Pear varieties for winter storage

clarkinks(5b)May 1, 2014

Fruit in the winter can be hard to come by so I was thinking of devoting some time to finding some winter pear varieties that would store to at least January or February. I was thinking about winter nellis as one possible candidate. Do you know other varieties or have much information on winter nellis?

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have Winter Nelis. Its an odd tree, the growth is very twiggy. I have had a hard time getting it under control and it has not produced any pears for me yet. So, not a lot to go on there.

D'Anjou, Hardy, Dana Hovey, Glou Morceau, and Josephine des Malines are other winter pears. I am growing the last three but they have also not fruited yet.

I agree having a good winter pear would be nice, and I hope I eventually get one.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 8:49AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Scott, I thought you were already fruiting JDM, as you said "Josephine des Malines - a great pear as usual, super juicy aromatic and best of all, reliable!" in 2012.

I've just grafted JDM this spring, along with a couple of other reasonably late pears(Sept/Oct per Corvallis), but maybe not true winter pears, Beurre Fouqueray and Mericourt.

Last spring, I added Glou Morceau and Passe Crassane, so maybe I can try them next year. They are still pretty small- I'm growing both in pots (unlike most of my other pears), as I can then (hopefully) avoid fireblight, by keeping them dry in the spring.

Stephen Hayes has some Youtube videos on winter pears. That was one of the things which got me interested in them.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:56AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I believe I've stored Korean Giant until March. That's pretty long considering it harvests here in September. Haven't tried to store Comice and Bosc that long but if harvested at the right time it might be possible.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:13PM
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alan haigh

FN, yeah that one goes on forever in storage, but (as you well know) it's not the same as a Euro, for better and for worse. I too wish I could accomplish what the Oregon growers of Comice do and produce luscious E. pears that can be kept into Dec and Jan.

Of course they use storage methods beyond my capability.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 12:32PM
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Fruitnut I like the sounds of that variety! Harvestman I have heard the name Comice but am assuming it's not easy to grow. Thanks Scott and Bob for the information.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 9:39PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

A little OT: Scott, the Fondante des Moulins-Lille you sent me last year has two blossoms on it. It's the tiniest blooming pear I've ever seen.

Keep us posted on your pears. I have been thinking about Dana Hovey.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 1:53AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Bob, that was a typo. I was at one point occasionally getting JDM and Fondante des Moulins-Lille mixed up.. they overlapped in the "long incomprehensible French names" slot in my brain.

I had a Comice but heard enough things about how hard it is to grow that I topworked it.

I believe both Dana Hovey and Glou Morceau have blossoms on them this spring so I may finally be able to try them.


PS MHG I missed your comment about the FdML. That pear is amazingly precocious from all I have seen and its good to get another positive data point on that.

This post was edited by scottfsmith on Fri, May 2, 14 at 10:20

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 10:18AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

My 3rd leaf Fondante des Moulins-Lille is also covered in flowers, which are just starting to open. It actually had flowers when I planted it 2 years ago (not setting any fruit), but didn't have any last year.

The Magness and Honeysweet I planted at the same time haven't flowered at all. What was supposed to be a Harrow Delight bore in the 2nd leaf, but it seems to be a mislabeled peary pear, due to the astringency. Harrow Sweet is the other Euro Pear which seems very precocious. It is covered this spring (planted last spring), even though it is on OHx87 (the Lille and the false Harrow Delight are on Quince).

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 11:26AM
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alan haigh

Harrow Sweet is extremely precocious- mine on 97 flower up the second year when still small- have to take off all the flowers. They also want to fruit every year once they are in production.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 12:09PM
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The late Lon Rombough (in the PNW) was a proponent of Winter Nelis - said the fruit was ugly as sin - and, as Scott indicated, growth habit was odd/unsightly, but a very good winter-keeper.

I have one I found in AL, several years back, that was still heavily-laden with fruit hanging on the tree on Jan 1. Medium-size round, russeted pears; I have no idea what the fruit quality will be like fresh, or it it will be a good storage fruit, but have been grafting it for use as a soft-mast source to plant out around wildlife foodplots.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 12:28PM
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Sounds like I need to do a lot of pear research. I have good maybe even great varieties now but they don't even scratch the surface on what's out there.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 9:05AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Clark, if you want to learn about the older pears I highly recommend Pears of New York. It is still a great reference 100 years later. Also Hartman wrote an excellent pamphlet put out by U Oregon that is online somewhere. .. I put the link below. The pear collection he studied is what turned into the USDA Corvallis repository.


Here is a link that might be useful: Hartman booklet

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 12:10PM
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Thanks Scott I appreciate that

    Bookmark   May 3, 2014 at 1:17PM
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