My Southern Pear

Bulletin Board 

Editor

Travis J. Callahan  11403 Wesley Road, Abbeville, LA 70510

337-893-9134   E-mail teejcee@cox.net

 

United States Department of Agriculture

Click here to see the fine zone chart with your county zones 

Below is another  chart that is a little easier to interpret


Pear report January 10, 2016 Pace , Florida

2015 Pear Bloom Dates in Pace by Carl Mohrherr







Carl Mohrherr


  Pear Report January 11, 2016 Statesboro, GA

Marcus Toole report on the  2015 Season




Marcus Toole




Pear Report Spring 2016 Abbeville, LA
Travis Callahan

2015 year was much different than many of the years in the past. Due to what may well be the over cropping of the past five years, I had very few pears on my trees.

My two pear trees were nine  years old and each grafted over to six varieties. Two years ago my East pear began to decline and I removed it this past year . I never did  see any specific reason for the decline, but it started when I removed two limbs of Hosui due to fireblight.

That same year the Hosui limbs on the  second pear began to die from the tip to the trunk and I removed those limbs.

2015 began with few flowers on both trees and the East pear began to show signs of decline in more limbs. I then removed that tree which was in its ninth year since planting. I replaced it with a young Flordahome pear tree. I planted that tree on a mound which is typically what I do due to  the average 67.0 inches of rain yearly  and the low elevation of south Louisiana.

2015 was 81.3 inches.

I will be adding three varieties to the new tree in 2016. I chose the tree because of three well spaced limbs below the main portion yet still four feet above the ground.





The mound appears to be taller than it really is since there is four inches of mulch in place to prevent dirt from washing away due to an approaching weather system that dumped five inches of rain in three hours. Note the Celeste fig in the background on a similar mound.



There have been other rain events in the past such as this one last fall. We are sub tropical here  and our proximity to the Gulf Of Mexico causes some strange weather situations. This is the tree that was removed, however the removal had nothing to do with rain.



So with the replacement of one pear tree I began to notice problems with the second. Leaf spot developed on the tree but not the usual minor infestation. This one was a major event.



I contacted LSU and asked if my diagnosis was correct. The letter follows:




Yes, that's a terrible case of Entomosporium leaf spot on the pear. It's too late to do anything about this outbreak. Pears were especially hard hit this spring because of all the rainy weather. Most years this disease is not so bad.

However, if you would like to reduce leaf spot problems in the future, you can spray your tree regularly (generally about every 7 days during rainy weather every 10 to 14 days when weather is dry) from the time it starts leafing out until the leaves are fully mature. You may use chlorothalonil (Daconil and other brands) or a copper fungicide (Liquid Copper, Copper Shield, Copper Fungicide and other brands).

Be sure to rake up and dispose of any leaves that fall this summer.

Dan Gill
Consumer Horticulture Specialist
LSU AgCenter


So I will be returning to my Spray Schedule that I used for 20 years at my former location. Evidentally I cannot rely on totally organic means to suppress disease and pests.



Pear Report Summer 2014 Abbeville, LA




Once again the crop of pears in my orchard is heavy. My pear orchard, because of my small yard,  is two trees eight years old on which I had grafted six varieties of pear in February 2006 .

I have been observing the trees for fireblight and was happy to see that I had no problems until this year. The Hosui pear limbs on both trees had to be removed due to heavy blight to the point of actually killing the limbs. Strangely, the limbs set fruit, and the fruit were nearly full size when the limbs went into rapid decline and the fruit fell and the limbs died. Now I no longer have that variety after 25 years of never having a fire blight problem of any magnitude. All the other limbs on the two "variety trees" have no problems. I have added two limbs of the local  pear tree  we named Ed Hardy. The parent tree of that one is 30 years old and bears good crops of good pears every year despite being in partial shade.

The fruit have a problem in regards to some new bird visitors/residents. The Brown Thrasher is usually out of sight and  may or may not be   attacking my fruit but there is no doubt that the new wood peckers really like my pears. The Thrasher  can be seen   eating bugs on the ground under my fig trees, but so far I have not witnessed the Brown Thrasher actually eating the pears.

The winter weather here is normally very predictable but three ice storms in two months this winter really got my attention.
Travis

Early spring pear tree report 2014

Marcus Toole

Statesboro, GA

 

Hi Travis, it looks like spring is pretty much here in SE Georgia.  We got 861 chill hours this year.  Our coldest weather this year was 15 F which bit back a couple of my fig trees pretty badly.  The above ground parts of my Negroni fig appear dead, but I'm hoping to get stump growth.  Anyway I thought that it looks like for sure two and maybe all three of the southern pears that I planted in fall of 2011 are going to bloom this year.  Sug and Southern Bartlett are the furthest along.  Both are in the late popcorn stage of budding out.  It looks like they are going to bloom together in our climate.

My aunt's two big old pear trees are about a week ahead of mine.  The photo below was taken last week.  Note, the squirrels got most of the bloom buds during the winter.  The squirrels need to die!

Hopefully I will have a few pears off of my trees this year.  I'm praying that I can get rid of the squirrels or at least most of them before

 they destroy all my fruit production this year.






Report from Marcus Toole December 2013 
Report from Statesboro, GA

Hi Travis, this is Marcus Toole from Statesboro GA.  I thought that I would give a brief report on my pears.  All three pear trees, Southern Barttlet, Sug, and Tenn grew really well this year.  Tenn appears to be the slowest grower of the three.  Only Southern Barttlet bloomed a little bit.  It had a very nice show of fall color this year.  I think it's going the be a rival for Bradford pears for fall color once it gets a bit bigger.   

These three trees were  planted  in 2012

Tenn with Southern Bartlett in the background

Sug with Southern Bartlet in the background (Aug 12).



Fall color on Southern Bartlett

September 23, 2013

Report from South Louisiana

Travis J Callahan

teejcee@cox.net

The pear harvest has ended for 2013 and it was the lightest harvest I have had in 25 years. Three mild winters in a row has a strange effect on fruit trees. I just hope we get some colder weather this year.

