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.
Wild Pear- Every year we gather wild pears to sell to Eve’s Cidery. They press the pears and ferment the juice into an excellent wine known as perry. Though there are many grafted selections of pear used for making perry, the folks at Eve’s say that the wild pears we bring in are the best. The trees we gather from are gigantic disease resistant individuals. Some will produce as much as 1,000 pounds a year. Wild pears are also great for wildlife, livestock, and for making pear sauce. They are not good for fresh eating. Plant two for pollination
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).
Pyrus Betulifolia- Also known as birchleaf pear. This species comes from Asia, it is a tough resilient tree that is commonly used as a rootstock for Asian pears.
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.
Shinsui- Tasty russeted Asian pear, ripens in August