them.

In my opinion, this pear has the greatest commercial potential of any pear for the Southeastern United States. It is suitable for both organic and conventional production practices.
References other than my own experience: Bell et al., 1996. 'Potomac' pear. Hortscience. 31(5):884-886.
Washington State extension selection trial in 2001.

Santa Claus
Breeder(s): Colonel Brymer of Dorchester, England.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard A.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is reputed to be excellent, but I have not yet fruited it. Texture is said to be fine and buttery.
Fruit size: Small-medium.
Fruit appearance: My trees died before they fruited, but a description is in The Pears of New York, see link above..
Culinary characteristics: Not known for cooking; it is a pear for fresh eating.
Storage characteristics: I have no experience with storing this pear, but it likely stores well when ripened at higher elevations or in northerly climates.
Harvest season: December in New York(?).
Bloom season: Unknown
Diseases: Very susceptible to fireblight. All of my trees died of blight before they even bloomed.
Precocity: Unknown.
Productivity: Unknown.
Growth habit: Low vigor.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast.
References other than my own experience:



Seckel
Breeder(s): ***.
History: An American pear of pure P. communis heritage found in Pennsylvania. See entry in The Pears of New York.
Rootstocks used: Standard; probably 'Bartlett' seedling.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is excellent, sweet with a spiciness that is often missing in store-bought specimens (when you can even find them in stores). Texture is smooth and buttery. The skin is tender and edible as well.
Fruit size: Small. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: The color-plate in The Pears of New York doesn't reflect what the fruit on my tree looked like. The fruit I grew had russet, but not completely covering the fruit like shown. The skin of the fruit on my tree, and on store-bought 'Seckel' pears was thin and mostly golden, with a small amount of russet and a beautiful red blush on the sunny side. Unfortunately, I didn't have a cell phone back then and didn't take photos.
Culinary characteristics: We never cooked them, but I've been told they make a baked pear to die for.
Storage characteristics: Said to store well- it is sometimes called the Christmas pear, but in the South they ripen well before Christmas, so get eaten before the Holidays come around.
Harvest season: *** in Coal Mountain, GA.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Moderately susceptible to fireblight and pear leafspot. My tree produced for several years before dying of a combination of fireblight and Armallaria root rot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Slightly below-average productivity in my orchard. Said to be self-fertile.
Growth habit: Not very vigorous; crotch angles***
Bottom line: 'Seckel' pears are excellent for fresh eating, but not better than several other selections that ripen around the same time and provide better blight resistance. If you love that spicy flavor of a Seckel, I recommend that you try ''Ayres'' instead. It has a flavor almost indistinguishable from 'Seckel', yet has excellent blight resistance.
References other than my own experience:



Shinko
Breeder(s): ***.
History: Pure P. pyrifolia (Asian pear).
Rootstocks used: ***
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is mild, sweet with a touch of spiciness. Texture is crisp and juicy.
Fruit size: Medium-large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Bright golden-yellow with prominent white lenticels- very attractive.
Culinary characteristics: We never cooked them.
Storage characteristics: I have insufficient experience in storing them.
Harvest season: *** in Coal Mountain, GA.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Resistant to fireblight and pear leafspot.
Precocity: Very precocious; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive. One should thin the fruit aggressively or the trees will overbear, reducing fruit quality, size and health of the tree.
Growth habit: Naturally vigorous if fruit is kept off the tree, otherwise the trees will runt out if allowed to bear unchecked; crotch angles are wide for a pear, it is easy to train. If you are going to let this tree bear big crops early, I recommend using calleryana rootstock. The heavy fruiting will keep the tree size down. If you are stricter about thinning, then OHxF 513 is a good choice.
Bottom line: If you like Asian pears, this is a good choice for the Southeast.
References other than my own experience:



Southern Queen
Breeder(s): ***.
History:
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet and juicy with a distinct sprightliness. Texture is smooth, but firm, not buttery. Need to be peeled due to the thick, russeted skin.
Fruit size: Small-medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Beautiful pears completely covered with a golden-brown russet.
Culinary characteristics: Good for pies, if peeled. I haven't made a varietal batch of preserves, but I suspect they would be very good.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least 3 weeks in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Mid-season in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Very resistant to fireblight and pear leafspot. Susceptible to pear blister mite.
Precocity: Slow to come into bearing; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive and an annual bearer, if thinned appropriately.
Growth habit: Moderately vigorous; crotch angles wide for a pear, thus requiring little pruning other than at the top of the tree; Dwarfing rootstock is highly recommended.
Bottom line: Recommended for the Southeast, but there are better quality pears if you are anywhere other than the worst part of the blight belt.
References other than my own experience:
Ethan Natelson, personal communication.
The Cloudforest Gardner.