What we lacked in numbers of pears harvested was apparent in the size of the individual fruit. Here is a Leona pear that I harvested today that weighed in at 18.8 ounces.

That is one big pear !

Here in deep Zone 9 we get an average of 150 hous of chill each winter. With that amount of cold weather we can fruit everthing in the orchard. When I planted and grafted I kept in mind that some winters are less cold that 150 hours and I put in a mix of low chill and slightly higher chill varieties of pear.

 The  years of 2011 and 2012 we had mild winters and limb breaking crops.  I was concerned when  we did not get a normal winter (whatever that is ) last year.

So there were enough fruit for our needs but no extra. Just north of me  eighty miles people report a normal winter in regards to chill.

Zone nine is never normal.

Travis

Bloom Report from Carl Mohrherr

 

Pace Florida 2012-2013


1-May-13

Blooms present

Olton Broussard.

4/6/2013

Hosui

4/6/2013

20th Centery

4/18/2013

Korean Giant

4/28/2013

Shinseiki

4/29/2013

Sinko

xx

Unknown Chinese Pear

not recorded

 

 

Southern Bartlett

2/6/2013

Ayer

xx

Cajun pineapple

2/26/2013

Carnes

1/11/2013

Court House Sq

not recorded is early

Florida Home

2/6/2013

Golden Boy

2/13/2013

Hoods

12/27/2012

Kieffer

3/13/2013

Leconte

2/22/2013

Leona

2/13/2013

Moonglo

3/6/2013

Orient

2/26/2013

Sug

2/2/2013

Tenns

2/24/2013

Unknown sweet pear

4/4/2013

Pineapple

1/11/2013


Carl

 

4-4-13

Low Chill in South Louisiana  is easy to see this year. In fact I can always see when our winter has been mild. The high  chill Olton Broussard, Hosui, and Korean Giant on my variety trees will not bloom for the third year in a row. Those will gradually leaf out but will not bloom.

The low chill Southern Bartlett, Leona, Orient on the same trees will bloom and set very large crops of pears. 

It is for this reason that we don't plant an orchard of trees with high chill requirements here in Zone 9. In the years where we are colder than normal the high chill trees will produce fruit but not every year. As you move North from me there are more varieties that will produce fruit for you in an average year.

As an example with the mayhaw fruit the natural range is Southern Arkansas to the Gulf. The mayhaw tree is so low chill that it will bloom in January and the blooms will be killed by late spring freezes.

low

end

 

Introducing Joseph Postman

  Co-Chair of the Nafex Western Pear Interest Group

 

Curatorís Choice: Favorite Pears from the USDA-ARS Collection Joseph Postman, USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository, Corvallis, Oregon

As curator of the World Pear Collection at the National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon

 I have the rare opportunity to evaluate and sample more than a thousand different edible pear varieties. The trees are growing as single-tree specimens in a 10 acre orchard located on the Oregon State Universityís horticulture research farm east of Corvallis. I am frequently asked the very challenging question "what is your favorite pear." There are easily more than a hundred varieties with fruit quality as good or better than those in the commercial market, and another hundred or more that we have yet to sample. Listed below are just a few of my favorites.

Click here for   Joseph Postman's USDA-ARS Page

 

Carl Mohrherr

Report from Pace, Florida: October 2012

 
I have a Tenn. pear tree that is grafted unto an unknown rootstock.  It has been yielding pears for the last two yrs including this year.  The pears were ripe mostly prior to September which is earlier than last yr.  The Olton Broussard pears were also early.  The Tenn. tree to the best of my knowledge was not stressed and is now blooming. 

 For now I will do nothing, but if it sets fruit than I will remove them since there is little chance of the fruit maturing at this late date. 

This year was unusually wet in my locality and some trees, especially the hoods, did not have a lot of pears.  One older Keffer that is obviously on dwarfing rootstock set fewer pears, but the pears were huge, equal in size to large orient pears.   The squirrels got all of asian pears and most of the Olton Broussards also and quite few other pears.  Now that retirement should happen soon I will adjust accounts with those varmints and find out if pear and persimmon fed squirrels taste good.  Little apparent disease except for one Chinese pear that died and it never did well anyway so it is of no great loss.  The Southern  Bartlett did alright. 
 
I am looking for Tennoshi and Southern Queen grafting wood if anyone out there has any to spare.  my email is pacemill@gmail.com.  I am willing to trade what ever wood I have that might be of value. 

 

I will remove much of the shading trees this winter and my fruit yield should go up here in Pace, FL. 
 
Carl Mohrherr

 

Editor's Note:

I have received many reports of  bloom and harvest  times up to one month early . Basically here in Zone 9 we had no winter 2011/2012. We always have a small fall bloom which is common with very low chill fruit. My rainfall amounts are at the yearly average after two years of drought. I maintain a journal of observed weather conditions and rainfall amounts and ten weeks left in this year I may exceed the 66.7 inch yearly average.

Travis Callahan

 

 

 

 

Report from Larry Stephenson

Carrolton, Mississippi

September 13, 2012

Hello Group,

 If you have a few minutes, would you please look at these pictures of a pear I've found? I'm hoping you might identify it, I can't. The tree is growing in Duck Hill, MS, owner says it was old when they moved into the property 30 years ago. It's a great big round pear, looks like a big Golden Delicious. Pretty sure it's European, not Asian. Leaves and twigs look European, taste and texture seem European. ALL the old pears I've seen around here are Keiffers, this ain't one. Shaped a little like an Orient, but not exactly - what I've been calling Orient is more pyrimidal, with a small neck. This is rounder. My Orients have a green skin, good bit of russeting, harder, coarse texture, some grit. This pear has very thin, yellow skin (bruises easily) that breaks apart easily in the mouth - no need to peel this one. Very small core, no grit at all. Slight patches of russeting. Superb taste, very sweet with just a bit of tartness, slight metallic twang. Smooth, creamy texture. I am most impressed with this pear, taste is better and skin thinner than the Bartletts I get at the grocery store. The tree has not been sprayed so it must be very blight-resistant; we've had a bad year for fire blight. I'm impressed it has pears at all, all mine have fallen early this year and so have everyone else I've talked to in this area. I'd really like to ID it, but it doesn't matter, I am impressed enough to change my grafting strategy for next year - think I'll use all my rootstock on this pear, I believe it's better than anything else I have. Hope to hear from you soon.

