Drippin' Honey Asian Pear

RobThomasJanuary 7, 2013

I went to my local wholesale grower today to pick up some peach trees (3'-4' trees for $5 each! Bought Contender, Carolina Gold and China Pearl). While there, I was asking about some of the other trees they grow, including Asian pears. He mentioned the usuals, but the last one he mentioned was "Drippin' Honey". I'd never heard of it. I thought maybe it was just a catchy marketing name for a common Asian like Shinko, but he assured me that it was a unique variety.

It appears to be sold by only a couple of retailers, one being Gurney's. Their description seems too good to be true, part of which states, "The easiest care pear you can grow, Drippin' Honey has few problems with pests or disease, and requires very little to no spraying".

Anyway, it was only $7.50 for a 5+ ft tree. I figure at that price I wouldn't be out much even if it turned out to be a dud.

Is anyone else familiar with this variety of Asian pear? Has anyone tasted it?

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pinc06(6b)

Hi Rob

I just planted mine this fall so haven't tasted it yet. I looked closely at pics of the fruit the website show, and judging by color this is indeed a diff variety from Olympic (or Hardy Giant or Large Korean or whatever name the other very large late producing Asian Pear is called). Plus they actually list Olympic as a pollinator. Anyway, I have several other varieties of Asian pear that have produced well for me with no spraying at all. I have read that some varities are prone to fire blight (esp Hosui) but mine has been fine. It could be my zone or my breezy hillside planting location, but these are the easiest fruit around to grow. I know I know, I'll prob be hit big with fireblight this year, but I do prune to very open canopy also. Anyway most Asian Pears produce very young and I've had several produce the year post autumn planting. Some folks say they are partially self poillinating, but I have so many diff varieties it doesn't matter.

I think you'll be very happy with this one.

Pam in cinti

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 12:41PM
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brookw_gw

I may be completely wrong, but I recall reading somewhere that "Drippin' Honey" is actually Nijeseiki. It certainly has all the characteristics of such. Regardless, I also have one and like it very much.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 2:33PM
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RobThomas

Hmmm, "Drippin' Honey" does seem very similar to Nijisseiki, aka 20th Century. 20th is very popular and most sellers offer it, but it isn't offered at Gurney's. So, it could just be their marketing name for 20th Century.
However, they do list D. Honey as a PPAF (Plant Patent Applied For). Which, I believe would only apply to the plant itself, not the marketing name. This would seem to indicate that the Drippin' Honey is a unique variety of Asian pear. This is what the grower was suggesting. I called Gurney's, but the person I spoke with was of no help.

Still, it seems like Pam (pinc06) is happy with hers. I'm just concerned now that if it is 20th, I could have fire blight issues- which is what I've been trying to avoid.

Pam, do you also grow 20th Century? If so, is your D. Honey different from the 20th?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:54PM
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pinc06(6b)

Rob, I do indeed have 20th century. I only had one crop from it, and they were all early and small. The description for Drippin Honey states them to be large and late, akin to Olympic Giant. The color of OG is a brownish orange, and the DH looks to be more yellowish. My 20th century stays greenish with some yellow overtones. Of all my Asian Pears, 20th century was my least favorite flavor wise, but it was the trees first crop. I read here on GW that first few crops are often less quality than later crops after the tree matures. Anyway I've had no problem with fireblight on any of my trees including Hosui and 20th century which are stated to be prone. None on my bartlett or granny smith either. But my garden is a very open hillside that is very breezy. Also none of my neighbors anywhere near me do any real gardening at all, so I don't catch any thing that way either. I know I've been lucky, but I'll take it.

I do think it's possible that when they were crossbreeding to get late large fruit that stored well Drippin Honey was one of the results, but for whatever reason was passed over for Olympic Giant. It is then probable that they had a good reason, which tendency to fireblight would indeed a good reason. Please note these are all guesses and suppositions on my part, I don't know anything from reading about it etc. So since I just planted DH and Olympic Giant I will have a good chance to compare them once they start producing.

For what it's worth, my fave AP is Raja. Strong easy to care for tree that takes minimal care and produces tasty fruit like a champ. I know one other GW poster has one, and he likes his a lot also. Mine came from a local garden store who purchased trees from Hollybrook Orchards.

Hosui is very tasty but brittle in growth and fussy in pruning. No fireblight yet tho.

Pam in cinti

Here is a link that might be useful: Hollybrook Orchards pear variety descriptions

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 5:14PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Pam,
I just got a Raja and am thrilled you like it. It's a beautifully symmetrical plant with near perfect crotch angles.
Is it like chojuro or hosui? sure looks similar to them.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 8:49PM
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pinc06(6b)

Noogy, you will love it. My Raja blooms with my Hosui, 20th C blooms slightly later but does overlap. Fruit looks similar to Hosui but is larger and much more prolific. First year she bore fruit it was tasty, last year it was even better. First year had a case of deeply cracked fruit that I pulled off, and it proceeded to ripen a whole new crop. I think the 2nd year crop was better as it had more time to develop the taste. Mine has supple branches that naturally go horizontal with fruitload. I'm not saying a branch will never break, but they sure haven't yet.