Spalding
Breeder(s): University of Georgia.
History: 'Spalding' was a remnant of an extinct breeding program at the University of Georgia's *** experiment station. As many breeding programs in the blight-prone Southeast, UGA had made crosses between blight-resistant P. pyrifolia selections and European pears. Most of the seedlings had died after the breeding program was abandonded, but they kept the Spalding tree because it was so healthy, productive and of superior quality to 'Kieffer' and other first-generation hybrid pears. Eventually, Daniell, *** and Krewer decided to release it to the public, named it 'Spalding' and published a description of the cultivar.
Rootstocks used: P. calleryana, OHxF #'s 51, 513 and 333.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia, Apex, NC, Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is bland, slightly sweet with little acidity, but a nice perfume. In my opinion, they are better if eaten a bit firm because the crunch adds some interest to the eating experience. The fruits are juicy. Texture is smooth and the skin is thin. There are almost no grit cells in the flesh and when they are present, they are so near the small core that one rarely encounters them.
Fruit size: Medium-large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Beautiful smooth, russet-free bright yellow when fully ripe.
Culinary characteristics: Makes very good canned pears, pies and preserves, far superior to the Southern standard of 'Kieffer'. Pies benefit from some additional flavor from spices and/or mixing in some apples due to the subtle flavor of 'Spalding'. We made some nice cranberry/pear pies that were comprised mainly of 'Spalding', but were blended with other pears (and a few cranberries for color and acidity), but we haven't used it as a varietal.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least 6 weeks in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Belongs to the second wave of pears, well after 'Dabney', but before 'Mericourt'. This corresponds to *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Early-midseason; a few days *** vs 'Kieffer'
Diseases: Very good resistance to fireblight. The only person who has told me that their 'Spalding' was afflicted with blight was Dr. Ethan Natelson, a great resource for fruit-growing information, who lives in Houston, Texas, one of the few places that probably has higher blight pressure than Georgia and North Carolina. Spalding is quite resistant to pear leafspot as well. It is a very healthy tree in our climate.
Precocity: Very precocious; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive, definitely one of the most productive pears I've grown. Bears annually. Somewhat self-pollinizing and a good pollinizer for other cultivars with an overlapping bloom season.
Growth habit: Very vigorous; crotch angles wide for a pear- easily trained, especially when grown on dwarfing stock. Because of its vigor, it is highly recommended to grow 'Spalding' on dwarfing rootstock.
Bottom line: Highly recommended for the Southeast unless you can't tolerate a bland pear.
References other than my own experience:
Daniell et al., 1982. Hortscience.
Ethan Natelson, personal communication

Starkrimson
Breeder(s): Thaddeus Clapp raised the original 'Clapp's Favorite' seedling, but then Stark Bro's Nursery found(?) and marketed a red branch sport as 'Starkrimson'.
History: A sport of 'Clapp's Favorite' found as a branch of red pears on a tree in Missouri in the 1950's. For a more detailed history of 'Clapp Favorite', see the entry in The Pears of New York.
Rootstocks used: Quince, with unknown compatible interstem.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is reputed to be very good, tasting like 'Bartlett'. Texture is said to be smooth, with no grit cells. The texture was smooth, as reported, in the fruits I got from my tree. However, the quality was poor, probably because of the hot humid environment, of the possibility that I picked them before they were really ready. The tree died of fireblight before it could produce another crop, so my experience with the fruit was very limited.
Fruit size: Slightly larger than 'Bartlett'. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Beautiful deep red fruit with a smooth, thin skin.
Culinary characteristics: I have no first-hand experience here, but it reported to be poor for cooking.
Storage characteristics: No first-hand experience, but said to have poor keeping qualities, as is typical for an early-ripening pear.
Harvest season: Early, a week or more before 'Bartlett' in New York; around end of August-early September in Armstrong, BC, Canada; late June? (*** check records) in Georgia.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Very susceptible to fireblight. Susceptible to pear leafspot.
Precocity: About average precocity on dwarfing rootstock; first fruit set in *** year on quince/ interstem rootstock. It may have been more precocious if it had been managed for precocity. I did not learn the pruning tricks to maximize precocity until later in my orcharding life.
Productivity: Reputed to be one of the most productive pear cultivars according to Hedrick. My tree only had one year of fruiting before fireblight killed it and it didn't seem particularly productive.
Growth habit: Moderate vigor taking into account the roostock; crotch angles relatively wide for a pear.
Bottom line: Not recommended for the Southeast.
References other than my own experience:
Pete Petersen. 2009. Select Starkrimson Pears by their Crimson Color. The Oregonian.
U.P. Hedrick. 1921. The Pears of New York. Leading Varieties of Pears.