Larry Stephenson

 

The Duck Hill  Pear

 

 

The Duck Hill Pear Tree

 

 

 

Travis J. Callahan

Report from South Louisiana 

 June 9, 2012

Observation of the pear trees today shows that only my two lowest chill pear trees have set fruit. The Hosui, Korean Giant, Orient/Pineapple, and Olton Broussard have not set a single fruit. That proves that my trees are extremely low chill but only two will produce with nearly no chill at all.

The two lowest chill pears, Southern Bartlett and Leona,   are really loaded.

 

 

A little out of focus due to movement with the high winds coming off the Gulf of Mexico today

 

 

 

Carl Mohrherr

Report from Florida

 
I was mowing around the base of my trees today and thought I would note which of these are flowering.  In future years I will keep more detailed records.  I try to always have pears near one another that flower at the same time. Temperature could drop to 25 F tonight.


Feb 11. 2012 Pace, Florida in ZIP 32571
No buds means no emerging flower buds or leaf buds

Asian pears and Olton Broussard.  No buds.
Other pears:
Hoods bloomed in January
Florida Home have bloomed
Joy and tropic sweet apple bloomed early this year.
Two different unknown plum trees bloomed early
Chickasaw plums: some have started to bloom and and others have small buds.
Moonglo-no buds
Unknown sweet pear=no buds
Luella-beginning to bloom
Cajun pineapple=no buds
Orients-no buds
Kieffer=no buds
 Southern Bartlett=large bugs ready to flower
Golden Boy=no buds
Sug=flowers
Court House Sq=buds ready to bloom
Carnes=flowered early
What is probably a pineapple flowered same time as the Carnes
Leconte=no buds
quince=no buds
?Ayer=no buds
Tenns=no buds
At ;least one mulberry has blooms.
Lowquat has set some small fruit.
A nectarine has flowered early also and the others have not yet done so.

Carl Mohrherr

 

 

 

 

Marcus Toole 

Report from Statesboro, GA 

March 31, 2012

 

 I am moving into my parentís old house in Statesboro Georgia from Canada.  My mom who has Alzheimerís now lives with my sister and the main reason for the move is to be closer by to help my sister with my mom.  Anyway, Iím taking over the old place and plan to plant some fruit trees.  I have space for three pear trees and am looking for the best .

 

  My lot in Statesboro is fairly small, probably a half acre lot.  We have 350 acres about ten miles away, but that is mostly planted pine.  There is no good way to water anything out there.   In my yard, space wise, I figure that I can cheat a bit.  Iím guessing that standard pears will need to be on 20 to 25 foot centers, eventually, but thatís probably 20 years off. 

There are two very old pear trees in the yard and if I canít get the two grand old trees to bear fruit again, maybe I can give them a new lease on life by grafting them onto a young tree and then cut the old trees down.  They are so big that this would open up space for about four other fruit trees. Being in the shade probably retarded the fruit production.

 

 

The smaller tree with my house in the background.  Before I started clearing wisteria and oak trees, you could not see my house from this spot due to the jungle.  It is a miracle that these trees survived at all.  They must be made of tough stuff.

 The two big trees bloomed and leafed out about a week and a half before the young trees did.  This growing season is sufficiently odd, and since the young trees are so young and did not bloom, Iím guessing that it is too soon to say that these two trees are early blooming varieties.  Later I plan to send you photos of mature fruit, if the squirrels let me get some.  

My new pear trees

 

This photo is of Tennís in the foreground and Sug in the background.  Of the three trees I bought, Tennís was the smallest and is growing the slowest, but just the same it is doing very well.  Sug is growing the fastest of the three.

This is the Southern Bartlett Pear which I bought from Just Fruits and Exotics.  This was the first year they were available on a very limited basis.  I think I remember the guy at the nursery saying that my tree was the very first one shipped to Georgia.  So far it looks great and is growing like a weed.

 

 

 

Welcome New Member Larry Stephenson

  Carrollton, Mississippi  

Hello Group,

     I've got about 40 pears, 20 different varieties. Only 3 are old enough to bear regularly; Kieffer, Korean Giant and Orient. Last year was about average, I picked probably 8 or 9 five-gallon buckets. I have several trees 5 or 6 years old (some might be 7 or 8 ) that are slow to bear. Maxine and Moonglow are the worst offenders. Maxine is a tremendous grower; I must have pruned off a ton of wood from this tree over the years, without having a pear to taste. Last year it finally did bloom and had a few pears, but they were blown off by wind or just fell before I could try one. I see a fair number of buds on it now so I'm hoping this year it will produce something. I have been a Nafex and SFF member for about three years.

     Moonglow is a slow grower, not vigorous at all. It also had a few pears last year, which I missed. It's covered with buds now, so maybe it'll bear this year. I'm wondering if I grafted it on Calleryana  roots if it might bear more and faster. My tree must be on some kind of dwarfing rootstock.

One Ayers is 6 years old and also had a few pears for the first time last year.

 

     Warren, Hood, young Orient, Pineapple, and Shinko all tried to have a few pears last year. They're 2 or 3 years old but well-grown trees, so there's a possibility they might make pears this year.

     Warren, Potomac, Blake's Pride, and Shinko are the varieties I think are most likely to give me good soft eating pears, so they get a little more attention than the other trees. I also have Seckel and Magness, but I'm not sure they're true to variety; I got them from a big discount nursery, and they all look suspiciously alike. If they bear this year maybe I'll be able to tell. I can always graft other pears on them

     I used to be quite proud of the asian pears I produced. I had Hosui (superb quality), New Century, and 20th Century that made several bushels of very fine pears regularly each year. I grew asian pears quite successfully for ten years without even knowing what fire blight was. When it started 5 years ago it absolutely devastated my asian pears. I've cut them all back to stumps and grafted Shinko on them. Shinko seems to be resistant. Korean Giant gets it, but mostly just on the branch tips. I watch pretty carefully and cut it out ASAP, and it doesn't seem to re-infect too much.

