Pear Pleasure

Dessert pears, eating pears, large or small….pears are popular around the world and the Rogue Valley’s climate is perfect for growing pears.  The Rogue Valley was once covered in pear trees and many varieties of extra fancy pears were grown for Harry and David Inc. to ship gourmet fruit baskets nationwide.  So why not grow your own?

In fruit tree catalogs you’ll find European pears,  Heirloom pears,  Asian Pears,  Keeper Pears and pears that are better for espalier.  Dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties of pear trees make it easy for an urban gardener to fit a pear tree into their backyard; some are even small enough grow in a large container.   Pear trees need a pollinator, another pear tree that blooms at the same time to cross-pollinate and bear fruit.  Mostly likely there is a pear tree somewhere in your neighborhood to pollinate your tree, but if not and you only have space for one tree, you can create a combo pear tree by grafting a scionwood branch from another variety onto your tree, or purchase a combo pear tree from a nursery.  Bare-root fruit trees will be arriving at local nurseries soon, so look for fruit trees with healthy grafts, well-balanced branches, and  well-established root systems.

Below are a few heirloom varieties to consider:

Seseckel-pear.jpgckel (Sugar Pear) – American cultivar introduced in 1790. Easy to grow.  Small chubby round pears are small with reddish brown skin,  fine-textured flesh that is sweet richly flavored and juicy. Tolerant of most pear diseases.

 

 Bosc PearBosc – Originated in France or Belgium, discovered in Europe in the 1800’s, then came to America in 1833.  A large pear with a russet skin and high sugar content, slightly fibrous texture and a spicy sweet flavor.

 

ComComice pearice –  Originated in France 1848.  A large pear with greenish yellow skin, buttery tender texture, aromatic and very juicy.  A traditional gift fruit.

 

Green AnjouGreen Anjou – (Beurré d’ Anjou)  Originated in Belgium, introduced to America 1842.  A large conical pear with a short neck stem, it has pale green skin, even when ripe.  Excellent storage pear with smooth texture, lemony flavor, but it’s not very sweet. Good for baking, poaching, roasting, grilling,  and salads.

 

Red AnjouRed Anjou– Originated as a naturally occurring bud sport on a Green Anjou.  It has all the traits of the Green Anjou, except it’s red.   (Wikipedia: Bud sport is part of a plant that shows morphological differences from the rest of the plant)

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Dormant Sprays

Source:
Ross Penhallegon,Horticulturistdsc03426
OSU Extension Service

Recommendations for the least toxic sprays and treatments for fruit trees. These products are usually available at garden centers. Always follow label directions.

Dormant Oil: Apply when trees are dormant, November through March, after all the leaves have fallen. Mix with water as directed and spray to all surfaces of the trunk, branches and twigs. Apply when the temperature is expected to rise during the day; temperatures below 35 degrees can damage the bark. Dormant oil controls aphids, scale, spider mites, and many other insects by desiccating or smothering eggs and larvae.

Fixed Copper: Spray on apples, pears, cherries, peaches, and plums to control canker. Allow two weeks between applications of copper and any sprays containing sulfur. Add a spreader-sticker product to help copper adhere to the tree surface.

Latex paint: Coat the trunks of young trees with white latex paint mixed half-and-half with water. The paint reflects strong sunlight that, once the leaves fall, can cause cracking, a favorite place for pests to overwinter and can cause substantial winter damage.

Here are some tips for specific fruit trees:

Apples: Spray copper before fall rains; dormant oil once or twice from January through March; wettable sulfur just after petal fall.

Apricots: Spray copper before the fall rains and dormant oil in February.

Cherries: Use wettable sulfur applied weekly during blooming for brown rot. Information on synthetic sprays to control cherry fruit fly is available at your local county office of the OSU Extension Service.

Pears: Spray copper before the fall rains; spray dormant oil in early spring before buds open and wettable sulfur just after petal fall.

Peaches: Spray copper or a good dormant fungicide three to four times between December and bud break. Spray copper before fall rains and in spring just before bud break; apply sulfur weekly during blooming and again after all petals have fallen.

Author:Kym Pokorny

Read full article on the Oregon State University Extension Service Website:http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/use-prevention-methods-fight-fruit-tree-diseases-2

Photo by: Carlotta Lucas AGC Member

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