Tenn
Breeder(s): ***.
History:
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is tart, unusual for a pear, but balanced by sweetness. Texture is firm, but not crisp with smooth, grit-free juicy flesh. Good overall.
Fruit size: Small-medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Dull red blush over a greyish-green background. Skin is smooth.
Culinary characteristics: Its unusual tartness makes me wonder if it might be good for desserts. The tartness coupled with the juiciness suggests it might make an excellent blended perry, however both of these musings have not been tested by me or anyone else I've talked to.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least 4 weeks in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Mid-season. Unfortunately, it comes up against several better pears (for fresh eating); *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Resistant to fireblight. Susceptible to pear blister mite. Somewhat resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Like most Asian/European hybrid pears, it is precocious; first fruit set in *** year on OHxF 513 rootstock.
Productivity: Very productive, but with a tendency for biennial bearing. It is very important to thin these trees early an vigorously in the "on" years to ensure good annual crops.
Growth habit: Very vigorous; crotch angles quite narrow when the trees are young- be sure to spread the limbs while they are small and limber. Use the most dwarfing rootstock you can find. Really, OHxF #513 is not dwarfing enough.
References other than my own experience:

Treasure
Breeder(s): Discovered by Richard Fahey.
History: Chance seedling discovered near Oxford, New York.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is bland and sweet. Juicy. Peel unpalatable. Texture is buttery with few grit cells. Overall, I give it no more than a "fair" rating. If it ripened either much earlier or much later, it might get a better rating, but it ripens in the middle of pear season, when there are several much better pears available.
Fruit size: Medium-large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Attractive bright yellow with some fine russetting, but mostly smooth.
Culinary characteristics: Have not tried cooking them.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least four weeks in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Ripens with 'Warren'; *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Moderately susceptible to fireblight. I acquired scions of this pear because it was described by the originator as a blight-resistant, high-quality pear. Although it shows definitely more tolerance of blight than very susceptible cultivars like 'Bartlett', it does not have sufficient blight resistance to be worthwhile planting in the South. All of my trees died of fireblight within 10 years of planting. Moderately resistant to pear leafspot and pear blister mite.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Fairly productive. We got *** kg/tree on average by their 5th year.
Growth habit: Moderate vigor; good, strong, wide crotch angles for a pear.
References other than my own experience:
Richard Fahey. Catholic Homesteading Movement scion list and personal communication.

Tsu Li
Breeder(s): unknown; ancient.
History: Origin is lost to time. It is thought to be a P. pyrifolia X P. ussuriensis hybrid known as P. X bretschneiderii.

Rootstocks used: P. betulafolia (re-check)
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard A &.
Notes:
Fruit quality: My tree died of fireblight, but it is said to be sweet, juicy and mild, subacid in flavor with a crisp texture, rather like most Asian pears.
Fruit size: large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Attractive apple-shaped fruit with golden-yellow, mostly smooth skin and prominent lenticels.
Culinary characteristics: I never got fruit to try.
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: Unknown from first-hand experience, but mid-late September in Hickman, CA.
Bloom season: Very early; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight. My tree died of fireblight. Resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: ***.
Growth habit: Very vigorous on "betch"; crotch angles wide for a pear; Dwarfing rootstock recommended, or at least P. calleryana.
References other than my own experience:
Dave Wilson Nursery

