Please help me identify these pears!

kylemobSeptember 12, 2013

Hello, I'm new here and have a question about my pears. I've lived at this house for 2 years and have been picking about 65 lbs of pears off a mature pear tree each year. Last year (2012) I picked in the first week of October, and this year I picked yesterday, Sept 10th.

I took a couple of these pears into my local nursery last year when I picked them late in the season and they told me they thought it was a Bosc pear tree. After doing some research I have to disagree, because the harvest time is too early for Bosc and the color isn't right. However, some of these pears do take on the deep rusty color, but they are few..

They have a wide variety of shapes, from round and fat with no neck to the typical pear appearance with a pronounced neck. The color doesn't seem right for a Bartlett either. These pears are primarily green with 1/3 to 1/2 of its surface area covered with that rust appearance that Boscs get over their entire surface. Straight off the tree the pear has a crunchy flesh with a grainy, sweet flavor. They ripen to be soft and sweet.

Since I was told last year that they were Bosc, I followed the deep freeze process and ended up losing about half the harvest when they thawed and rotted. So, based on what you fine people come up with as to a brand of pear, can you help me with instructions on proper ripening (freezing? letting sit on the counter? combination of the two?)? Thank you ahead of time!

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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

That pear looks familiar but no name is coming. Pears usually do well with something like two weeks in fridge (not freezer!) followed by up to a week of ripening on the counter. Each variety varies a bit, some don't need any fridge time at all.

Scott

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 8:33AM
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kylemob

Thanks Scott, I am trying to figure out the brand so I can ripen them appropriately and then can them.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 6:20PM
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Dan.NY

Those look like what I think is bartlett.. Scott you dont think its a bartlett?? The tree I bought, labled bartlett, produces nearly the same shape and color pear. Mine were picked early and green.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:59PM
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marknmt

Could they be Packham? I've seen Packhams sold as Bartlett, and they are similar, with Packham having that "knobby" quality I see in your boxed pears.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 10:02PM
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schiba(5b)

Anjou?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 11:25PM
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swampsnaggs

The shape of the pear gives us some clues. The pears in the original posting are "ovate pyriform" or similar. This may be clapp's favorite if they are pale lemon yellow with red mottling.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 7:01AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Those necks are very fat.. not common. I would guess Duchess d'Angouleme, it has a fat neck and was popular in the past, and you say your tree is an older one. If you had an estimate of the age it would help narrow it down, for example it also looks a bit like Harrow Delight but thats not that old a pear so I am expecting it is not a match.

Scott

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 8:43AM
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malusmaven

I have Moonglow and these look similar- fat necks

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 7:18PM
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kylemob

Thanks everyone. They are not Bartletts, the coloring and shape are not correct and I have compared them to multiple Bartlett examples.

Scott, all i have to go off of is the house it is planted next to was built in 1962, so I am thinking the tree is somewhere around that date.

Dan.NY, my pears do not have the same shape as your Bartletts, mine mostly have no necks while yours are well defined and a nice green. My pears grow with the rusty color over much of their surface area from the beginning, not just after they've been picked from the tree.

Thanks for the replies everyone!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 2:38AM
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kylemob

Based on the recommendations from you all, i have narrowed it down to Moonglow, Duchess d'Angoule, or maybe a variety of Hardy.

Harrow delight and clapps favorite are out because my pears have no red coloring, just the brownish-rust color. Packham's, like the Bartletts, have too pronounced a neck compared to my pears. As I said before, some have a pronounced neck but most are very fat with no obvious neck. Thanks for all the help so far, hopefully I will get to the bottom of this.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 3:17AM
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strobiculate

It's theoretically conceivable that you have some 600 possible varieties to choose from. It's far more likely the realistic pool of candidates is less than twenty, possibly under six.

Just picking which six? I'd find a couple of orchard growers and find out which varieties were the most common in your area sometime between 1955 and 1970.

Somewhere, I have a book titled, appropriately enough, Pears, published in Great Britain. Since you can never find the book you want when you want it, this is from memory: The most accurate guide in identifying pear cultivars is petiole length.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 7:58AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

There is in fact such a book published in the same state and around the same time as the original poster's house was built: Hartman's excellent pear guide. The link is below to the PDF. Note that many of these pears were uncommon ones, it is all the pears grown at the experiment station there.

Moonglow is not in it, it was released in the early 1960's. I know that Duchess was a common pear in the west many years ago. If you look at ripening times etc you may be able to decide it is one of those two.

Scott

Here is a link that might be useful: Pear Evaluation

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 9:30AM
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kylemob

Thanks again everyone, you all are great

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:34AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I can't help with the ID but I have learned a lot from the GRIN site. It's a perfect site to peruse when the winter sets in:

Here is a link that might be useful: NCGR-Corvallis - Pyrus Germplasm

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 12:34PM
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murkwell

The germplasm repositories are wonderful. Here's a picture from the pear collection in Corvallis this past winter. Each tree is a different variety with few exceptions for replacements.

Don't mind the tree shapes, they are grown for wood more than fruit.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 2:53PM
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northwoodswis4

Does it really matter? Is there that much difference in taste in pear varieties? Just eat them and enjoy. I think the common practice for most is to pick while green as soon as you see the first pear turn yellow on your tree. Then ripen them on the counter or put in the fridge first to hold them until you can eat or process them. For years I canned about 20 quarts a year from an unknown variety of pear tree that came with our first house by just setting the pears on the counter or on tables in the basement to ripen. I would pick them in batches every few days to avoid having them all ripen at once.I had never heard of putting them in the fridge first.
Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:59AM
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NilaJones(7b)

>Is there that much difference in taste in pear varieties?

Oh my goodness, yes!

I don't know what those pears are (if they are not Comice) but they certainly are not Bartlett.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 1:39AM
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hannah9880(5b)

Thanx milehighgirl for the link to that wonderful website.

Now if I could just find info on the so-called Harrow Delight pear grafted in 2006 which has produced at least a bushel on my Bartlett. I think it may be Harrow 606: the graft bears after Bartlett and not before. Am searching Ontario web sites for further information, and hesitate to ask sender of scion for more information. Have refrigerated these pears and want to try room ripening in about two weeks.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 8:30AM
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