[NAFEX] Pears for the South

Ed Fackler efackler at woh.rr.com
Sat Jun 7 04:20:30 EDT 2003


Richard and other Honorable NAFEX Members in the SE:

     To quote Porter Lombard, retired pear specialist of Oregon State U.,
"the western pear
industry has done a great job in perpuating the myth that pears can't be
grown in the east
due to fireblight".  This may not be an exact quote, but Porter did tell me
this many years
ago and it is still true.
     In our former Southern Indiana location (which has roughly 80% of the
pressures that you
have), pears were less infected by fireblight than apples in those years
which were favorable.
     There were exceptions, with Bartlett being one------extensive damage on
old trees
and death to young trees that were just coming in to production.  But still
less than hyper-sensative
apple varieties like Spitzenburg and/or Ginger Gold, for example.
     Also there is an incidence of what I'd call strain varibles or I'm
convinced that there
are many mutants of Erwinia (FB bacteria).  Some so-called resistant
varieties like Harrow Delight,
for example were severely infected during heavy pressure years with damage
near equal to that of
Bartlett.
     As a tree fruit group, pears are much easier to grow than any other.
They do
require incidental horticulture care like most other tree fruits especially
heavy and annual
thinning of fruit.  This is likely the most difficult thing to do as pears
do not lend themselves
to chemical thinning agents as easily as apple.  The one thing which I did
not attempt as I didn't
think of it then was bloom thinning.  I do think this has possibilities, but
I know of no one doing
any experiementing with it.

     On a personal note.  Will you be going to New Hampshire this August?

ed, southern Ohio, rain

-----Original Message-----
From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Moyer, Richard
Sent: Friday, June 06, 2003 4:48 PM
To: 'nafex at lists.ibiblio.org'
Subject: [NAFEX] Pears for the South


Bad news is that pear trees may be sold mislabeled as 'Bartlett'.  Good news
is that a rose is a rose by any other name, that is a so-called Bartlett
that produces may still be a keeper.   Soft, aromatic, luscious European
pears can be grown throughout the south.  Through resistant cultivars and
fireblight management, pears are dependable large fruit, in many ways easier
to manage than apples.  I've not planted out any Bartletts, but wouldn't cut
down a bearing "Bartlett" either.

I'm displaying my own fireblight sensitivity:  When I give workshops on
growing fruit, certain attendees continue to be surprised that ANY pear can
be grown in the south.

This link shows a range of fireblight sensitivity in Bartlett and other
pears, though Bartlett is rightly classified as 'highly sensitive".  Granted
this is an Oregon study, but note the range of fireblight strikes in
Bartlett and Bartlett variants.
http://www.caf.wvu.edu/kearneysville/tables/pearfireblightsus2.html

Richard Moyer
East Tenn
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