Turnbull Giant
Breeder(s): Discovered by Lois Turnbull, Depew, Oklahoma next to a horse run.
History: Issued Plant Variety Patent# 4616 in 19xx by the United States Patent Office.
Rootstocks used: ***[will check my records- I recall it was on standard stock]; Said to be directly compatible with Provence quince [mis-named in the patent as "Providence"] and Cotonester acutifolia
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, GA.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is ***. Texture is supposedly crisp when the fruits are smaller, then soft when fully ripe. Mr. Tonge, cited below, sings this fruit's praises, but many who have grown it do not share his opinion. A trusted fellow grower from South Georgia told me that he thought the name "Turnbull" came from the way its poor taste would make a bull turn and run from the fruit!
Fruit size: Very large. 454-1000 g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Roundish, apple-shaped.
Culinary characteristics: Originators claim it is great for salads, canned pears or any other purpose an apple might serve.
Storage characteristics: Said to be a good keeper in the patent description.
Harvest season: 10 days later than 'Bartlett' according to the patent.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding. Said to be self-fertile.
Diseases: Not as resistant to fireblight as nurseries selling this tree suggest. My tree grew well its first year, but was significantly damaged by blight in subsequent years. ***Pear leafspot.
Precocity: Said to be precocious. I moved away before my tree fruited.
Productivity: Said to be very productive.
Growth habit: Very vigorous;
References other than my own experience:
Peter Tonge. 1981. Christian Science Monitor [it should be noted that there are several errors in horticultural terms in this article, suggesting that the author and/or his editor don't know much about fruit-growing. -ASC]
United States Patent Office. Patent PP4616.

Tyson
Breeder(s): ***.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York
Rootstocks used: Unknown standard (probably 'Bartlett' seedling and OHxF 513.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, GA and Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is mildly sweet. Texture is mushy in our climate. It got high praises in New York by Hedrick, but it ripens in the hot Summer in the South and it just can't take it.
Fruit size: Small, slightly larger than 'Seckel'. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Attractive. Hedrick's description is largely reflected by how they look when grown in the South.
Culinary characteristics: Unknown, we never tried cooking them.
Storage characteristics: Very poor. They keep less than a day at room temperature and in common refrigeration only prevents the transition to unpalatable mush by about a day.
Harvest season: Early. July in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Moderately resistant to fireblight. Susceptible to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Very slow to come into bearing, especially on standard rootstock. My standard tree never bore before I moved away. My dwarf tree bore it's first fruit set in *** year on OHxF 513 rootstock.
Productivity: Not very productive, but perhaps that got better with age. My trees were so slow to come into bearing that I only saw how much my dwarf tree bore in its first year of trying to bear.
Growth habit: Very vigorous and rangy on standard rootstock, with thin limbs climbing, then flopping; Dwarfing rootstock is a must with this cultivar. Festooning and/ or trellising are also highly , if you insist on trying to grow 'Tyson' in the Southeast.
I don't recommend 'Tyson' for the Southeast. Enjoy the peaches of Summer and wait for better pears in the Fall.
References other than my own experience:
U.P. Hedrick. 1921. The Pears of New York. Chapter IV. Leading Varieties of Pears. 'Tyson'.

Waite
Breeder(s): Merton B. Waite.
History: Named for Merton B. Waite, the first person to establish a pear breeding program for resistance to blight (in 1908) and the first to conduct research on blight. 'Waite' is of unknown heritage, but was released in 1938.
Rootstocks used: OHxF #513 and P. calleryana.
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is unmemorable to me, as I've only eaten a few fruit. I don't hear anyone raving about the flavor. Texture is fairly smooth, with a few grit cells.
Fruit size: Large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: ***.
Culinary characteristics: Supposedly very good for canning, leading to an alternative name for it, 'Canner'..
Storage characteristics: Stores for at least *** in common refrigeration.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Pollination: Sterile pollen, so won't pollinate other cultivars. Needs a pollinizer.
Diseases: Resistant to fireblight, pear blister mite and pear leafspot.
Precocity: ***; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: ***.
Growth habit: Moderate Vigor; upright growth habit; narrow crotch angles, but trainable; Dwarfing rootstock recommended
Bottom line: Recommeded for trial in the Southeast.
References other than my own experience:
Van der Zwet and H. Keil. 1979. Fireblight: A bacterial disease of Rosaceous plants. Handbook No. 150


