[NAFEX] Blight resistant quince and pears

Richard Moyer ramoyer at gmail.com
Mon Feb 12 23:54:52 EST 2007


Betsy Hilborn wrote:
I live in zone 7a in central NC and have a small collection of dwarf,
fire blight resistant apples and pears.

I enjoy quince and service berry and would like to add them to my
orchard, however, I can find no information about fire blight resistant
fruiting varieties.  Does anyone have a suggestion for tasty, resistant
varieties that would do well in my area?

Am I correct in thinking that a locally infected quince may make my
resistant pears more likely to experience an infection?

Thanks for any help that you can provide,

Betsy,
I live in NE TN, other side of the Appalachians.  Have a number of service
(june) berry plants.  Never seen blight on them, so don't think you have to
worry.  For years there has been a planting (variety trial) of these at
Mountain Crops Horticultural Station, same exit as the Asheville Airport, on
I-26.  If still there, you could visit during bloom or fruit and select your
favorites.  If blight was an issue there, they would have been gone long
ago, according to the standards there.

As for quince, if you use the Chaenomeles (ornamental, flowering) quince,
these are much more resistant to fireblight than the Cydonia quince I have
seen locally, and still have usable fruit.  That does not mean that some
Cydonia won't make it, just that the multiple Chaenomeles bushes laugh
during the most severe fireblight years, being unscathed or with a tiny
amount of damage, while blight-sensitive apple or pear trees nearby may be
losing whole limbs, and the Cydonia I knew of died to the ground.

You can easily transplant suckers of Chaenomeles quince, as they are a
bush.  If fireblight was an issue in your area last season, look for quince
bushes with no fireblight damage and move some of those.

Hidden Springs Nursery, Cookeville, TN, has some nice selections of
flowering quince, that fruit reliably for us.  They also have some service
berry selections that work well, with no blight on these either under our
conditions.

Richard Moyer
Montmorency cherry cheesecake for my daughter's birthday tonight
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