[NAFEX] Pear Harvest in Zone 4b

beth mccrindle bvmcc at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 2 22:16:09 EDT 2006


I am pleased to announce my first pear harvest! It has
been  along time coming. I planted Nova and Waterville
in the spring of 1993.  These standard size trees
thrive in the deep, former lake bottom soil in my
yard. First blossoms appeared in 2003. Had a few pears
in 2004 but they were consumed by our uncontrolled
squirrel population.  Despite two very late freezes
which took all the apple crop,  a good number of pears
survived, only to, again, be totally stripped by the
tree rats. Amazing.
 Both trees were covered with blossoms this spring.
Due to an aggressive squirrel control program to bring
the population back, there are some for human
enjoyment. The remaining squirrels, birds, wasps and I
started harvesting Nova last week. Nice size and
flavor. I have come to the conclusion you can't wait
until Nova appears ripe to pick. Part of the problem
with a standard tree is many of the earliest rippening
pears were only reachable with my orchard ladder plus
apple picker.

Waterville pears are starting to lighten color so I
picked a few to see if they will ripen. I will be a
bit more proactive in checking my remaining pear crop.
The squirrels are checking too, they knock a few  down
 morning and afternoon each day. The rabbits dine on
the pears which the tree rats reject as not ripe
enough. Waterville is also a nice sized pear but
doesn't have the girth of Nova. Good, sweet flavor but
seems to be a bit gritty.
If I were to start over, I would go with smaller
trees. Since I am running out of space for new trees.
I would like to graft a few new varieties to my
existing trees. Any suggestions?
Kevin McCrindle, Waterloo,IA Zone 4(.)





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