Dwarf everbearing pear question

ganggreenMay 14, 2011

I have about 10 pear trees in my young orchard but the first to blossom is a Colette "dwarf everbearing" pear. My brother bought it for me from Miller's in New York state. A couple of questions that I have are, first of all, what rootstock would Miller's typically use to dwarf a pear? I don't believe that their website says. Would it be quince or possibly OH X F 333?

Secondly, what is an everbearing pear? Am I to presume that this tree may continue to blossom a few more times, thereby producing fruit much longer than a "normal" pear. Well, if that's true and since it's not a self-fertile variety, what is going to pollinate it? I don't get it.

Lastly, does anyone have any anecdotal or first hand experience with Colette? What should I expect? Is it a good variety for fresh eating?


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this info is off Millers Nurseries web site

Everbearing Makes The Difference. But even if Colette wasn�t everbearing, its fruits of such superb quality would earn it space in every home garden. First crops are about the size of Bartlett, with pink cheeks on a rich waxy background.

After the first yields about August 25, more fruiting follows continuously until killing freezes stop all growth.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 9:10PM
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Thanks Bob, but I had already seen that and it doesn't really answer my questions (other than the part about it being "superb quality" and I take that with a grain of salt since they're trying to sell more trees).

My specific questions are, what type of rootstock are they using as a "dwarf" rootstock on their pears. Secondly, if it continues to bear from August 25th until killing freezes stop fruiting, how does it go about doing that? Does it blossom more than once? If so, what pollinates those blossoms because I think they state that Colette is not self-fertile. Do all the fruit blossoms pollinate at one time but they mature at greatly different rates?

I guess I'm going to find out at least some of the answers soon, though I don't have a blooming pollinator nearby. I hand-pollinated a few blossoms yesterday with a branch that I "borrowed" elsewhere. There are about 10 or 12 blossom bundles on the tree and I'll be curious if it flowers again at some later date.

Does anyone have Colette or recall having eaten it fresh?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 7:55AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

gangreen- I bet it is ohf333. I also got some colette. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that colette is partially self-fertile, but not dependably so. Interesting. It will receive pollen well from other sources, but later on pollinate itself?
The only other mechanism I could see would be have them all pollinate at once, just further development of immature fruit is initiated by picking?
I don't know the exact answer. I wouldn't worry too much.
Good luck

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 8:11AM
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fran_always(z6 PA)

Ganggreen and Noogy, did you get any Colette pears? What do you think of it?

I am looking into planting a couple of pear trees in my yard, but my space is limited. How old and how tall are your trees?

Any comments would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2011 at 11:43PM
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I planted one of those, but it died the second winter. It had been thriving, but I think it might have died because my spouse put brush killer only about a foot from it on another small sapling stub. Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 10:03AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

Fran- I've planted 4 as of 5/'11. They aren't as vigorous during establishment compared to the other e pears I've put in this year. I've had to baby them a little more and do the mole hole elimination routine to keep up the momentum. I haven't tried any of Collette, just sounded good, were on sale, and had the space.
I'm trying a bit of everything to see what does best. Check out the selections from raintree. All of their material has established well for me.
For close quarters you prolly want ohf333, and consider using a system of pruning called "Lorette". It's a summer prune which provides huge yields of top quality fruit in small spaces. Eventually you top the tree during late summer, as to not promote any new growth, and train down.

The material I received was in good condition, just that I'd rather have a single stem rather than a tree branched to please the residential customer. Alas, I prune back to get all new growth. Hmmm, pears...
Good luck,

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 12:57PM
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Approximately 5 years ago i planted a colette "everbearing" pear and it is growing very slowly, to my surprise it flowered in october of 2012, just in time for frosts! Although this is strange, I am hoping it will flower and set fruit this spring. Before killing frosts it did seem as though the blooms swelled and grew as tiny pollinated fruit, stirring the question of it being a self pollenating variety. If anyome has any recent updates please encourage me.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 9:36AM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

I expect some flowers this year. I hear they may do a 'practice' round flowering. They say bartlett and other Euro pears set fruit without other pollinators down south, as is the case with many Asian pears. Maybe the extended flowering during hot weather promotes parthenocarpy? i dunno
They aren't vigorous at all but have set some nice branches I've bent down. They've been in the ground 2 years this may and am planning on pushing them with Nitrogen and drip irrigation.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 7:08PM
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Growing up we had a Colette tree. It was already established and around 20' tall with nice cone shape. About 12' wide. It bloomed in spring and continued blooming all year long until the first hard freeze. It fruited well in full sunshine planted in red clay soil as long as it had plenty of water. The fruit was the shape and color of bartlett, and tasted a lot like it too, but much sweeter. The tree grew well and was disease free. The only pests it had were june bugs which would eat the fruit. I plan on getting one again someday now that they are available, but will have to search for a place to plant it in my tiny yard, might have to get a dwarf. One standard size tree is enough to take care of a family all year. One of my favorite memories is picking pears the morning after the first hard freeze and eating them right off the tree partially frozen....WOW.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 1:49PM
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aphahn(6a CO)

Colette is a great pear for me. There is little to no grit it is sweet, juicy and the flavor is very good. It has not been a vigorous grower (on quince C), but did start setting fruit the third year in ground.
This year all of the buds were killed by our repeated warm/hard freeze weather. The everbearing trait has proven to be fantastic for recovering from late frosts. It started its first round of "secondary" flowering as soon as it leafed out this year. The bloom even overlapped with some surviving flowers on other varieties, so it helped pollinize them.
The secondary flowering occurs in flushes from the new growth starting soon after the initial bloom finishes. For me the secondary fruit has always been smaller, somewhat misshapen and mostly (all?) seedless. To me that suggests parthenocarpy more than self fertile.

Here s a picture of the "secondary" bloom this year.


    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 3:18PM
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I have a dwarf Colette pear which I have trained as an espalier on the back fence of my garden. It is doing great. It already has 5 tiers, about 1 for every year it has been in. This was my 3rd attempt after the first two pear varieties had trouble with fire blight. I searched far and wide to find a dwarf Potomac (also fb resistant) as a polinator, but this is still a young tree and didn't bloom this year. The Colette had a very nice bloom after frost this spring.

I didn't expect fruit, but it set big time. This wasn't due to it being everbearing, though. I discoverd my neighbor has a Bradford pear (common landscaping tree that blooms in the spring) and that apparently cross-polinated the colette. I didn't get any secondary blooms, possibly due to the heavy fruit set from the first blooms and maybe because it is still a young tree.

Now the fruit is starting to turn yellow. Really unsure when to start picking the pears. Can anyone suggest a good way to determine when the pears should be picked?

p.s. My dwarf colette was from Miller. It is a fairly robust grower, so the root stock is not extremely dwarfing. My yard orchard is all dwarf trees, and I typically pay attention to the root stock, but in this case I bought it on sale to replace a tree, and it is working out as the espalier thus far.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 5:26PM
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aphahn(6a CO)

Lift the pear to above 90deg from where it is. Just above horizontal if it is hanging vertically. If it comes off at that point it is ready. They will be ready to pick before they are ready to eat. Put them in the fridge for a week or two after which they will ripen at room temperature in a few days. If left to ripen on the tree most European pears, including Colette, will go brown in the middle.

Hope this helps,


    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 9:23PM
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Noogy(6 sw mi)

The 4 collettes I got were super. Very close to bartlett but a little more complex. Pretty pear too. I had bartlett and collette to sample at the same time so I got a good idea of their flavors. I love bartlett too, just before peak ripe when it's a lil more acid.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 12:12PM
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