Warren
Breeder(s): Unclear. Found at an abandoned research station in Mississippi.
History: Discovered by Thomas Oscar (T.O.) Warren in an abandoned experimental orchard in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in the mid-1970's. It probably resulted from a 'Giant Seckel' X 'Comice' cross. Some have claimed that 'Warren' is identical to 'Magness', and they appear to have originated from the same cross, so they may be siblings. They both have similar growth habits, ripening season and fruit characteristics, including flavor profile. However, I believe that this is fake news for several reasons, including 'Warren' does not appear field-susceptible to trunk infections of fireblight, and a molecular assay done by Oregon State University scientists showed that while it was related to 'Magness', 'Warren' is distinct (Karp. 2011).
Rootstocks used: Provence quince, OHxF 513.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia, Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Wonderful, 'Comice'-like fruit with sweet, aromatic, buttery-soft flesh and tender skin. Some have called it "...the most delicious American pear...", others "Arguably, the most delicious pear variety in the world (LA Times) and it has been praised publicly by Alice Waters and Oprah Winfrey among others.
Fruit size: Medium-large. *** g/fruit.
Fruit appearance: Attractive yellowish-green when fully ripe with a bright red blush; some russet, but mostly smooth skin.
Culinary characteristics: We've never cooked them.
Storage characteristics: At least a month in a common household crisper. They tend to be eaten quickly, so I really haven't been able to push the storage limits with this one.
Harvest season: Mid-season; *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: In my experience, ***vs 'Spalding'
Diseases: Very resistant to fireblight.  Some of my 'Warren' trees were next to specimens of other cultivars that were actually killed to the ground by blight, yet the 'Warren' had only minor damage. Somewhat resistant to pear leaf spot and pear blister mite.
Precocity: not very precocious; first fruit set in *** year on *** rootstock.
Productivity: Generally low productivity, but can be very productive in some years, suggesting that a reliable cropping system could be developed. Performed well for me at a 2 foot spacing on OHxF 513.
Growth habit: Relatively good, wide crotch angles and modest vigor.

Bottom line: I recommend it for both backyard and commercial production in the Southeastern U.S. 'Warren' is already grown commercially on small acreage in California (and perhaps elsewhere).
References other than my own experience: http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Warren_Pears_8181.php David Karp. 2011. L.A. Times.

Wilder Early
Breeder(s): Chance seedling found by Charles A. Green, Rochester, New York, about 1884, in Chautauqua County, New York.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York
Rootstocks used: OHxF#'s 333 & 513.
Orchards grown in: Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is sweet, with a touch of sprightly that one suspects would be enhanced if the fruit were ripening in an area with cooler temperatures. Texture is very briefly buttery, with some fibrousness, however, because this pear ripens during the intense heat of the Summer in the Southeast, they turn to mush about a day after they are picking ripe. The area around the core is the first to breakdown, so it is wise to make shallow bites when eating a southern-grown 'Wilder Early'. Overall, the best-tasting pear of its season in the Southeast, in my opinion. However, it makes more sense to me to enjoy the summer fruits in the summer, like peaches and plums and wait until Fall to get the better pears on offer later in the year.
Fruit size: Small-medium. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Beautiful golden with a bright red blush and prominent lenticels.
Culinary characteristics: We have never cooked them.
Storage characteristics: Very poor. Even if put immediately in the refrigerator, you will extend their useful life by only a couple of days.
Harvest season: July in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Moderately susceptible to fireblight. One of my trees was so severely infected with fireblight that I put it out of its misery and removed it. The other was badly affected in the same epiphytotic year, but with aggressive pruning to remove the infected tissue, the tree came back and continued producing, after a one-year recovery. Somewhat resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Bears young; first fruit set in *** year on ***rootstock.
Productivity: Productivity was limited by the necessity to remove fireblight damage. In the best of years, these trees were moderately productive, about *** kg/tree.
Growth habit: ***Vigor; wide crotch angles for a pear with nicely-spaced scaffolds seeming to come naturally to this cultivar.; ***rootstock recommended
References other than my own experience:
U.P. Hedrick. 1921. The Pears of New York. Chapter IV. Leading Varieties of Pears. 'Wilder Early'.

Winter Nelis
Breeder(s): Jean Charles Nelis, Mechlin, Belgium in the early 1800's.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York
Rootstocks used: ***
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, GA.
Notes:
Fruit quality: My tree died of fireblight when it was too young to fruit. Hedrick describes it as, "The flesh is tender, melting, juicy, luscious, with a rich, sweet, aromatic flavor one of the most delectable of all pears."
Storage characteristics: Said to keep and ship well.
Harvest season: Late, in New York.
Bloom season: ***; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Hedrick said it was quite tolerant of fireblight, thus convincing me to plant it in Georgia. In Georgia's heat- and humidity-fueled intense blight pressure, my tree quickly succumbed to blight.
Precocity: no first-hand information.
Productivity: Hedrick says it is productive.
Growth habit: Rangy, floppy growth and many narrow crotch angles; I don't recommend trying 'Winter Nelis' at all in the Southeast due to its susceptibility to blight, but if you insist, I strongly recommend using the most dwarfing rootstock you can find (currently either quince with an interstem to get around Winter Nelis' incompatibility with quince or Old Home x Farmingdale #513) AND festooning frequently or trellising coupled with festooning. Also see old pruning recommendations from Hedrick. rootstock recommended
References other than my own experience:
U.P. Hedrick. 1921. The Pears of New York. Chapter IV. Leading Varieties of Pears. 'Winter Nelis'.

