Pear Trees
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European Pear Varieties

From Drew Demler’s Fruit Tree list (Central Texas): Fan-Stil discovered in Mexico and further developed in San Antonio; this pear has a classic shape and great taste. Monterrey another pear from Mexico; has a shape of an apple and a tangy pear flavor; very good. Orient very reliable producer of huge pears; they usually have a strong fragrance when ripe and a very distinct flavor.
Please avoid: Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc, or Comice. They won’t work well here (North Central Texas.)

Pears in Texas: Old Favorites

From Texas Agrilife Pears PDFRecommended European Varieties for Zone 1: Hill Country and West Texas: European hybrids: ‘Ayers’, ‘Warren’, ‘LeConte’, ‘Magness’,’ Maxine’, ‘Moonglow’, Orient’, and ‘Kieffer.’ European pears are usually picked green and should be set for a few days to ripen to a softer texture.

Spacing: 15-20 ft

* Fan-Stil

Originated from Mexico around the 1900’s. Introduced by Fanick Nursery (San Antonio, Tx). Ripens in early August. The fruit is smooth, with melting flesh. Similar to Le Conte but more fire blight resistant. Available from Fanick Garden Center in San Antonio, $15.00/gal (if available) and $29.99/5gal.

WARREN

warren pear400 chill hrs. Zones 6-9 Discovered by T. O. Warren in Mississippi some years ago. Very sweet, juicy and smooth flesh. Fruit varies in size and shape, mostly medium size and long necked fruit. Ripens in our area about August 10th. Self-fruitful. Womack. Bob Wells

* Monterrey/ Garber

Originated in Mexico and was introduced in 1952 by Aldridge Nursery (Von Ormy, TX). The fruit is large, with yellow skin, with a flesh almost free of grit cells. Tree is vigorous and resembles the Pineapple pear. It ripens in late August – Sep (Womack) Almost blight-proof. Bob Wells

Garber Pear Tree

750 Chil hrs. Zones 5-8.  POLLINATION:  Leconte, Moonglow, Magness and Warren. Ripens Aug-Sep.
Listed separately from Monterry(Garber) at Bob Wells.

Le Conte

400-500 chill hrs. Zones 6-9. Ripens August -September. Pollinators: Garber, Magness, Moonglow. Bob WellsWomack

MOONGLOW

moonglow-pear500 chill hrs Zones 5-9.  A 1960 U.S.D.A. introduction. Tree is a vigorous, upright grower and is resistant to fireblight. Bartlett-type. Fruit ripens in late August – September, has smooth texture, and is soft and juicy. Mild sub-acid flavor. Pollinate with Leconte, Warren, Monterey.  A good pollinator. Womack,  Stark Bros

* Orient

300- 400 chill hrs, Zones 6-10. Pollinated by  Moonglow, Ayers or Warren. Ripens August (7b)
Developed as a French x Oriental hybrid cross by Walter Van Fleet of Chico, California prior to 1925 and introduced by the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station and USDA in 1945. The tree has an excellent shape which is easy to train. Mature trees have been reported to be annual producers which retain their leaves well into fall. The fruit is large, relatively hard and has a russet skin when mature. The fruit flesh is beautifully white, firm, juicy, and slightly sweet. Orient is reported to have a very low chilling requirement, making it particularly adapted to South Texas. Orient is reported to be self-sterile, requiring a pollinator. It is a popular choice for the home garden. Womack, Bob Wells

Magness

6-9 400 chill hrs. Zones POLLINATION:  Orient, Moonglow, Leconte. Ripens Aug-Sep. Bob Wells

KIEFFER

pear_kieffer300-400 chill hrs. Zones 5-10. Large, late ripening (Sept. or Oct.). If allowed to fully ripen, this is a very fine pear. Can be wrapped and kept for a month or more. A favorite for preserves. Needs a pollinator according to some, self-fruitful according to Bob Wells . Womack  Bob Wells

