Douglas 1-2 years? Harrow Sweet 2-3 years? Baldwin 3 years? Kreiffer 4years? Lilly des Moulins (sic) ???
Several reported Harrow Sweet bloomed the year it was planted. That has me interested because it's also supposed to taste very good.
Scott says Fondante des Moulins-Lille is very precocious and great tasting. But I don't know where to buy that one.
I don't have other E. pears to compare.
I can say that my Harrow Sweet blooms within 12 months. I planted mine April, 2012. This April, it bloomed and set fruit.
I will keep a couple. Can't wait to find out about its taste!
As for the Houston area, Acres Home is quite the eager beaver. It is a FB resistant European type that is good for fresh eating. For me, 2 mature trees that got some Acres Home scions grafted to them were ready to fruit after 2 years. Also, a 3-gallon potted Acres Home was ready to fruit after 2 years of being planted in the ground. If interested, I could offer budwood next Winter.
I agree with Scott's opinion of Fondante des Moulins-Lille, mine has fruit set in the second year. And my Seckel set fruit the first year, and I had to thin a few this, the second year. You should be able to find FdM-L at http://www.tierramadrefarm.com/
Advice for pears that won't do well in your area is not probably helpful. CWC knows this. I do wonder how Harrow Sweet would do in that climate. It is much more precocious than Seckel and has resistance to fire blight (Seckel's alleged resistance is less than impressive here) but I don't know if it's been tested at all in your climate.
I'm amazed at the variation between pear varieties. 1-12 years. I'm willing to gamble on a tree, if ill know the results in 2-3 years. I planted HS and FML this spring: I may try an acres home, though I bet it would bloom in dallas in jan, 6 weeks before our last frost.
I wonder what other varieties I should try?
Harvestman, interesting that you say this about Seckel in relation to FB. We have issues with FB here - I can drive around my area and look at all the tons of Bradford Ornamental pear trees that are used here in this part of S. California for ornamentals, and spot the FB. I have been religiously checking my 16 pears and about 12-15 apples, many heirloom varieties for any sign of FB. The ONLY tree I have found it on, and that was just this last month, was one branch on my Seckel. About had a heart attack, as I wasn't watching that tree nearly as carefully as all my others. I was so shocked to see it. So, now I really am on the lookout. Cut out the branch and sterilized my pruners. Have not sprayed. Will see what proceeds from here.
I've seen some FB in seckel pears here over the years and actually had one die from it- but I manage a lot of them. My sister has one on her site N. of Eureka CA that gets small strikes regularly without ever going into big wood. I think that's the main Seckel claim to fame- that it usually doesn't pass into larger wood.