Experience with Onward, Packham's Triumph pears?

milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)September 17, 2012

I want to get one more European pear. Currently I have Red Clapp's Favorite (Starkrimson) and Moonglow.

I was all set to order scion from Nick Botner but now I need to do something else (well maybe not NEED). I found Packham's Triumph pears at a local health food store and I must say the skin was quite bitter and the flesh not at all smooth. They also had Starkrimson and that was far and away a better pear.

I've been spending way too much time looking at reviews of pears and had come up with a few that I thought were the best: Ubileen, Belle Lucrative, Onward, Devoe, Dana Hovey, and Packham's Triumph.

Now that I tasted Packham's Triumph, grown in Argentina, I am worried that I may be disappointed with it or others that are, "curators favorites" or rated highly by the NCGR in Corvallis.

Is this just the typical fruit thing that happens when a fruit is not picked at it's prime for reasons of shipping, etc.?

Since I have a good European dessert pear, Red Clapp's, and I don't seem to have any fire blight issues, I want a pear that can be stored. It seems that Dana Hovey would be good but I am seriously looking at Onward, which I found a source for.

Is there any pear officianodo that has a few of these that can give me their opinion?

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I had a store bought Packham a month ago that pleasantly surprised me. It was surprisingly nice. Although I probably peeled it.

I also have to admit I had a Bartlett I actually liked for the first time today. Trader Joe's is bringing in some organic small ones that actually taste good. I never had thought much of Bartlett before.

My fav's in American grocery stores have been Seckel and Comice. And Magness in an orchard. Standard winners for me. Scott recommends Fondante des Moulins-Lille for its precociousness plus taste combo. If it's good enough for Scott, it's good enough for me!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 11:06PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Bartlett is an amazing pear, the only problem is the quality in the stores. Packham's is a very good pear but Bartlett has the potential to be much better.

I agree Magness beats all others, but it is hard to get a crop. Supposedly it is hard to pollinate properly.

Fondante des Moulins-Lille has been the most reliable for me and is also easy to ripen and tastes excellent. Some pears can be really hard to ripen properly, you need to pick them in a certain window which is hard to recognize because the fruits are still green and hard. Too early and they never ripen, too late and they rot from the inside out. FdML has a very wide picking window so I always get lots of good fruit from it. The nursery descriptions never seem to touch on this topic. One reason why Seckel is such a common pear in the US is it is very easy to ripen.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 9:43AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)


You make a very good point about getting a consistent crop. I am also looking for something that will store fairly well. I was thinking that Dana Hovey would be good for a winter pear. I think you have both. Would you consider Fondante des Moulins-Lille to store well?

I don't know why but every time I read about Belle Lucrative it really sounds like a good one also. All of these seem to ripen at the same time.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:23PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I haven't stored my Fondante more than a month. It is a midseason, not a winter pear. Dana Hovey is a recent graft, I did have it on another tree but something knocked it off so I had to start over. In general I don't have a lot of pears fruiting, I put them on full stock in not enough sun and too closely planted. I have a new pear planting in full sun on quince with more reasonable spacing.


PS See the link below for a great reference on some of the classic pears.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hartman link

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 5:08PM
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Tree ripened Bartletts are great here, but Flemish Beauty is better, in my mind at least. I've never gotten a bloom on my Dana's Hovey or White Doyenne, two that are highly recommended as desert pears. Ditto Winter Nellis and Warden's Seckel. Maybe next year. FB was the major pear crop in the NE until wiped out by fireblight. I have Clapp's Favorite but it hasn't cropped either.

Bartlett sure is user friendly in terms of ripening and storage, and is an excellent pear. I think with a new name that was a little more poetic it would be more highly regarded!!


    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 5:39PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I just found the info I wanted regarding Onward. The Orange Pippin website says it will keep 1-2 weeks, so I don't think that will work for me.

Anyone else have experience with how well Fondante des Moulins-Lille will keep?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 6:14PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I am unable to find bare root Fondante des Moulins-Lille on anything but Quince. Tierra Madre just put up their bare root trees and they have it, but only on Quince. (Or a 2-gallon pot on OHxF 97). I don't think Quince will be hardy enough for zone 5.

Other suggestions?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 7:14PM
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A couple of years ago I wanted a "Frost" pear but couldn't buy a scion, and didn't have room for a tree, so I paid the $28 for the tree and gave it to a friend after claiming my scion and replacing it with a Flemish Beauty graft.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 8:38PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Seckel is my favorite, by far. I am also a big fan of Bosc.

Comice is supposed to be outstanding, although my tree hasn't started to bear yet.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 3:03AM
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