Wolfe County
Breeder(s): not applicable.
History: Chance seedling discovered by a classmate of mine at Berea College, Berea, KY. I can't remember his name. He found the isolated tree while wandering in Wolfe County, Kentucky. I suspect from his description that it was a seedling of 'Kieffer'.
Rootstocks used: P. calleryana
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia, USA.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is said to be sweet. Texture is said to be crisp and juicy. (My trees died before they fruited.)
Fruit size: Said to be very large, about like 'Kieffer'
Fruit appearance: Unknown.
Culinary characteristics: Unknown.
Storage characteristics: Unknown.
Harvest season: Said to be late.
Bloom season: Unknown
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight. I grafted several trees, but they all died as juveniles of fireblight. If it is a 'Kieffer' seedling, it does not retain its parent's level of blight resistance.
Precocity: Unknown.
Productivity: Original tree said to be very productive. Mine did not fruit because they died of fireblight.
Growth habit: Poor vigor for a supposed Asian hybrid.
Unlikely that the average person will encounter this cultivar, but regardless it is not recommended for planting in the Southeastern U.S. and due to its many faults and lack of redeeming fruit characteristics, it will be no loss to pomology for this cultivar to go extinct. References other than my own experience:

Ya Li
Breeder(s): Unknown.
History: 'Ya Li's origin is lost to time. It is thought to be a P. pyrifolia X P. ussuriensis hybrid known as P. X bretschneiderii.
Rootstocks used: P. betulafolia
Orchards grown in: Apex, NC; Pittsboro, NC orchard A.
Notes:
Fruit quality: Flavor is mild, juicy and bland. Texture is crisp.
Fruit size: Medium-large. *** g/fruit
Fruit appearance: Pyriform, with very light beige skin.
Culinary characteristics: Unknown, never enough fruit to spare for cooking.
Storage characteristics: Unknown.
Harvest season: *** in Pittsboro, NC.
Bloom season: Very early; a few days *** vs Spalding
Diseases: Susceptible to fireblight. Fireblight was a significant factor that reduced yield in Pittsboro. Significant damage from Pear Rust on fruit. Resistant to pear leafspot.
Precocity: Oddly, for an Asian pear, 'Ya Li' is not very precocious, though this could mostly be due to the rootstock; first fruit set in *** year on betulafolia rootstock.
Productivity: Not very productive at either site. Chinese friends of mine tell me that this is also true in China, where large acreages of Ya Li are grown.
Growth habit: Vigorous, at least on P. betulafolia; crotch angles often broad, for a pear; dwarfing rootstock recommended
References other than my own experience:

Rootstocks
Name: Old Home x Farmingdale (OHxF) Series.
History: One would think from the name of this series that these rootstocks originated as seedlings from crosses between 'Old Home' and 'Farmingdale', both blight-resistant communis pears found in Illinois. The entire industry thought as much for decades. They were developed by the legendary Frank Reimer with later assistance from Lyle Brooks at Oregon State University from a large lot of seed planted in 1950. People who worked with the researchers at the time say they clearly believed that 'Farmingdale' was the pollen parent. However, recent genetic testing has shown that while 'Old Home' was the female parent, the sire is likely 'Bartlett'. 'Farmingdale' clearly was not the pollen parent. Even with this new revelation about the origin of this leading rootstock series, OHxF is so ingrained in the lingo of pear growers and nurserymen, that we will still call them OHxF instead of OHxB.
Dwarfing: The OHxF series provides a range of influences on scion vigor, unfortunately none dwarf as much as quince. The pear industry really needs a rootstock that is disease-resistant, tolerant of many different soil types, easy to propagate AND as dwarfing for pear as M9 is for apple (at least). Trees on OHxF #97 are nearly full-sized standard (as defined as their size on 'Bartlett' seedling rootstock). OHxF #'s 40 and 87 are about 3/4 of standard and OHxF #333 is about 2/3 of standard, while OHxF #513 is somewhat smaller yet. The smallest OHxF pear rootstock that I've used is OHxF #51, which is slightly over half of standard size.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia, Apex, NC and Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Affect on Fruit Size: Many of these rootstocks have a positive effect on fruit size, especially OHxF #51. However, it has been shown that the same fruiting cultivar will have slightly smaller fruit size when grafted onto OHxF #333.
Disease & Pest Resistance. All of the OHxF rootstocks that I've used are fireblight resistant. This was the original intent of the breeding program, so that is not surprising, but I can testify that they were successful in this regard. They are also resistant to pear decline and I have never seen any root aphids or crown rot on these rootstocks either, even in heavy clay soils.
Common Method of Propagation: Stooling. The exception is OHxF #51, which does not easily propagate in the stool bed, thus was briefly propagated by tissue culture, a much more expensive process. Even though in every other regard, OHxF #51 is the superior pear rootstock, the extra expense of propagating it led to its abandonment by nurserymen, and thus it is currently unavailable for purchase to my knowledge.
Need for Support: None of the OHxF series that I have tried need support. (We are talking physical support, like a trellis or stake, not emotional support.)
Tendency to Sucker: All those that I've tried, except OHxF #333, rarely sucker. Some of my trees on 333 sucker a lot.
Other characteristics: This series of rootstocks is relatively cold-hardy. Compatible with all pear scion cultivars.
Bottom line: These are still the best pear rootstocks available, overall, for the Southeast. If you don't mind large trees, then calleryana competes, but not up North, because callery isn't very cold hardy. If you could get OHxF #51, that is my number one pick, but due to it's lack of availability, I recommend OHxF #513 as the default rootstock for pears in the South.
References other than my own experience:
Warner. 2013. The GoodFruit Grower.
Washington State University [note that while this reference is useful for dwarfing information, it is outdated regarding the origin of the OHxF series and is incorrect in several other regards. -ASC]