 Two years ago I planted Tsu Li and Seuri, Chinese pears. They're supposedly fire blight resistant.

     I just planted Fan-stil and Perdue; last year Dabney and Harrow Delight. I don't really need many more varieties, I need the trees I've got to start producing so I can evaluate them. All pears aren't high quality. I'd be content to have 6 or 8 if they made good fresh-eating fruit.

     That's my pear situation. Weather permitting, I'll have 3 or 4 heavy producers for certain. Another half-dozen or more young trees could possibly do well if I'm lucky. I hope to have at least a couple bushels; with agreeable weather I might get a couple truckloads if the young trees started really producing.

 

     I just planted a long garden row of calleryanna seed, so next year I hope to have lots of rootstock. I just pruned, so I've lots of scions and only a few roots to graft on. If anyone wants some scions let me know. To summarize, I have Kieffer, Orient, Maxine, Moonglow, Warren, Ayers, Hood, Pineapple, Dabney, Harrow, Perdue, Fan-stil, Seuri, Shinko, Tsu-Li, Potomac, and Blake's Pride.

Editors Note:

In describing his growing conditions Larry has this to say:

     I live near Carrollton, Mississippi. I have 60 acres of my own, which adjoin 50 acres of my mother's land. My cousin has 160 acres nearby. I know that seems like plenty of room for orchards, but actually not a foot of it is really suitable for fruit culture. We're in the hills above the delta. Topsoil has mostly been washed away by 100 years of cotton farming. Now it's just hard red clay ridges and gullies. Pine trees and whitetail deer seem to like it. Kudzu thrives.

     My property was cut over 20 years ago and has since re-grown in hardwood. Mama's was cut over 4 years ago and replanted with pine. Most of my orchard is surrounded by young pines which I hope will shelter it somewhat on the western and northern exposures. Lately I've been clearing brush and trees from the eastern side to get good morning sun.

     All our property is heavily grown over except for what I can keep clear with the bush hog and lawnmower. I'm slowly expanding my orchard space, but it's quite a chore clearing land and keeping it cleared. I'm fortunate to have a small tractor, which is a tremendous aid. If I'd had a tractor when I was young, I wouldn't be so old and worn-out today.

     Warm weather keeps me busy mowing and spraying herbicides. Kudzu is a plague.

     Heavy clay soil does have one benefit; it holds moisture well. I have drip-irrigation hoses which I sometimes use on young trees only. Last year I didn't need them much.

     I read with interest your report on ten-year rainfall averages. It seems about the same up here. We also get about 60 inches average, but no single season is ever average; always too wet or too dry. I suppose it should be comforting that the long-term average is unchanged, but it sure is hard on crops.

     I'm growing pears and blueberries mainly by default, I guess; those are the fruits that best tolerate acid clay soil. Peaches, plums, and pecans have been expensive failures for me so far. Mulberries do well enough. I enjoy fresh mulberries and have several trees- red, white, and black. Figs will grow here, but it gets cold enough to kill them if they're not protected.

     My jujubes are young but starting to bear well. I've had Li for a couple of years; I just don't like their texture and their taste is unimpressive. I tried candying and drying some and the results were only so-so. Maybe I needed more sugar. I couldn't entice anyone into even trying them; they really weren't very appealing. I've ordered some GA-866 scions to graft upon the Li. Langs bore fruit last fall and I thought them very tasty, well worth keeping.

     I would really like to grow some apples. Most of my previous efforts have been failures. Last year I planted some that didn't die (my standard of success for apples) and I just planted a dozen heirloom southern apples, for which I hold great hopes. This seems to be an awkward area for apples, too cold for the warm-weather apples like Anna or Dorsett, too hot and humid for traditional varieties. I'm still trying though, and I hope I'm on the right track now with these southern types.

   Enough for now. Hope to hear from other members  soon. I find talking about fruit trees much more relaxing than planting and tending them, that's hard work.

 

 

Larry Stephenson

Carrollton, Mississippi.

Zone 7/8

 larrystephenson60@att.net  

                                                                                       

Notes from the editor:

Larry will provide pictures of his trees in the future.

I have found that no other rootstock outperforms calleryanna for extreme soil situations. 90% of the pears sold in the country are on this rootstock. Any Bradford pear tree will provide all the seeds you would ever need. Bradford is a very pretty calleryanna tree patented due to it's round habit and beautiful foliage.

Several years ago I ordered several hundred rootstock from the White Rock Nursery in three different orders over a three year period. The price was very fair and the trees I got in were beautiful. I always felt that this company was the best experience in all the plants I have ever ordered, and there have been many orders.

At one time I had a fruit tree nursery and grafted  500 + pear trees a year. I ordered plants from WhiteRock and grew them a year in containers then grafted them and sold the next year. Planted in the ground, or in containers, the trees were ready to bud in the fall of the same year. I have not placed an order in a long time, but the owner then was Burl Russell.

Whiterock Nursery

RR 2 Box 226 Crockett, TX 75835

(936) 624-2173

 

 

July 8, 2011 Report from Ed Abshire, Abbeville, LA

 

Ed Abshire is a long time friend of mine and his orchard is 50  years old. The oldest pear is Louisiana Beauty. All of his trees are very large and the load the trees are carrying at this time is very hard to believe.

The Baldwin Pear does very well in this area.

Opposite side of the Baldwin.

 

 

Editors Note: Louisiana Beauty  looks and tastes very much like Leona.

The Beautiful Tenn. Pear grafted ten years ago with wood from Ethan Natelson

 

 

 

Editors Note: This one sure looks like Orient to me, but others think they are different. I grew them side by side several years ago.

 

July 8, 2011  Report From  Carl Mohrherr , Pace, FL

 

Last winter was very cold and did not seem to hurt the pears.  Only addition was that Chuck up in Iowa gave me Seckel wood and I have grafted three trees. 