I picked up a small Chojuro last year and no way will it fruit this year. My Drippin Honey appears to have a fruit spur tho. Also put in Olympic Giant and Shinseiki but I don't think they will produce next year, but they are big enough trees that it could happen.

The last tree I have was labeled Daisui Li but it bore very large late actual pear shaped mild tasting fruit. Hollybrook Orchards tells me it has to be a Euro Pear but I'm hoping it turns out to be one of the few Asians that bear pearshaped fruit. I don't have much experience with Euros (only have Bartlett and Beurre D'Anjou) but euros appear to have smaller leaves by far than my Asians. The mystery pear in question had longer leaves than any of my other Asians. The tree is now about 6 ft tall and those leaves are almost 5 inches long. I'm hoping to provide pics during all season growth (alongside same day pics of already known pears) in hopes somebody can help me figure out for sure what I have here.
Pam in cinti

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 11:25AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Pam, your mystery pear sounds like a Chinese pear. Take a look at Ya Li for example. I don't know how late Ya Li is but otherwise it sounds like a match. Shin Li is a late asian pear which is pyriform (shaped like a Euro).

Scott

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Pam,
That's awesome

Daisu Li is actually Ya Li x Kikusui by UC Davis, both oriental pears, but shaped like a euro, Pyriform.
This is off NCRG corvallis:
Daisui Li (12-44) - A large, smooth skinned, pyriform shaped Asian pear developed in California. Orig. at UC Davis, by Ben Iwakiri and evaluated as selection '12-44' near Winters, California. Plant Patent 6075 issued in 1988 to the University of California. A cross between the Japanese cultivar Kikusui and the Chinese cultivar Tse Li (Tsu Li). Fruit: large to very large, obovate to globular, more pear-shaped than most Asian cultivars, including sister cultivar Shin Li. Smooth thick skin is light green at maturity. Flesh: white, firm, coarse, crisp, juicy, sweet and subacid. Ripe early September in Davis, California. Distinct aroma similar to Tse Li. Fruit stores 5-6 months at 0 C. Tree: large, upright to slightly spreading, open, hardy, more vigorous than other Asian cultivars. Leaves: large, wide and leathery. Blooms with Chojuro and Kikusui, slightly later than Ya Li and Tse Li, earlier than Bartlett. Resistant to fire blight. http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/acc/search.pl?accid=%20PI+657916

I have planted both this fall with Raja.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:29PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Noogy, its interesting that the description states Daisui Li to be more pyriform than Shin Li. I have a Shin Li I bought about ten years ago and its much more pyriform than the pictures of Daisui Li on that USDA site. Go figure..

Pam, it sounds like you indeed got a Daisui Li. If you look at Hollybrooks picture of that variety its round so they probably don't realize what they are selling. I expect the shape is also partly climate-specific given how pyriform my Shin Li pears are.

Scott

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 7:22PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Scott,
Some one lost track of the tags at UC Davis and confused them! haha
"Patent reapplied for after initial labeling mixup at UCD"
haha J/KiOne way to extend the patent! yeah right...

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 9:10AM
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pinc06(6b)

Noogy, it's amazing that you know UC Davis messed up!! I emailed a few times with Hollybrook farms stating I thought it might be Ya Li and they dismissed it saying that it wasn't even a variety they carried so no way was it Ya Li. Went on to say they didn't grow anything themselves but purchased stock to grow on and sell.

The listing I read for YaLi matched my pear to a T. Very large, green skin, very crispy so should store well, flavor very mild. The flavor was so simple I thought the best use might be baby food. But I also figured had I let it ripen longer it might become more complex. Pretty leaves that are a bit bronzy when young till they green up. Nice orangy fall color too. It's right next to my Danjou which goes burgandy in fall and they are a beautiful sight to see.

I just did more searching on Yali and found an article about internal browing that develops if fruit is left long enuf on the tree to change skin color. It seemed interesting so I linked to it in case it helps anyone.

I recall my fruit shape to be very curvy, but so large I was thinking to use it in fruit salad as it was too big to eat the whole thing at once (for me anywaya). Scott, it's encouraging to me that your Shin li is curvier than most pictures. I will be sure to get good pics this year so you guys can help me clear this up for certain.

Pam in cinti

Here is a link that might be useful: YaLi & Seuri Internal browning article

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 3:10PM
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pinc06(6b)

Rob, I apologize for hijacking your thread. I promise to take good pics of my Drippin Honey and Hardy Giant if they develop any fruit.

Thanks to all for their input.

