20th century pear

colonel_kernelJune 6, 2014

I have space enough for one more tree. Was thinking about the 20th century pear, but was wondering if anyone had experience with this tree. I won't have room for two; I've read that it's self fertile, but also can be pollenated with another Asian pear. Will I be able to get a decent amount of fruit from just one tree? Plus, how is the flavor? I like pears of all types; the wife, not so much... It says that the flavor is crisp and tart like an apple.

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valgor(4b, WI)

The 20th centuries I have tasted are great, crunchy, sweet, very juicy, but a fruit I would peel before eating, unless you like chewing sun hardened leather. My own trees have only been in the ground a year and are only four feet tall, so I can't speak to their growth or fruiting virtues. I am in zone 4, it was a rough winter and much of last years growth died back, but not so much on the 20th century as on my Shinseiki, which I planted as an extra pollinator. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 7:33AM
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My 20th century has mild flavor, not very sweet but is crunchy. It's light yellow, thin skin. I can eat it wthout peeling unlike Korean Giant with has tougher/russet brown skin.

It's at least 5 yrs old and has producing well until this year. It was loaded last year and I did not thin enough or in time. It took a year off this year. No a flower this year.

I am in central MA, east coast. Last year, 20th had what I think, blossom blight on one branch but did not spread (thanks goodness).

I prefer Korean Giant over 20th century. KG tastes better, sweeter, bigger, as cold hardy or even more, and is more disease resistant.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 8:36AM
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I was interested in it also and got some scions and grafted to rootstalk just this year. So this is not my personal experience, but a conclusions from reading: It will fruit quite young, so you can try it in 3 years from now, unlike most peoples experience with Euro pears. The 20th may even try to fruit next year, but best to pick off the flowers and take the energy in tree development.

Eating: basically it has the physicals of an apple with pear flavor. But not the blow you away flavor of a good Euro pear picked at the right time. You cannot combine Euro & Asian pears on the same tree by grafting, but they are fine with each others pollen.

If you don't have a peach tree you should get one instead of a pear. but if you have enough on peaches 20th is worth planting.

You know, I'm starting to think myself out of this luke warm endorsement of 20th. There are some euro pears that bear fruit at a young age, and much better flavor. I got 3 different ones from Cummins nursury, I can't think of any of the names right now, but if you can wait until next spring call them and discuss

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 9:57AM
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I don't know where you live. Location is important to know. The same tree does not give the same result if planting in quite a differnt location/climate even in the same zone hardiness.

In my area, planting A. pear is much easier than peaches re. care and spraying.

All my Asian pear fruit in 3 years (some flowered in 2nd year). I don't have much experience with E. pears. With my limited experience with E. pear, I love my Harrow Sweet. It flowered and fruited in a span of 12 months. It tastes good, disease-resistant and precocious.

If I could plant only one pear tree, my E. pear's choice would be Harrow Sweet and the A. pear's would be Korean Giant.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 12:35PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I fruited 20th Century many yrs in Amarillo ~25 yrs ago. Haven't planted another. It wasn't bad but I agree KG is better. As to fruit set, it's more likely you'll spend hrs thinning than lack fruit. None of the Asians are as good as Comice or Bosc but mine took 7 yrs to flower and both are finicky about setting after that. I've planted Harrow Sweet no fruit yet.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 12:49PM
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I live in Texas on the north side of Sabine lake, near the coast. I like the idea of peaches, but I'm not a huge fan of the fuzz; kind of turns me away from eating them. I do like nectarines. I completely new to growing trees, but have a rather large yard (I'm trying to eat up space so I have less to mow!). So far, I've got 1 methley plum, 4 mayhaws, 1 cot-n-candy, 2 cherry, 2 paw paws (still haven't leafed out...) and a lime tree planted this year. I already have a large pecan tree, a large satsuma orange and 3 figs on the property. And I planted 10 blackberry canes this year too. I've got a spot where I can put one more tree... I was interested in this pear, but it's not sounding like a winner, just average. I'm not set on a pear either. If I could think of a spot to put another tree to where it wouldn't be cluttered, I'd just do two low chill apples. There doesn't seem to be any self fruitful apples, or at least ones that are low chill. I'm open to suggestions, but will be happy any way I go anyways.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 3:12PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I love nectarine also but they are harder to grow than peaches. I'm with you on the peach fuzz but have figured out how to handle it. Take your peach and spin/rub it on a towel, cloth or tough paper. About 30 seconds work and you can clean off the fuzz so it's basically like a nectarine. Don't do it on your shirt. I've tried that and had to change shirts.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 3:41PM
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I'll have to try that! I do love the flavor and texture of peaches, just could do without the fuzz.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 6:00PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I got a few fruits from my 20th Century and Korean Giant last year for the first time (year 3). I agree with both Fruitnut and Mamuang that 20th Century isn't bad, but Korean Giant is better.

I don't think adding trees will help with mowing. Now that I've covered half my lawn (almost 100% of the yard is 50% covered in raised beds), it is actually harder to mow. Now, you'll have things to mow around and edging around raised beds is even worse.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 8:28PM
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I just want less mowing; I don't hate it, but not in love with it either. I plan on adding a row of muscadines or more berries next year, plus a garden for veggies. I'm gonna leave quite a but of yard though; gotta have room for the little one to run around.
I'll research more pears; looking for one with very little to no grit, with a good tart and crisp taste. Also, self fruiting....

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 9:10PM
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alan haigh

I've managed 20th C. for years and also vote for KG. The only TC's I've eaten off trees here that were really good were grown against a south wall. Asian pears need very high sugar to be worth eating- KG obtains that level of sugar more easily than TC. I assume that under a more intense sun TC would be better and it's thinner skin is a virtue. Sometimes Japanese customers prefer it but general concensus here is for KG.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 6:10AM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

In Dallas 20'th Cent & Chojuro are the most prone to fireblight of my asians. Of course you're in a much warmer climate so your results could be different.

You might try the Texas Rare Fruit Yahoo group. It's pretty active, & half the members seem to be in Houston. They're always talking about the best pears for your area.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 8:21AM
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