I heavily fertilized this year which I had not done before.  I think when there is blight the susceptible trees will get ill and the more resistant will get it and recover.  My dwarf Kieffer and dwarf Orient have gotten it and have recovered.  My Hood do not seem to have caught it.  This year for the first time I used a lot of wood ash and N:P:P fertilizer.  Fruit yield has been very heavy on most of the American varieties.  The Kieffers did not fruit as much as they had done previously with branch breaking loads, but are still doing ok.  The Asian pears are not putting out as heavily as they did last year, but still have abundant pears.

The Hood and Floridahome are currently my two early pears.  The hoods have put out a lot of foliage, and this year for a change put out some fruit.

Photo 1. The above tree, a hood, is putting out significant fruit for the first time.  It is next to a Loquat.  Most of the pears are on one part of the tree.  The tree was supposed to be a Baldwin .

Photo2. Dwarf orient in foreground and older hood loaded down with fruit that I am now picking.  I would like to also get an Ubileen for another early pear type.

Photo3.  Mystery pear after about ten years in the shade is yielding after fertilizer application and removing some of the shade.  It was labeled as a Bartlett .

 

 

 

 

 

 

First yield for this Tenn. tree. Most fruit is on a single branch.

 

First time yield for another Tenn. pear tree

 Propped fruit laden Golden Boy.  Tree has never been ill.

Propped fruit laden Sug pear.  Tree has never been ill and has not grown very much likely to the huge yields that it has each year.

Fruit laden branch of another Cajun PineApple

 

Propped fruit laden Court House Pear that lost its top to fireblight with Hosui in background that was also hit hard by fireblight 

 

June 26, 2011  report from Travis Callahan, Abbeville, LA

2011 is indeed another heavy production year for pears here in South Louisiana. Our winter was a lot different than usual in that we had over 30 frosty mornings, but no days colder than 27 degrees. The temperatures were very stable in the fact that they slowly went up and down rather than the abrupt changes that cause the citrus trees damage in most winters.

In my son's pear orchard a few miles from my yard, branches are threatening to break from the sheer load on these very mature trees planted in 1992. 

Here in my small orchard all the trees are sporting large crops especially the pears. My two pear trees have six different cultivars on each . The rainfall since January of this year has been very sparse. In the first five months of this year we only had 9 inches of rainfall. So far in June we have had seven inches . Our normal rainfall for the first six months of the average year is 33 inches leaving us at half of the normal. Here are a few pictures of the pears on my two trees as of today.

 

 

 

 

 

 Please send me any grower's reports so I can add them to the web page..

Travis

 

 

   August 29, 2010 Report From  Carl Mohrherr <cmohrherr@uwf.edu>

I have much to learn, but can certainly report on what I have observed relative to harvest, disease, and growth.  I am located on 8.3 acres on a hill side that is about 90 ft +/-20 feet above sea level about 3-4 miles from Escambia Bay in NWFL in Pace, FL.  The soil is very poor, little topsoil & acidic with a clay orange hardpan about 18-24 inches below the surface.  The area was originally a planted pine forest with mature trees that I am gradually taking down.  I have learned how to safety burn pine in my stove and pine will used for fuel.  We do get cold days here and are USDA zone 8b.   Last winter the temp dropped to 22F on the coldest nights.  Was very hard on my cold resistant citrus.  Summer is hot and humid.  We are having exceptionally heavy rain this year.  The annual average is about 60 inches and I am sure we are way ahead this year.

No fire blight this year but there was last year and the year before that.  I have varied rootstocks, but have noted that at least some dwarfed varieties are not any more susceptible to fire blight than grafts on Calleryana rootstock.   There was an internet posting by Joe Real explaining this which I will not do.  I say learn both by observation and also listen to your elders, but experience is the ultimate proof.  The dwarf forms seem to yield in fewer years.  The only rootstocks that I am sure are Calleryana are those I made to flowering pears and reasonably sure of those that I purchased from just fruits and exotics.
So far three hood trees on non-dwarfing root stocks are my biggest trees.  One of these was supposed to be a Baldwin and the other a Seckel.  I am looking for Seckel grafting wood.  Hood pear yield is very low, but appears to go up with an equally early pollinator. Hoods initiate blooming at the end of December to the middle of January and continue bloom for several months.  Florida home and the Carnes apple pear are almost as early.  The Hood pears have been the easiest to ripen and can be picked beginning of July..  I like the taste of the hood pear.  To date consistently it is my best tasting pear.


The most productive trees have been the Kieffer trees with fruit laden branches breaking.  I only purchased one tree labeled as Kieffer and ended up with 5 others.  I now have 4 trees.  Only the dwarf tree is mature and I do not know how big the others will grow.  Currently I am giving these away, but in the future l will learn how to dry, ferment, and can them.  

I have two dwarfed orient pears that have yielded reasonably well whereas the one tree that is not dwarfed is yielding very little, likely due to being shaded.  It was also partially leaned over by a hurricane.  This year I am clearing bush from around it and I will see what it does next year when it gets more sunlight.  Orient pears can be ripened and become extremely sweet, but spoil rapidly there after.  Some of the orient pears appear identical in shape to the two pears that I have this year on a Cajun pineapple pear.  The two Cajun pineapples appear exactly identical to the pictures that Travis has posted.


I have a Carnes apple pear with pears for the first time, but the animals got them before I did this year.  There were a few dozen pears for the first time on an Olton Broussard the year.  To me it has the texture of an apple and looks like an off-color green apple, but the flesh seems whiter and there is a difference in taste.  Even not fully ripe they are not bad.  I have several other trees that are so grafted and this should should prove to be one of my better pears since I like sweet crunchy fruit.  The taste  and skin coloration is very close to a Chinese pear.  I would say Olton Broussard is a Chinese pear.

