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Growing Asian Pears

Michael Newell Horticultural Crops Program Manager Wye Research and Education Center

What Are Asian Pears?
• Apple-Pears pp , some folks call them, or PearApples; some say Salad Pears, because some varieties blend so nicely into salads. Asian pears make up a q g group, p really yq quite unlike either apples pp or unique European pears. Many of them are shaped like apples; at first glance, Chojuro might masquerade as a pp Asian p pears are typically yp y very y Golden Russet apple. crisp, very juicy, very sweet, and very low acid. Most Nashi (Japanese for pear) reach peak flavor ripened on the tree; ; even with prolonged p g storage, g , they y do not attain the buttery texture of many European pears. All Asian pears today are selected seedlings or crosses made y serotina. within Pyrus

Markets? • Growing Asian population in U.S. • Specialty markets • Need aggressive marketing through consumer education • Prices charged at local markets should be less than in major supermarket chains • Need to be sure you can sell what you grow .

Tree is precocious and productive. russet-skinned early-midseason variety with high sugar content. flavor Moderately gritty in some seasons. Resistant to Alternaria black-spot and moderately resistant to pear scab. Bland flavor. Self-fertile. brown-skinned fruit with excellent flavor. g fruit. firm and juicy. Yoinashi': A large. skin heavily russeted. • • • • • • . . High quality. Moderately susceptible to fire blight. . size often nearly a pound. It ripens in mid-August with '20th Century' but sizes much better. introduced in 1972. Medium sized. Medium size. coarse texture. roundish. but more productive with a pollenizer. An y season variety. White flesh. Regarded by many as highest quality lit of f Asian A i pears. introduced in Japan in 1959. y. ht Precocious P i and d very productive d ti HOSUI From Japanese breeding program.y yellow and brown-russetted.Varieties • SHINSEIKI (NEW CENTURY) Nijiesiki x Chojuro. Fire blight g NIITAKA. Good resistance to pear scab disease. apparently resistant to pear scab and Alternaria black spot. The flesh is sweet. It is an early mostly russetted. slightly aromatic. . Susceptible to fire blight. chance seedling of Pyrus pyrifolia. (Kikusui x Yakumo) x Yakumo. slightly tart. crisp. russet type with a round globular shape and yellow to brownish brownish-yellow yellow skin. KOSUI From a Kikusui x Wase-Kozo cross. a Japanese selection introduced in 1945. It has excellent storage life. tree ripening is best. Fire blight susceptible. ki Moderately M d t l susceptible tibl t to fi fire bli blight. CHOJURO Found in 1895 in Japan. somewhat flattened. russeted It has a long storage life life. seasons Fruit medium to large size. The tree is vigorous. Beautiful orange-yellow skin. SHINSUI Early-ripening nashi with outstanding flavor. A brown to orange. globular g lopsided p shape p and g green to y yellow-green g early color. light green to yellow-bronze. with uniform size. Good winter keeper. This is the the best-flavored of all the Asian pears! Sugar content usually 12 brix or higher but more tart in the North. Large susceptible.butterscotch flavor. Fruit hangs on the tree well. vigorous willowy and spreading. Moderately productive.

