Duchess, excellent Comice type pear for the east

alan haighSeptember 24, 2012

Most of my pear crop got wiped out by late frost and the few fruit remaining haven't got much of my attention. I just picked a couple of Duchess, one of which was tree ripened so I ate it right away. Although it was grainy instead of buttery, due to letting it tree ripen, it was an excellent, high flavored pear.

Duchess is easy to grow and seems scab a psyla resistant- many of my pears which didn't receive spray because of poor cropping have long since defoliated as scab and psyla has been a presence here the last few years. The Duchess trees as well as Bartlett, Magness, Harrow Sweet and Sheldon still have healthy foliage.

Duchess fruit looks pretty much the same as Comice and gets a buttery texture when picked a bit early and properly ripened. I don't see much difference between it and Sheldon besides Duchess being larger.

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glib(5.5)

Is this the #1 Comice type for the East, in your opinion?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 5:36PM
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alan haigh

Well it certainly is a better performer for me than Highland but I need more time to compare it to Sheldon side by side. It bore for the first time last year and this year both varieties had barely any fruit because of the weather.

I believe I originally ordered a few of these because Ed Fackler recommended it for the midwest.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:23PM
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glib(5.5)

I find it difficult to find comice pear trees for sale on the web. Any suggestion? I see a D' Anjou at ACN but perhaps not a Comice.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 10:50AM
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spartan-apple

Glib:

I know Raintree has offered them in the past. My friend bought one. I have been sorely tempted to try growing Comice as one of my favorites. A local orchardist has a few. He tells me it is the most difficult pear to grow
as the fruits get large and tend to blow off the tree when
windy. He cut his down and left just a few for his own family Too hard to grow commercially here it seems. Just an FYI that you may want to site your tree where it gets
protection from the wind if possible.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:25AM
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persianmd2orchard

Is this referring to Duchesse d'Angouleme?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 6:31PM
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alan haigh

I believe it is simply Duchess. I got mine from Stark Bros. so you can ask them, but Fruit, Berry and Nut Inventory lists them separately.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 6:42PM
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alan haigh

I believe it is simply Duchess. I got mine from Stark Bros. so you can ask them, but Fruit, Berry and Nut Inventory lists them separately.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 6:46PM
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