The Southern Bartlett are proving to be good trees yielding very large pears.  It appears that I have to learn more about how to ripen them.  The two trees seem to not be very thick having a more spreading aspect in growth.   Seem to be very resistant to fire blight.  I have started two more.  
I have several other pears varieties that are just beginning to yield.  I have what may be a pineapple pear, but the critters got the fruit this year.  It is growing well even though it is partially shaded.  I also have a Leconte and a quince.  They are not growing very and fast it appears I need to cut down some shading trees.  I have the three "just fruits and exotics" pears (yellow boy, sug, and courthouse).  I have not fully tested the fruit for eating, but they definitely will thrive in my climate.  The courthouse was really hit hard fire blight two years ago.  Several of my Asian pears had fruit, but most of it got eaten by the critters.  I did try some of the Hosui, but there were somewhat tasteless.   While waiting for them to get ripper the critters ate them.  The most successful Asian pears that I still have is a pear shape formed that is Chinese that I mentioned previously.  The few that I have tasted are something like the Olton Broussard.  I have if the labels are correct two Chinese varieties.  One was susceptible to fire blight and the other was not.  But I will not give the specific varieties since there is a question about the labeling.  The producing tree is somewhat shaded and I will remove some of the shading trees. 

I have several Tennessee pear trees that growing well.  No blooms yet and of course no fruit.  I had one Leona grafted tree.  It has not grown, so this winter I grafted onto a flowering pear and when I went by today it had sent a shoot about 10 ft in the air.   I have some other diverse pears that are currently very small that include one Ayer. 

I notice that many of the pears that get attacked end up with wasps feeding on them.  I have gotten stung when picking pears.

Carl Mohrherr 

<cmohrherr@uwf.edu>

Report From Travis Callahan

Abbeville , LA

Zone 8B/9

I have harvested pears this year  from all six varieties grafted on my two Bradford Pear trees . The crop was very large considering that the trees are only in their fourth year. I had to thin a lot of fruit from the trees on several occasions to avoid breaking limbs.

Travis

 

 

 

 

Questions and Answers

 

Travis:

Question

I wonder if any of the readers have observed the following:

I wonder if I a problem I have been having from stinkbugs occurs for other growers.  For years I have observed in the early spring that stinkbugs will attack the young pears when they are the size of wild blue berry to the size of a commercial blue berry.  These are sucking insects as are all bugs and their attack leaves what is initially a deep wound that appears as a bite.  This leaves at the minimum scaring or worst.  Spraying does not seem to be a good option since there are also often still blossoms on these trees and I do not want to poison pollinators.  My thought has been to buy a can of WD-40 and directly spray these horrible pests when I see them.  Fine solvents generally upon contact will kill most insects since their waxy epicuticles and breathing are sucesptible to solvents.  I will just purchased a fresh can of WD40 and will try it shortly.
I have also noticed that wasps also often will eat large cavities into pears as they start to ripen.  The squirrels and birds are the other common agents of attacks on pears.  The raccoons and possums seem not to bother pears.  fortunately I have had not problems yet from wild pigs or deer.  I would appreciate any advice or observations.

Carl Mohrherr

Answer:

Hello Carl,

I assume that you are referring to the Leaf Footed Bug. This is a fairly large brown bug with a white band from side to side on the back. This thing once destroyed a fairly large crop of my citrus where they ruined individual slices of oranges making them unusable. This is also a big problem in the Macadamia groves.

Tomato growers here in zone 9 are plagued by   the Leaf Footed Bug to the point that many have stopped trying to grow tomatoes in this area. I have seen the bug on every fruit and most vegetables.

Here is a picture of several bugs including the leaf footed bug.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/93

I get total control of these things with this product, which is approved for all kinds of uses and is the safest thing I have found. You have to get the spray on the bugs which is not very hard to do since they usually clump up together. I assure you that this will make them hard to find after one spray.

http://www.bugsource.com/permethrin_10_.html

Travis


See My Pear Gallery at the end of the page.

Please send your pictures of pears you have definitely identified and your permission to use the pictures.

 

 Report from Carl Mohrherr

April 2010 Pace, FL
 I am an amateur without a lot of time to spend on my trees. Located on the side of a hill on poor soil, zone 8b, and with 60 inches of rain per year, if a tree is not rugged it will not make it on my place.   Last year was not an especially good year since there was a lot of cold weather mixed with warm periods in my location in extreme northwest Florida.  I am somewhat close to the Gulf of Mexico with my place being a few miles from Escambia Bay.  I am 80 to 110 feet above sea level due to the hills that we have.  Last year there was a bit of disease that killed better than half of my grafts and fruit yield was also low.   I hope it does not appear this year.  This year while we had a lot of cold, it stayed cold, which is better for pears and not so good for citrus.


 This winter, while being colder overall than normal, did not have the intervening warm periods as occurred last year. There are a lot of carpenter's bees and honey bees around this year.   To date there has been very good fruit set overall.  I have finally had flowers on one Olton Broussard and on one of the special pine apple pears that I grafted from the grafting wood I received from Travis.   No flowers on my Tenns (Tennessee) yet even though one of the trees is of reasonable size.  Apparently my two recent grafts are growing that came from a Korean giant that I purchased last year potentially giving me a total of three Korean Giant pear trees.  My Luella is in the shade and has not done much.  I have grafted it to a flowering pear with not so many other trees shading it out and hopefully someday I will get to taste a Luella.  I need to get busy with chain saw and take down some more pines trees & brush to alleviate my shading problem. 

I think the Southern Bartlett is my best pear tree overall (I have two young ones that are yielding pears and have started three more).  S. Bartlett trees yield early, so far are very disease resistant, the trees grow well and are spreading which I like better than the typical very cylindrical tall patterns of most pear trees.  In hurricane prone areas encourage your trees to grow low and prior to a storm top them or they will be blown down.   I see that the Southern Bartlett is available in the Houston area and soon it is likely that the nursery "Just Fruits and Exotics" may have it available for internet and local sale in Tallahassee since I did give them some grafting wood.  My Joy heirloom apple from them is doing well (While self fertile I have a tropic sweet next to it and both are near my septic tank field).  They specialize in offering heirloom fruit cultivars that they have encountered growing at old homesteads.    I have their Sug, Courthouse Square, and Yellow Boy.  The Courthouse got yapped from fire bright two years ago, but this year seems to have recovered growing out beneath the main stem that was killed.  Currently most of my Asian pears have just begun blooming for the first time.   The Hosui (blooming) and what is probably a Tse Li pear (Previously I likely misidentified this as a Ya Li, that is doing well) are trying to recover from fire blight from previous years.  Overall the Asian pears have grown less than the other pears with Ya Li doing the best and it will do better since I have removed some nearby brush..
My big problem has been the early bloomers labeled as sugar pear, Baldwin, and Hood (I know for sure it is a Hood) grow fast, bloom very early, and yield little in the way of pears.  I am grafting Florida Home pears now near to these in hopes of providing an early cross-pollinator.  I have gotten a few pears from the hood (planted in '95) that mature about the first of July and that has gone up since my Floridahome has started blooming nearby.  I have other early bloomers, but they are not big enough to make a judgment about such as a Carnes (apple pear) and what is supposed to be pineapple pear.  These two are within 50 feet of one another and cross pollination is assured and both are shaded by pine trees and brush that I will remove.  I am thinking someday of getting a beehive to help with my pollination problem.

