[NAFEX] Early pear ID help?

Kieran and/or Donna holycow at frontiernet.net
Thu Jun 24 13:30:48 EDT 2010

Hello all. 
     I have here in front of me fruit of two very early pears.  One is definitely Early Harvest, popular with market growers in KY in the mid 1880's.  The other I was guessing would prove to be Tyson.  There is really not much info available on Tyson, some mentions of it surviving in Georgia.  Last night I stumbled on some discussion in NY from the 1800's that said Tyson was not as early as Madeleine or Doyenne d'Ete, so it's not likely to be Tyson unless my specimans are a couple weeks from ripe yet.  (Last year the samples she brought me were mush by about July 10th) Neither is ripe yet, seeds still white on both but the EH looks a bit ahead of the other.  EH picked today, Mystery pears picked by a friend from her grandmother's tree which is 70 or more years old.  The EH tree was a LARGE bearing tree 40 years ago.  
Observations: made 6/24/2010 Cookeville TN latitude 36 altitude 1,000 ft 

Early Harvest:
Tree has gray bark, distinctive shiny leaves, prone to cupped shapes with almost no point.  Some are fairly normal looking, but you can see on the photo on the Corvallis site how distinctive they are.  http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/acc/search.pl?accid=%20PI+541183

Fruit is short and squatty, skin very smooth, thin and tender.  Red colored areas also very smooth, dots barely visible if at all.  Persistant calyx in a shallow basin. Even some old dried petals clinging on.  Core short and quite round.  Flesh smooth, entirely free of grit.  Flavor bland, slightly pear like, with more flavor just under the skin. Very early, any fruit not picked by July 4th will fall as mush. Eaten raw, they can provide calories if you are hungry but not much pleasure.   This variety is slow to crop, makes fairly large handsome pears that come in very early for market sales.  They are entirely inoffensive, which is the nicest way to describe them.  They compliment tarter stronger flavored fruits for baking.  They are excellent in cobblers with gooseberries and blackberries, and would probably also be good with Yellow Transparent apples, rhubarb and tart cherries.  Alas, the season for these last two does not overlap with the EH season.  I have grafted several branches from this tree but feel no need to have a whole tree of it.   

Mystery pear:  
Prominent dots, esp on red side.  Taller and much less squatty than EH, contracts more at base.   Persistant calyx in a deep basin.  Red color on sunny side is much more uniform than EH.  Interior: the core is longer, flesh grainier in appearance.  Flavor astringent, a little tartness.  Skin a little gritty, tougher.  I'll know more when I get to taste a ripe one.  
 I assume it's the June Sugar pear that Lawson's Nursery has been selling for some 50 years.  This one from CA is probably from Lawson's:   http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/acc/search.pl?accid=%20PI+541501

Corvallis site:   http://www.ars-grin.gov/ars/PacWest/Corvallis/ncgr/pyrus/pyrinfo.html  unfortunately they don't have any photos of Tyson.  
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