Name: Pyrus calleryana seedling.
History: Alfred Rehder brought this species to the attention of the pear world in the early 1900's. Since then, it has become one of the leading rootstocks for pear, especially where size control is not critical, because of its resistance to fireblight (there are exceptions) and other diseases and its wide adaptability.
Dwarfing: P. calleryana, often nicknamed "callery" is not dwarfing, as you find it today. However, I strongly believe that careful selection of seedlings could someday give us a range of dwarfing stocks of this species. If I had the chance, I would cross some of the most disease-resistant calleryana selections to a) 'Spalding' (to bring in self-fertility without too much P. pyrifolia), then backcross [the product of a sib cross, if self-fertility is recessive] to callery or one of the offspring described next, as necessary until I got some great rootstock b) OHxF #51 (for size control), this would be intended as a parent for crossing with "a" offspring and c) 'Potomac' because this cultivar seems to have some dwarfing alleles buried in its genome. The ultimate goal would be to produce self-fertile, disease-resistant, widely-adaptable rootstocks with a predictable range of dwarfing characteristics, and easy to propagate by seed. Each line would provide uniform stocks (for size control, not necessarily uniform in other regards, but I don't have time to explain why that is important), but there would be different lines available for different desired scion control degrees. This has been a dream of mine for many years, but as I am getting old and the world looks less stable than ever, so someone with greater buffer from the nastiness of humans will hopefully take this on and see it through. I started this work, but had to abandon it and the orchard in which the offspring were growing.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia, Apex, NC and Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Affect on Fruit Size: There have been scientific reports, such as Bertelsen and Callesen, suggesting that callery may negatively impact fruit size, however, in my anecdotal observations I could see no obvious difference when comparing fruit of the same scion cultivar grown on callery vs other stocks. It is something that should be evaluated more closely, especially if semi-clonal stocks based on callery are developed, as described above.
Disease & Pest Resistance. Callery stocks tend to be resistant to fireblight, leafspot (important for the nurserymen) and other maladies. However, because callery stocks are propagated from seed and they require cross-pollination, there is variation within the species regarding disease and pest resistance.
Common Method of Propagation: Seed.
Need for Support: No support needed.
Tendency to Sucker: Low suckering, but I've seen a few. Callery stocks purchased from reputable nurseries generally produce fewer suckers than seedlings grown from a neighbor's ornamental 'Bradford' pears.
Other characteristics: Calleryana tends to be less cold-hardy and more heat-resistant than most other Pyrus stocks, but there are selections of callery that are quite hardy. Compatible with all pear scion cultivars.
Bottom line: Calleryana is one of the best pear rootstocks for the Southeast, if size control is not an issue. For instance, if you are growing some late-ripening pears for your deer stand, you should definitely choose callery as your stock, then graft it high. It has wicked thorns that will deter the deer until the tree is tall enough to produce out-of-reach of the delicious hooved rats.
References other than my own experience:
Bertelsen and Callesen. Performance of 'Clara Frijs' pear on seven rooststocks. Acta Horticulturae. 557:145-150.
The Pears of New York. (link above in "History" section)