That is all for now.  

Carl Mohrherr

 

Report from Drew Demler

 

3-27-10

Moviní On

Well after several years of growing fruit in Central Texas it is time to start over again.  Due to several reasons my small retail nursery closed down this year and I have now taken a job in my home town of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  I will now be in a much more similar climate to Travis and Dr. Natelson.  It is hard to leave my trees in Texas which were just getting to real maturity and producing heavy crops but it is exiting to be able to start over and try some different things as well. The South Louisiana climate and area will be very different than my Texas home.  The soil will be different, I will have fewer chill hours on average and I expect more disease issues.  I am excited to be in an area that has good rainfall and more fertile soil than Austinís bad rocky dirt and droughty summers.  Before I moved I took cuttings of all my favorite varieties and I will re-graft those this spring.  I also had a few grafted trees that I took along with me that I will plant as soon as I get into a permanent home over here (hopefully not long). 

 

In the future I plan to trial different rootstocks and hopefully find some new local varieties of pear to try.  I will try some different techniques of training also and maybe even try my hand at espalier.  Mostly I plan to learn as much as I can about growing pears in this new area.

 

 

Drew Demler

wildscaper@hotmail.com

 

My Harrow Delight on OHxF 333 is, indeed, a delight; it yields well, and the quality is superb.  I think those pears are the best I have ever tasted, and everyone else who tastes them agrees.  The pears are quite sweet and aromatic, just slightly astringent (just enough to balance the sweetness), and the texture is buttery, without a hint of grit cells.  The fruit size is medium.  The tree is resistant to fire blight and is virtually trouble-free; it does have a very upright growth habit, and requires judicious pruning to train it to grow outward.  I would recommend this variety without reservation to anyone in Zone 7.  It yields in mid August in my area (along the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland).

I have likewise been pleased with my Harvest Queen on Pyrus betulafolia rootstock (purchased from Cummins nursery).  This tree is more vigorous than my other European pear on OHxF 333, and requires quit a bit of pruning.  It yields large pears in about late August to early September.  Flavor is excellent, very sweet with some tartness.  There are a few grit cells close to the core in some of the fruits.  This one russetts some.  It is another winner, fireblight resistant and very easy to grow.  The betulafolia rootstock suckers vigorously, and annual removal of suckers is necessary.

 

My Yongi Asian pear continues to provide heavy yields of high-quality, delicate pears.  Now that the tree is more mature, it requires very heavy thinning (I think this one is self-fertile in my climate), as every single blossom sets a fruit every year.  It is important to keep this cultivar no taller than one can reach without a ladder, as (let me emphasize this again) assiduous thinning is necessary for the fruit to size properly.  Harvest is usually about mid-September.  This cultivar is sufficiently tolerant of Fire Blight to raise in the mid-Atlantic area, and very reliable.

 

My Shinko seems to have suffered somewhat from our serial droughts; last year, it set no fruit in the spring, but bloomed and set fruit in late September! (which of course didn't ripen).  It bloomed on schedule this year.  This one also requires heavy thinning, but otherwise is quite easy to raise.  Its flavor is somewhat more pronounced (more acidity, sugar, and tannins) than the Yongi, and would probably be useful in Perry.

 

Let me close by saying that the four pears I raise require almost no spraying (in contrast to my other fruits).  Perhaps once every other year I get tent caterpillars in a tree and have to apply sevin (caution:  this causes spray injury to leaves and fruit if applied heavily).  Plum curculios leave scars on my Asian pears, but the damage is purely cosmetic.  European pears would be good fruits to recommend to novice fruit growers who might be reticent about spraying.  Asian pears are probably not a good choice for new growers, as they demand quite dedicated thinning efforts.

 

Eddie Earles 4/11/08

 

Below is the link for the WebPages of Richard Ashton. Richard is the owner of OAK CREEK ORCHARD. Richard sells some fine books on different fruit and has some fruit for sale.

http://www.oakcreekorchard.com/

 

All other contributors to the bulletin board please send a current update and I will see if I can re-construct the bulletin board without the gremlins. 

Report From Florida July 26,2008

Carl Mohrherr

Pensacola , FL

 

Travis and Ethan:

 

Just to let you know that I have harvested some southern Bartlett pears from the grafting wood that you all sent me several years ago.  The pears are quite large.  The variety seems to be immune to fire blight.  I plan to propagate a few more trees. 

 

The grafting also produced three Tenn . pear trees, but no flowering this year.  The grafts for the Olton Broussard , pineapple, and Louisiana beauty are also growing.

 

If anybody is interested I do have a carnes applepear, golden boy, hood, and sug for grafting wood.  The orients and kieffers of course are of little interest.  I have some other trees, but I am waiting to get pears off of them to be sure of their identities.

 

I also have several asian pears cultivars.  The Ya li and Hosui will not likely make it due to fireblight infections.

 

For next winter I plan to order two Korean giants, a Magness, and an Atlantic Queen that are said to be fireblight resistant.  The magness and atlantic queen are stated to grow in zone 9.

