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Best Pear Tree for My Daughter's First Birthday?  RSS feed

 
Nicole Alderman
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Some of you might remember this thread: https://permies.com/t/40003/Tree-Plant-Baby-Birthday, from three years ago when I was looking for a tree to plant for my son's first birthday. We had wanted a long living, fun, and edible tree. The wonderful Eric Thompson gifted us with one of his antonovka apple seedlings from his nursery. His tree is doing marvelously!

On the same thread, Dirk Maes mentioned,

Dirk Maes wrote: In Flanders ( Belgium ) they used too plant linden and pears for girls or aples and oaks for boys. But these are regional customs.


This was just too cool! I decided then that, if we had a girl in the future, we'd plant her a pear tree. And, lo and behold, my little daughter will be 1 year old in three months! So I've started looking at pear trees. We'd like her pear tree to live at least 80 years, be pretty disease resistant, as well as have tasty fruit.

Does anyone know of a suitable pear tree? What rootstock should I use? I've been looking at Orcas pears, since they seem to do well here...but they are only sold on semi-dwarf rootstocks. I asked the people at Raintree how long semi-dwarf pears lived, but they didn't know. I've never grafted, so I really don't want to try and then ruin her tree. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks!
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Kiefer is the hardiest pear as far as I know. Make sure you get a standard sized tree.

A seedling would probably live longer, but I don't know how likely you are to get usable pears.
 
Deb Rebel
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Trees you buy from nursery are about 3 years old. Seedling (on own rootstock instead of graft) is going to add another year probably so the tree should fruit at year 5 or later. Say 5-8 years. (I have one that is ten years old after I bought it from a nursery, set a few last year and dropped them at 2 weeks, this year the blizzard did unto it but bent all the branches out instead of straight up. So it gets one more year before it gets turned into dowels and spoons)
 
Ken W Wilson
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I'm surprised Raintree didn't have a standard sized tree. You might try Grandpas Orchard.

Oikos Tree Crops has some seedling pears, I think. Most of thier trees are small but healthy.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Good pears to consider are:
Bartlett, Blake's Pride, Bosc, D'Anjou, Red D'Anjou, Hood and Kieffer.

One of the best places to find them is; Dave Wilson

Expect a good pear tree to produce for 40 years or more, Apples will do this time period too.
The better the tree's condition the longer it will bear fruit.

Happy selecting and planting.

Redhawk
 
William Bronson
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Watch to see what varieties are self fertile.
My Bartlet did squat until I got it a pollination partner.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Very True William, all fruit trees need to be planted in at least pairs to insure pollination.
Usually the best set of fruit comes with non- same varieties for pollination partners.

Bosc is a good pollinator for most of the other pear species.

Redhawk
 
Nicole Alderman
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Such good information--thank you! I've spent the last few days researching pear varieties. I'm still really conflicted and feel like I need more information. I'll post what I've found out so far.

Ecos Pear: https://oikostreecrops.com/products/edible-fruits/ecos-pear/ Has hybrid vigor, not time tested so we don't know how long living it might be, seedling, edible, unique. What is the branch angle?

Orcas: Edible, from my area, disease resistant, tasty. Does well at my mom’s. Found one on a Winter Nellis, standard sized rootstock! https://www.rollingrivernursery.com/products/190/34/fruit-trees/pears-european-pyrus-communis/orcas-detail But, Winter Nellis isn't as resistant to Fireblight and other problems as OH-F rootstocks (https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/pnw341.pdf)

Seedling of my mom’s Pear: Could be a mix of Orcas/Barlett/Japanese pear. Seedling vigor, has family heritage, no idea WHAT the fruit will taste like. Be a long time until it fruits.

Keiffer Pear: Variety has been around for over 250 years. Well known to have long lifespan. Edible, but not very tasty fresh. Disease resistant. What’s the branch angle? Self-pollinating and will pollinate our other future pears. Is a mix of Asian "sand" pear and European pears.

Seckle Pear: Very tasty. Small fruit and relatively small tree, even when on standard rootstock. The first tree lived at least 140 years (https://snowshoebees.com/2016/09/17/the-seckel-pear/), so hopefully grafted trees would live a long time, too. From the 1700s, can get on standard rootstock https://www.starkbros.com/products/fruit-trees/pear-trees/seckel-pear. Is an Asian/European cross.

Maxine/Starking Delicious Pear: Disease resistant, Asian/Bartlett mix like Keifer, but tasty. No idea about it's lifespan or branch angle.

Still need to research Bartlett, Bosc, Blake's Pride, D'Anjou, Red D'Anjou, and Hood. Could I get a bartlet as an ungrafted seedling, since they use them for seedlings? Would it be as tasty and disease resistant as the grafted Bartletts?

One thing that concerns me about pears is that they supposedly tend to have problems because of their shallow branch angle. The limbs break in storms or under snow or from freezing rain. I could probably train them, but I really was hoping to let this tree--like my son's--take it's natural shape. Are their pear trees that naturally have better branch angles?

Thank you again, for all your help. If you have any more knowledge or experience to share, I'd love to hear it!

And, as for it needing a pollinator, we plan on planting at least one, if not two other pears in a year or two, when funds allow. THose will likely be semi-dwarfs, so they'll be fruiting around the same time as whatever tree we plant for my daughter.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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I'm pretty sure the pears we had when I was a kid were kiefer.  It was so old no one really new. Produced every year with no care. No disease or insect damage. Closest pollinator was 1/4 mile away, but we did have lots of bees then. Maybe it was self pollinating?  We liked to eat them like apples before they were quite ripe. I thought they were really good that way. We didn't try cooking any. I think when they weren't quite ripe the grit wasn't noticeable.

I wish I'd have grafted from it before it died. There is a seedling near where it was. Possibly a self pollinated seedling. I may try grafting from it. It's right next to a huge cedar tree. I don't think it'll ever fruit there.
 
Nicole Alderman
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I found an Orcas pear on OHxF97 rootstock at https://www.rollingrivernursery.com/products/190/34/fruit-trees/pears-european-pyrus-communis/orcas-detail! The OHxF97 is almost a standard size, and is resistant to fireblight and pear decline. My husband totally vetoed the keifer pears, as he wanted my daughter to have a delicious pear, not one that might not be tasty.

Does anyone have experience with the OHxF97 rootstock? Does this seem like a good choice for a long-living pear tree?

Thanks!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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That is one of the better resistant root stocks, the tree should produce for at least 40 years with proper care and nurturing.

Redhawk
 
Nicole Alderman
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Thank you! That's so good to know! Do you happen to know how long it will keep going even after it stops producing?
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Apple trees can live to over 100 years old and still produce. I have brought back an orchard planted by Johnny Appleseed, that means that in 1967 it was around 100 years old. The trees put out 40 bushels of golden apples the next year and I heard from the people who bought that property after we were transferred to California and it was still producing good fruit, probably because they were tending that orchard.

Redhawk
 
David Livingston
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I have pears planted in the 1950s still producing here
 
Deb Rebel
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Friend a few blocks away has apple and pear trees planted in the 1920's, last five years they've spent some time rehabilitating those trees and they have a nice full crop this year.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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David, that is normal in my experience.
When I was in France in 1969 I went through an orchard outside of Paris that had producing trees that were planted in 1822, there were pears, apples, and apricots the main body were all pollarded and the border trees were espaliers.
It was a real treat for me to watch the orchard men and learning from them.
The head orchard man was in his seventies.

Redhawk
 
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