j . so frost susceptible -. Atago .Brown russetted. Fine-textured. . . juicy. Somewhat tolerant of fire blight (probably because of early bloom time). Trees are upright. p Introduced in 1941. firm. i E Excellent ll t t tolerance l t to fire fi blight.not edible right off the tree. Good storage -. Resistant to fire blight. Fruit medium to large size. very sweet fruit. Ripens midOctober in New York. Semi-spur with russet coat. fruit is large. P bretschneideri). plant p p patent 6076. Attractive golden russet skin. SHIN LI. sweet. Fruit light g Davis. very firm crisp and juicy. selected in Japan. spreading and medium in vigor. hi O October t b ripening.4 to 5 months in the refrigerator. Very large. crisp. . Distinctive rich. Introduced in 1988. j y. Blooms very early.Varieties • 20th CENTURY (Nijisseiki) A mid-season variety. should be stored for a while before eating -. seems to be damaged less by insects than Japanese varieties. almost no acid. ) Blooms very early. Ya Li is appropriate pollenizer. aromatic. slightly tart. green. g of Nijisseiki. early so is especially susceptible to late spring frosts.--Hybrid between Japanese variety Kikusui and Tse Li. bred at University of California. sweet SHINKO Seedling flavor. Typical pear shape. Late season • • • • • • . i i good storage. p. and sweet. Some fire blight tolerance. fruit. Excellent for storage. crisp flesh. Fine winter keeper. It has a globular lopsided shape and yellow green color. bli ht O One of f th the more cold-hardy ld h d nashi. YA LI A old Chinese variety of very good quality. firm and very juicy flesh.4 or 5 days earlier than Japanese varieties. TSE LI Large. Crisp. Pyrus ussuriensis Large fruit ussuriensis. Complex hybrid of Pyrus ussuriensis x (P. OLYMPIC (KOREAN GIANT). Goode storage. Vigorous grower. Much less susceptible to fireblight than most asian pears. Quite susceptible to pear scab and fire blight. attractive fruit -. with uniform size. ripening a month after 20th Century. Very productive. sweet and dj juicy. Early bloom.

betulaefolia or P. No Pyrus communis rootstocks are vigorous enough for most Asian pears. P calleryana calleryana. with the possible p of the most vigorous g Old Home x Farmingdale g exception clones (OHxF 97). ussuriensis and P. decline . Since some Asian pear varieties will support the pear psylla that carries pear decline. • Asian pears require vigorous rootstocks such as P. won t get decline. P serotina rootstocks may get decline. decline However. However if the scion variety reacts so strongly that it doesn't transmit the decline organism to the susceptible rootstock the trees won't rootstock.Rootstocks • Asian p pear trees require q root-stocks that impart p a high g state of vigor. it seems possible that trees on P.

g Similar to apple pp training g systems.Spacing and Training **Modified central leader training.In row 12. The final tree looks like a Christmas tree in shape. productive orchards – Good limb angles are best achieved in fist year of growth using clothes pins or small spreaders **Spacing Spacing . It is advisable to maintain individual tree spacing and avoid tight hedgerows for good fruit color and long-lived. – This is done with little or no heading of the tree and selecting wide angle limbs for framework limbs off the central leader.16 feet Between row 16 – 20 feet depending on equipment .

OLYMPIC 2008 .




Olympic 2009 .


Pollination Requirements Dark box indicates not a good pollinator .

Fruit Production • All fruit are borne on spurs on 22 to 6-year-old 6 year old 4-year-old wood. Clean pruning cuts and excess spurs should be cut off smoothly so stubs will not rub and damage fruit. Older wood and spurs give smaller fruit than those on 2. F it sizes Fruit i b best t on 1 t 3-year-old 3 ld spurs on wood 1 to 2 inches in diameter. . Fruit on small hanger wood sizes poorly Pruning should encourage several limbs with wide angle branches off main scaffold limbs.

p Thinning g up p to 30 days y before harvest can benefit size. . Most growers wait for fruit to set and then cut off all but 1 or 2 fruits per spur. and if spurs are close together well thinned fruit are spaced four to six inches apart. Some growers blossom-thin. The best g usually y requires q two times to effectively y leave no thinning more than one fruit per spur.. but early thinning is essential for annual bearing and good fruit sizes. and to avoid limb breakage. to insure annual cropping. by g y cutting g off by y hand all but 2 to 3 flowers per cluster. .Fruit Thinning • All Asian p pear cultivars require q heavy y thinning g to obtain good fruit sizes. All thinning is done by hand.