 

From Vintage Virginia Apples

 

Atlantic Queen Pear

ATLANTIC QUEEN PEAR is a unique old French cultivar. The tree is prolific and tolerant of adverse conditions, with resistance to fireblight. The very large (to 1 1/2lb) fruit has yellow-green skin covering a melting, juicy, aromatic flesh. The trees can reach a height of 25 feet or more and grow in any fertile, well-drained soil, in full sun. They have strong vertical branches and require little pruning. The fruit grows on long-lived spurs and is spherical to typically pear-shaped. It should never be allowed to ripen on the tree. The ripening process is completed in storage where the pears will ripen more evenly. It ripens in September. It has done well in the east and west in both maritime and hot summers. USDA Zones 5-9. Needs a pollenizer.

 

MAGNESS was released by the USDA in 1968 as a very high quality dessert pear that will survive under heavy fireblight pressure. Sometimes tardy to start bearing, the fruit quality makes up for the light early cropping (branch-spreading will significantly help). Mature trees are productive if good pollination is provided. Magness ripens a week after Bartlett . The fruit is a medium size, with an oval shape. The skin is lightly covered with russet, relatively tough, and somewhat resistant to insect puncture and decay. The flesh is soft, very juicy, and almost free of grit cells. The flavor is sweet, and highly perfumed. This pear is an excellent keeper. The tree is very productive, early bearing, and is shaped like pineapple fruits. This early market pear has an excellent flavor that is rich, crisp and juicy. It has a storage life of up to three months. Hardy in USDA Zones 6-9

 

Best wishes,

 

Carl Mohrherr

Pensacola , FL

 

March 31, 2009

 

This winter (2008-9) in Pace, Florida (between Pensacola and Escambia Bay) was hard on the early blooming fruits and also on the citrus.  We did reach 22 F which is cold for us here.  My low chill Hood, Seckel, Carnes, Baldwin, and sug had flowers on them in January, in fact the hood started in the last part of December.  The flowers more or less survived, but for some reason not much fruit gets set on these early trees.  My guess is that the low temperatures slow down the pollinating insects.  Also these are located so that none of the nearby pears are in flower that early and I think that the pears are not getting pollinated.  A florida home tree  planted near the hood has started blooming and now the hood (it is about 15 yrs old) is bearing some fruit but is nowhere near what could be considered as highly productive.  I have grafted some early flowering cultivars on these early bloomers in the hope of insuring pollination. 

My two southern bartletts that yielded fruit for the first time last year have bloomed and now also the later pears are blooming like orients and kieffers.  The southern bartletts were started from graft material as were the tenns, Luella, olton Broussard, and a special pineapple from Travis.  I like the southern bartletts and have grafted a couple more.  I have not yet got anything off the other grafted pears yet except the first year where one of the tenns grafts yielded a pear that was really good.  The hosui is still alive after a couple of bouts with fireblight and I can see it is not a good choice for my area because of the lack of disease resistance.  I am planting a Korean giant that is said to be disease resistant.. 

That is all that I have to say for now.

 

Carl Mohrherr

Pace Florida in Woodbine Hills

 

Report from Abbeville, LA  

January, 10, 2011

 

Since I moved six years ago to a smaller and higher property, I no longer have the beautiful orchard that I had for the previous 20 years. The young man who purchased the place promised that I could harvest scion wood any time that I wanted to do so and to please feel free to come harvest fruit . 

Just before the sale I collected graft wood from my favorite six pear trees and purchased two well branched young Bradford Pears and grafted the six varieties on each of the  trees.  All grafts were successful and the trees have grown quickly. I harvested   some of all six varieties of pear  last year.

  I drove past the old place  three months after the sale and to my horror the young man had removed every pear tree (13) all the Mayhaw (12) all the grapes and Muscadine vines and nearly every other thing on the property. Dianaís beautiful flower beds and flowering shrubs were gone as well as the flag pole. A winch truck belonging to the owner's father undid  20 years of growth in a few minutes.

A year after he bought our place I learned that the young man had died of a drug overdose. He was 22 years old.

 

My favorite pears

 

 

Leona Pear (my best pear)

 

 

The Southern Bartlett Pear

 

 

 

Southern Bartlett trees sometimes have three distinct shapes. This shape is why our friend Larry Brown named the unknown the Southern Bartlett.  

The Olton Broussard Pear

Several years ago as I searched for the best local pears in South Louisiana , I was told about about Mr. Olton Broussard who was growing an especially good pear south of the town of Delcambre, LA. Mr. Broussard had at one time owned a fruit tree sales outlet locally. He had no idea as to the variety of the pear which he had gotten as part of a shipment from a fruit nursery in Mineral Wells, Texas and the tree tag only had the words Oriental Pear.

I managed to meet with Mr. Broussard and procure graft wood in 1991. In 1992 I grafted some trees for my son's farm and I harvested these today ( August 27, 2011) from one of those older trees. Generally this pear is considerably smaller averaging about 0.50 pounds. We are in a very good pear harvest period and most of the varieties are larger than usual.

I have kept some of this variety in the chiller drawer of the fridge for more than three months so it is the best keeper that I know of. The pear is best when the color goes from light green to bright yellow which is a little riper than the pear in the lower left in the picture below. They never truly soften but the sugar content and juice increases if it is left on the tree for a little longer. Because of their very long shelf life and the crispness of the fruit it has to be an Asian pear variety . It is not as pretty as the Asians in the grocery store, but has more flavor. I usually find the Asians to be a little bland. The deep calyx end is a characteristic of the pear. Perhaps someone knows of a fruit tree nursery in Mineral Wells, Texas and we may one day solve the mystery of the identity.  

 

 

Diana holds an Olton Broussard Pear that is over a pound.

 

 

The Olton Broussard Pear has a very deep calyx end

 

One branch of the Orient Pear at my former property. This tree one of 85 adult fruit trees  that was destroyed by the buyer. 

 

 

The Cajun Pineapple (sure looks and tastes like the Orient)

I did manage to salvage a graft or two from my former orchard and they are now two limbs on my pear variety trees.

 

 

Orient/Cajun Pineapple is big too

 

 

The Hosui Pear

 

 

 

  Travis

The Callahan Garden Page

 

e-mail Travis J. Callahan

 

 

Page updated  1-10-16

 

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