Pears (pryus spp.)
Pears are amazing trees with an untapped potential. They are true magnets for wildlife. They can live for hundreds of years sometimes. They can also grow in forests as full canopy trees. And of course, pears can be cultivated into fruit trees for an orchard or yard.
All pears benefit from and sometimes require a pollinator, so plant at least two trees.
Ussurien Pear- These are seedling pears. Ussurien pears are native to Northeast Asia including Siberia, Korea, and Manchuria. They are robust vigorous trees that are the most cold hardy of all the pear species. The fruits are rock hard and virtually inedible. However, they make good rootstocks and are excellent wildlife trees. We are experimenting with Ussurien pears in our timber plantings. Ussuriens have a high resistance to fireblight and are susceptible to pear decline (a disease I have read about but never witnessed).
Korean Giant- Great flavored large Asian pear, also known as Olympic. Russeting type with very high resistance to fireblight. Ripens in early October.
Yoinashi- High quality fruit, ripens mid September. Tolerant of fireblight.
Niitaka- Large Fruit, can be susceptible to fire blight.
Niijiseki- Very good flavor, September ripening, and good disease resistance.
Seckel- The sugar pear, small sweet heirloom pears.
Potomac- Good disease resistant, vigorous European pear