Pam in cinti

    Bookmark   January 13, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Hahaha
Pam,
We typically joke about retail/wholesale outfits mixing up labels, but UCD? I couldn't resist!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 6:49AM
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RobThomas

No problem, Pam! I've enjoyed the discussion.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:00PM
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pinc06(6b)

I think the weird spring we've had (running late in the season and cold) might be the cause, but within 4 days all of my Asian Pears are in bloom at once. Granted 20th Century (Nijuseiki) is only starting now, but the others are in full bloom. Specifically I have Daisui Li, Raja, Hosui, 20th C, Olympic Giant, Chojuro, New Century (Shinseiki) and Drippin Honey all blooming at the same time. My bees are happy happy campers. They had been rushing at the flowers even before they opened trying to get at them. If I hadn't had lots of blooming flowers to keep them fed I'd have put food out to keep bees alive till the buds started opening. I try to protect my pollinators.

Pam in cinti

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 2:01PM
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RobThomas

Pam, let me know how the fruit is from the "Drippin' Honey" if you get any. None of my Asian pears flowered as they are still young trees. But, surprisingly, my two sweet cherries did flower, and this is only their second spring. I thought they'd take a lot longer, so that was a surprise.

I also have bees. I actually split my strong hive a couple of weeks ago, and the new hive seems to be doing well. I love observing and working with them.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

I'm at tight cluster with chojuro and shinseiki. I suppose right behind are yoinashi hosui and Korean G at green tip.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 5:52PM
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clarkinks(5b)

I grow Drippin Honey and it has been no more disease resistant than my European varieties eg. Bartlett. The ones I got from gurneys I got at an impressive discount

Here is a link that might be useful: Drippin Honey Pear

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 8:49PM
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RobThomas

Have yours fruited? How was the flavor? Any fire blight issues?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:10AM
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RobThomas

Just giving an update on the Drippin' Honey for those interested. I planted it just over a year ago, and it has already flowered. Probably over 100 flowers. So, it's certainly very precocious. Unless it's self-fertile, I'll be surprised if I get any fruit as no other pears are blooming except for the Bradfords, and they're almost done.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Rob,
You'll get pears at least through the Bradfords' cross pollination.
I'll be transplanting mine next week from my house that's for sale. I had some 2 year old hosui on Callery flower and I was forced to thin to one per tree. They were the sweetest, most golden delights.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 8:05PM
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clarkinks(5b)

Yes I agree Bradford are frequently used for pollination. See this link http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/gagarden/msg041309538748.html

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 10:32PM
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BJSmith(7b)

Hi, everyone!!! I'm very new to growing fruit. I had one plum tree in my yard and just love to use the abundance of fruit for preserves. So....I purchased and planted 4 plums, 2 apples, 3 pears and a fig tree. So....here's the problem. My Asian pear was labeled only as "Asian pear and pyrus communis" which is, of course the species name for all pears. It also states that it requires a pollinator. My other 2 pears are a Keiffer and an Ayers. Will those 2 work as pollinators? Does it have to be another Asian pear species? Could I just go back to the nursery and get the same generic "Asian Pear" tree? BTW, I have been searching for an answer to this question on several blogs, garden sites, etc., and have discovered that there are more than 40 varieties of Asian pears! I live in a small town in MS. and we have only 1 nursery (where I purchased my trees) and a few hardware stores that also sell fruit trees. I gather that no matter what, I need to find something that blooms at the same time. A little difficult when I don't actually know what variety I've already purchased and planted! Thanks so much for any help, suggestions, good wishes, etc. that you have to offer!!!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 4:29AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Bj,

If you have a Cleveland or Bradford flowering pear tree near your house and it can be a pollinator.

Tony

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 6:49AM
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TA152H

I just had my first Drippin Honey, and it's the best tasting pear I've ever had.

I've also got Yonaishi and Olympic Giant, and they don't come close.

It's incredibly sweet for an Asian Pear, as sweet as European Pears, but has a more distinctive taste. It's also got the texture of the Asian Pear.

Up until now, Coralstar Peaches were my favorite fruit. Drippin Honey changed that. Oh my, they are so good.

The fruit came out fine, with no spraying at all. The only problem is, I only got two this year (the first year I got any). Hopefully next year I'll have more. I'll certainly be planting more of them. It's a pity only Gurney's and Henry Field's sells them. I don't like either company (well, it's the same one), but that won't stop me from getting a couple more of these trees.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2014 at 12:31AM
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clarkinks(5b)

My Dripping Honey are getting ripe but not there yet. Here is picture for those not familiar with them. They weigh around a pound each

    Bookmark   October 3, 2014 at 7:03AM
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clarkinks(5b)

My several trees are still small but here is another picture to give you an idea of what to expect. Nice pear trees for both fruit and foliage.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2014 at 7:10AM
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