AYRES/ Ayers

ayers-pear300 chill hrs. Zones 5-9 One of the highest quality pears that can be grown in the South, blight resistant, flesh almost free of grit cells. Ripens mid to late August. Needs pollinator:Leconte, Orient, Garber and Warren. Womack

Asian Pear Varieties

Asian Pears: Hosui brown skin and awesome flavor when fully ripened. 20th century yellow skin and good quality. Ya Li large sweet pears beautiful flowers and fall foliage as well.
Asian pears are firmer than regular pears and ripen fully on the tree, whereas regular pears are usually picked green and should be set for a few days to ripen to a softer texture.

From Texas Agrilife Pears PDF
Recommended Asian varieties: ‘Shinseiki’, ‘Nijisseiki’ (‘20th Century’), ‘Chojuro’, ‘Hosui’, ‘Shinko’, and ‘Shin Li’

* 20th CENTURY ASIAN PEAR

Zones 5-9. Years to bear: 4-6. Also called APPLE-PEAR because of their similar texture and shape. Trees produce at an early age. Ripens about August 15. (Stark label taste as “bland” and no longer offer this variety.) Womack

Starking® Hardy Giant™ Asian Pear

starking-asianpearZones 4-8. Years to bear: 4-8. Soil pH 6-7. Large pears — weighing 12-15 ounces. This easy-to-grow tree produces sweet, juicy fruit that keeps well, storing up to nine months in the refrigerator. Resistant to pear leaf spot. Cold-tolerant. Ripens in mid September. Best pollinators: Hosui, New Century or Bartlett.
A Stark Pick! Hand-selected by our experts for its simple upkeep and ease of growing — an excellent choice for both seasoned and first-time fruit growers. Stark Bros

Shinko

The most disease-resistant to fire blight of the Asian pears. Russetted bronze-green skin over medium-large fruit. The flesh is firm yet smooth, sweet and juicy. Known for its rich sweetness and distinctive flavor, Shinko is also a good keeper. Ripens late August. Zones 6-9. Johnson Nursery

Shinseiki

This wonderful Japanese pear has a clearer (less russetting) yellow skin. The crisp, juicy white flesh has an excellent sweet-tart flavor. The tree is partially self-pollinating and vigorous bearing early in age. Ripens mid-late July. Zones 6-9.  Johnson Nursery

* Hosui

hosui pearOften thought as one of the best, Hosui is a large, golden russetted Japanese variety.  The flesh is crisp, juicy and very sweet. Stores well. A very productive and vigorous tree. Ripens in mid to late August.  Zones 6-9 Johnson Nursery,  Womack


Olympic

One of the sweetest of the Asian pears having a high sugar content to the crisp, juicy flesh. The fruit is large, round and heavily russetted with an orange tint. After ripening, you can enjoy the sweet flavor for a long time since its storage life is very long. Ripens late Sept.  Zones 6-9. Johnson Nursery

Niitaka

Described as having “candy-sweet” flavor, Niitaka is a large, orange-brown highly russetted pear with very sweet juicy flesh. The fruit keep well and are great for fresh eating and canning. Ripens mid – late Sept.  Zones 6-9 Johnson Nursery


Pear Diseases

Fire blight – University of CA, Fire Blight BC
Pear blister mite controlled by oil spray
Pear Pests U of Utah

Natural remedies: dormant oil spray, winter tree wash

Rootstocks

In sandy, acidic soils, Pyrus calleryana is the best rootstock. It has good nematode tolerance and fire blight resistance. However, it exhibits strong iron deficiency in alkaline soils.

In heavier-textured, high-pH soils, Pyrus betulifolia is a more adapted rootstock, but nursery stock may be more difficult to obtain.

In the Pacific Northwest, dwarfing rootstocks are commonly used in pear orchards, but these Old Home X Farmingdale crosses have performed poorly across most of Texas.

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