Variety of pear tree?

queenb(z8b East TX)August 27, 2010

I'm trying to find out if anyone knows the name of a particular variety of pear tree I've seen growing around my part of Texas (East and Gulf coast). The trees ripen around this time of year, and make huge green, hard pears, more suitable for canning, but can be eaten raw. I've seen them in the backyards of a lot of older homes, but have never known the actual name of the variety. Some of these pears can weigh a few pounds, they get so big!

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bart1(6/7 Northern VA)

I can't help with the name but european pears need to ripen off the tree. In other words, the hard green pears that you see now may turn into wonderful, juicy, soft green pears in a week or so on the counter or in the fridge.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 8:25PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

>hard pears, more suitable for canning, but can be eaten raw

I'm not an expert, but this matches descriptions of Kieffer pears.

Alex

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 9:42PM
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queenb(z8b East TX)

Alex, I think you're right. I managed to find some info on varieties that are grown in my area, and Kieffer and Orient pears are the two main ones that are grown around here. Kieffer pears fit the description of being big, hard, and somewhat gritty, which is what these pears are. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 10:59PM
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copingwithclay

Were you considering to plant one of these? If so, there are some better choices that have been proven in the area. Hood, Meadows, Acres Home, Southern King, Southern Queen, and Tennosui all have better fruit, as well as good disease resistance. These can be purchased each January & February at special fruit sales that are listed at that time in the Houston newspaper website (chron.com/houstongardening/). Multiple counties in the Houston area each have these one-day events. I clipped off the tops of the 'hard, gritty, non-enjoyable pear' trees here and grafted several of these others onto them.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 8:24AM
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gonebananas_gw

Another hint regarding Kieffer: these tend to have conspicuously drooping branches even when not weighed down with fruit.

I am not familiar with "Southern King" and several of those others I have heard of but have not been able to obtain scionwood for.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 9:18AM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

Are the pears ugly? Keiffers are ugly. I like the taste though.

If they're really, really big, they might be orients.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 6:06PM
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lucky_p

I've been eating Spalding, and now Biscamp pears, for the past couple of weeks - scions that I grafted these trees with came from a friend in TX; both tasty. Spalding - crisp white flesh, with sort of a 'lemony' flavor, Biscamp - quite a bit bigger, crisp juicy flesh, not really gritty, but just a good firm crisp, enjoyable pear.
Have been eating some Warren pears, too, but I just don't find them appealing - nice flavor, but that soft, cloying flesh with no crispness or grittyness is just not to my liking.

Growing up eating Keiffer, Orient, and Pineapple pears in the Deep South, those soft 'butter' pears are just not my thing.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 9:33PM
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queenb(z8b East TX)

>Were you considering to plant one of these?

I've thought about it, but I'll look into other varieties before I do. I'm sort of with Lucky on the whole pear thing -- I prefer eating a firmer pear, and don't mind the grittiness so much, and really, ripe Kieffers don't taste that bad. If I want a juicy pear that I have to keep a towel handy to eat it with, I'll buy a couple of Bartletts or D'Anjous from the store.

>Are the pears ugly? Keiffers are ugly...If they're really, really big, they might be orients.

The pears aren't the typical pear shape, kind of roundish and blocky, if that makes any sense. I got a bag full from a friend the other day, so I don't know what the tree looks like. These are kind of smallish to medium, but look like what I've usually seen. We've had a severe drought this year, so the fruit are probably stunted.

I have seen really huge ones before, same shape, sometimes weighing up to a few pounds apiece. These were older trees, and my friend cut them down years back because the previous landowner had planted 6-8 trees and they made a horrible stink when they weren't all gathered.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 10:34PM
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jstall(8 N.E.TX)

I live in East Texas and most the trees with very large pears I see are the Orient pear. They plant this pear because it is very blight proof and a very reliable producer. The Orient can weight up to a pound and a half. Most Kieffer pears in E.T. will get eat up with blight.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 8:16AM
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bhawkins(8A Dallas)

"roundish & blocky" sounds like orient. I bought some orientals at a farmers market this weekend, from Canton; they're smaller than what I've normally seen. They're kinda ugly too, but taste OK

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 9:07AM
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kingwood(9)

I grew Orient at a former home and it sounds like that is what you are describing. They are crunchy and tasty off the tree. I currently grow Akers Home, Southern Queen, and Meadows. The Akers Home is crisp and bland off the tree. They are very sweet and flavorful after a week in the frig. But they become soft, and I don't care for the soft pears either. The Southern Queen is crunchy, not gritty, and flavorful off the tree. Minor leaf disease, but no disease on fruit. It is large and has the traditional bell shape of the old time southern pears. Much prefer it to Akers Home. My Meadows flowered for the first time two weeks ago. Took the blooms off. Should have fruit next season. The Meadows has never had any leaf disease at all. Hope it will turn out to be a nice tasting crisp pear. Should know next year.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 1:48PM
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jstall(8 N.E.TX)

I have a Moonglow pear about ten years old. It had pears for the first time this season. I was very disappointed in the taste. We had a very dry summer and I am hoping the bad taste was because of the dry weather. They were beautiful on the tree, very pretty colors.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2010 at 9:45PM
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