At least three color picks are necessary to get mature. l S Sugar content t t over 12. The color of russet russet-type type fruit changes from green to brown. t Over-mature O t fruit f it quickly i kl show h roller ll b bruises.Fruit Harvest • Most growers determine harvest time by fruit taste and color.5% 12 5% usually ll i is adequate d t and d fruit pressure of 8 to 11 pounds seems satisfactory. Some green Chinese and hybrid types do not change color much at maturity. i fingerprints and other signs of handling at harvest. Color and sugar content best determine time to harvest. and the ground color of green fruit changes from green to yellow. quality fruit from most cultivars . All Asian pears must be carefully handled to minimize bruising and brown marks and stem punctures. Fruit pressure is not as good a measure of maturity in Asian pears as it is in European pears pears. Under-mature fruit are poor in flavor and ruin the market for Asian pears pears.

of nitrogen per acre per year depending upon tree vigor. . Limiting excessive vigor is important for f FireBlight management. once trees begin fruiting only very moderate amounts of fertilizer should be used used. cropping and previous history. However. • Magnesium and Boron levels also need to be monitored monitored.Fertility • Fertilization is suggested gg during g the first two or three years to develop the desired tree structure. This may involve from none to 10 to 30 lbs.

Insect Pest • Codling Moth .IPM practices – Conventional C ti li insecticides ti id – Mating disrupters .

As the trees begin to settle down into steady production. Shinseiki intermediate. and Twentieth Century and Hosui susceptible. d ti th though. One rule of thumb is that if trees get past the first 4 or 5 years in the orchard. they are not likely to be hard hit by blight. Shinko and Olympic are relatively tolerant.Disease • Fire blight susceptibility is quite variable. h bli blight ht t tolerance l seems t to increase substantially. Niitaka is moderately tolerant. g .

Asian pears will get bacterial canker (Pseudomonas spp.). pp ) Control • Anti-biotic and Copper sprays – Late dormant and bloom • Sanitation – Removal of dead/diseased wood .Diseases • In areas with cold spring seasons.

Wye y Asian Pear Trial #1 Planted 1990 • 4 Varieties . no irrigation . Tsu-li • Betulaefolia B t l f li rootstock t t k • 10ft x 20ft spacing • Low input. Hosui Shinseiki Shinseiki. 20th Century.Hosui.

7 21.4 34.6 30.1 53.3 34.8 20th Century 49.9 67.5 64.6 29.3 53.1 33.5 .5 23.9 43.4 Tsu-Li 2.5 Shinseiki 45.Yield Results (lb /t ) (lbs/tree) Field-run fruit Variety y 1992 1993 1994 1995 4y year average 35.5 13.0 33.1 Hosui 67.6 54.

Atago/betulaefolia • 0.12 lb n/year • Conventional spray program (similar to apple) versus an “Organic” spray program • Use MaryBlight to schedule FireBlight sprays .Wye Trial #2 • • • • Planted 2003 10’x14’ Spacing Modified Central Leader Niitaka/OHxF97. Olympic/betulaefolia.

81 0.52 0.03 0.70 0.84 0.45 0.6 13.2 .1 9.57 Fruit Size (lbs) Conv 1.81 0.0 12 11 19 13 45 43 0.56 0.87 0.Harvest Yields Final Trunk Circumference Lbs/tree Lbs/tree Fruit Size (lbs) Org 0.59 0.4 1.67 0 84 0.76 Culls (lbs) Culls (lbs) Trunk Circumference (inches) Org Trunk Circumference (inches) Conv Atago 2006 2007 2008 Olympic 2006 2007 2008 Niitaka 2006 2007 2008 Org 38 42 32 Conv 30 35 33 Org 1 1 17 Conv 8 4 3 8.3 0.50 8 0 18 16 0 23 7.4 8.80 4 1 14 15 1 14 11.8 39 18 94 39 22 139 0.85 0.

9 locations – New York. Maryland and California • 8 varieties + 2 European types • Betulaefolia rootstock • Regional Adaptation of Asian Pear and g Susceptibility p y FireBlight . Massachusetts New Jersey Jersey.Wye Asian pear Trial #3 • To be planted 2010 • Regional trial. York Massachusetts. Alabama. North Carolina. Illinois. Pennsylvania.

Questions? .