Name: Pyrus betulafolia.
History: see entry in The Pears of New York
Dwarfing: Non-dwarfing; actually more vigorous than standard.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia, Apex, NC and Pittsboro, NC orchard A.
Affect on Fruit Size: Some evidence that fruit on "betch" is smaller than on quince, but no reduction vs the standard of 'Bartlett' seedling, according to Gur et al.
Disease & Pest Resistance. Generally resistant to fireblight, leafspot and other maladies, but there is variation within the species, so the seed source should be from a reputable nursery.
Common Method of Propagation: Seed.
Need for Support: None.
Tendency to Sucker: I've seen quite a bit of suckering with betch.
Other characteristics: Compatible with all pear scion cultivars.
Bottom line: Not recommended except in unusual circumstances, so instance planting pears to attract deer to a deerstand. For most homeowner or commercial situations, you need some size control, which betch doesn't provide.
References other than my own experience:
Gur et al., 1978. "A pear rootstock trial in Israel". Scientia Horticulturae. 8(3):249-264.


Name: Quince.
History: Quince (Cydonia oblonga) has been used to dwarf pears for more than 400 years. Several clonal lines have arisen with slightly differing characteristics. Some of the more common are Provence, Angers (A, B and C), Adams and BA29. I have experience with Provence quince and Angers A. There are some new, very promising, quince selections being made by the USDA in collaboration with Michigan State University and German researchers. For more information, see entry in The Pears of New York.
Dwarfing: Dwarfs scions to about half the size of the same scion on standard rootstock.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia, Apex, NC and Pittsboro, NC orchard B.
Affect on Fruit Size: Fruit size tends to increase when grown on quince.
Disease & Pest Resistance. Susceptible to fireblight and pear decline.
Common Method of Propagation: Stooling (mound-layering) mostly; some propagation by cuttings.
Need for Support: It is a good idea to support pears grafted onto quince, though I've grown several trees as free-standing specimens with no problem. Nevertheless, even though you might avoid root lodging, the stock/scion union can be brittle, thus providing support prevents the scion from snapping off in high wind.
Tendency to Sucker: Varies somewhat with type of quince.
Other characteristics: Quince is not compatible with many pear cultivars. Those that succeed best on quince include these listed in The Pears of New York. Other cultivars can be made to succeed on quince by using a compatible interstem, though this adds cost to the purchase price of the tree and/ or time if you do it yourself. More winter-tender than most pear stocks, but that is rarely a problem for Southern growers. Often susceptible to iron-induced chlorosis, especially in soils with high pH. Roots tend to be shallow and thus trees are less drought tolerant.
Bottom line: Generally not recommended for the Southeast due to its susceptibility to blight. However, for the meticulous orchardist who wants the biggest pears on the smallest tree, quince is the most-accessible choice. Other species, like Amelanchier (serviceberry or Juneberry) and Crateagus (hawthorn) can dwarf more severely, but might not be so easy to get and may provide unpredictable results due to source variability.
References other than my own experience:
Einhorn et al. 2017.


Name: (Usually 'Bartlett') Seedling.
History: In olden times of yore, the most common pear rootstock was just the seeds from the pear canning industry, which was (and still is) mostly 'Bartlett' with a bit of "Winter Nelis'. Seed from canneries is still a very cheap and common source of rootstock material, but growers see the benefits of clonal stocks, especially those that dwarf, so this practice is in decline.
Dwarfing: Not dwarfing; arbitrarily considered to confer 100% of the vigor of a scion. 'Bartlett' seedling is considered "standard" and other rootstocks effects on scion growth are generally compared to this standard.
Orchards grown in: Coal Mountain, Georgia, Apex, NC and Pittsboro, NC orchards A & B.
Affect on Fruit Size: No effect on fruit size; by definition, it is the arbitrary baseline.
Disease & Pest Resistance. very susceptible to fireblight, thus a sucker coming from the rootstock that gets blighted can kill the entire tree, even if the scion cultivar is very resistant.
Common Method of Propagation: Seed.
Need for Support: None.
Tendency to Sucker: Low frequency of suckers.
Other characteristics: moderately cold-hardy. Compatible with all pear scion cultivars.
Bottom line: Not Recommended for the Southeast. It is susceptible to the scourge of fireblight and provides no size control.
References other than my own experience:
***


2017-December-02
Piedmont Region of North Carolina, USA
Dr. Anton Callaway
Die Anderen Äpfel