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Old 02-10-2012, 09:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hood Pear

Hood Pear fills my requirement for a low-chill European pear with high fireblight resistance. There are better tasting European pears you could grow but they are in big trouble in my neighborhood. Still, the fruit I get from this tree is better than any European pear from a supermarket (because the supermarket fruit is not tree ripened). I spray it twice per year with a copper spray and it does great -- whereas the Flordahome variety I stock in pots needs treatment once per month.

I keep it pruned to about 7 feet total height as shown in the picture below. With the La Nina weather we've been having, the tree is putting out leaves, flowers, and setting fruit in February which it would normally do in April.

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Old 02-10-2012, 11:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

Richard will this pear work in my climate of hot and humid Summers. On the peach chill scale I am 450 - 550 hours.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

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Richard will this pear work in my climate of hot and humid Summers. On the peach chill scale I am 450 - 550 hours.
Yes, although I would emphasize I am growing it because of the serious fireblight presence in the area. You have plenty of chill for it. If you have no fireblight then you should also consider some of these European Pears. Another thing to point out here is that Asian Pears rarely have trouble with fireblight. I am growing Shinseiki. If you had room for two asian pears, the choice would be Hosui and Shinko.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

I'm in traditional pear growing country (I still have one remaining Bartlett tree that's over 100 years old). My two unknown Asian pears (both were here before I bought the place) get fireblight just about as bad as my Bartlett. When I farmed pears I spayed 2-3 times per week during bloom season. Don't miss that a bit.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hood Pear

With all this talk about spraying, I'll ask two slightly off topic questions about spraying. What would you guys recommend to deal with brown rot in nectarines (a problem for me both of the last two years) and rust in plums and apricots (a problem last year)?
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

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My two unknown Asian pears (both were here before I bought the place) get fireblight just about as bad as my Bartlett.
Perhaps they're the Asian x European cross? You would know from the skin texture.

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With all this talk about spraying, I'll ask two slightly off topic questions about spraying. What would you guys recommend to deal with brown rot in nectarines (a problem for me both of the last two years) and rust in plums and apricots (a problem last year)?
My approach would be to spray with copper ammonium during dormancy (using a surfactant if it is a rainy week) and also some time after harvest. Spray with Spinosad (western US) or BT (eastern US) after bud set to eliminate vectors.
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Old 02-11-2012, 02:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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My approach would be to spray with copper ammonium during dormancy (using a surfactant if it is a rainy week) and also some time after harvest. Spray with Spinosad (western US) or BT (eastern US) after bud set to eliminate vectors.
Thanks. Have done the dormant copper spray. Will follow with Spinosad later. Used Spinosad a few times last year to deal with the "pear slug" caterpillars.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

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Thanks. Have done the dormant copper spray. Will follow with Spinosad later. Used Spinosad a few times last year to deal with the "pear slug" caterpillars.
For pit fruits, the thrips come just about the time of fruit set and lay larvae. The larvae are part of the problem in damaging fruit, and the bacteria that feed on the larvae bring other pathogens. An early spray to kill the thrips and their larvae can solve a lot of problems at once.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

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Perhaps they're the Asian x European cross? You would know from the skin texture.
There just Asian. I used to know the Asian varieties well but haven't followed them much for 20 years or so. One's a yellow-skinned one and the other is a russeted brown one. Our family was friends with the farmer that used to rent this farm and we had some fruits from here back then. We always called the yellow one a Japanese pear and the brown one a Chinese pear. Kept it pretty simple. I had three trees of them here when I bought the place but grafted some of the brown onto one of the yellows and pulled two trees. The one tree still produces too much for me.

I always sprayed with alternating sprays of agromyacin and streptomyacin (sp? too late at night to check).
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Hood Pear

Yours looks much older than mine. I had Hood on my 3 in 1 low chill pear, also I have both of the Asia types you mentioned on my asia 4 in 1 pear. I did not think I would like the asia pear very much. Do you know how easy it is to graft pear? My low chill had 1 type die, so I want to graft on the asia types to it as well.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

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Yours looks much older than mine. I had Hood on my 3 in 1 low chill pear, also I have both of the Asia types you mentioned on my asia 4 in 1 pear. I did not think I would like the asia pear very much. Do you know how easy it is to graft pear? My low chill had 1 type die, so I want to graft on the asia types to it as well.
Pear is easy to graft
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

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I always sprayed with alternating sprays of agromyacin and streptomyacin (sp? too late at night to check).
The fireblight strains in California have been resistant to the antibiotic streptomycin since the 60's. Agri-Mycin is simply a trade name for streptomycin. I use it once per year on deciduous fruits during dormancy and as part of the treatment for bacterial spot disease on dragon fruit.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

Then it was some other antibiotic whose name I've forgotten after 14 years. Both have some effectiveness against strains so the sprays were alternated every other week. I attained very excellent control when following the UCD IPM fireblight model which takes into account temperature, humidity, flower stage, etc. There was also one copper (Kocide) spray used during bloom. Now, the more common method is using the bacterial product Blight Ban (might not have the name quite right).
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Oh yeah, it was terramyacin and streptomyacin
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

I sprayed my pears for blight, codling moth, psyllid, and weeds and averaged about 20 sprays per year. Don't miss that. With all of the insect pressure here it's pretty hard to manage a small 7 acre orchard organically as the perimeters would still get lots of damage. I especially don't miss the organophosphate Guthion (greatly restricted anyways my last year of 1998).
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

Most European pears have to be picked green and chilled for a whole. If they are left to tree ripen they are way over ripe and mushy in the middle by the time you think they are ripe.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:19 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

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Richard will this pear work in my climate of hot and humid Summers. On the peach chill scale I am 450 - 550 hours.
Darkman greetings from Pace, FL which for the others is just across Escambia Bay and River from Pensacola.

I have over 20 varieties of pears and have observed how they react to fireblight and other things.
I have three hood pears and only one was labeled as a hood, the other two were supposed to be a seckel and baldwin. On non-dwarfing rootstock they take a longer time to produce pears and the yield is lower than what I get from other cultivars. They bloom between end of December and first warm week of January. This is before many of my other pears and may influence the yield. I am grafting other early blooming cultivars nearby to helpout. We also get cold snaps that may impact fruit set. I currently do not spray anything. I do fertilize with nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer and wood ash when I have it. Normally once established I do not water. But with retirement I will water a bit during periods of drought.
There are many low chill fireblight resistant cultivars that are adapted for our humid and hot gulf coast climate. If you like crisp asian pears try the olton broussard apple pear. The southern bartlett x Callahan is now available from just Fruits and Exotics that they grew from grafting wood I gave them. It is a rapidly growing, spreading tree and yields early and resists our local fireblight. My problem has been with ripening it to a good level of sweetness. Travis Callahan told me to leave the pears on the tree longer and then a pack of coyotes and other critters ate them. Also my trees are not getting full sun and I need to cut down some more shading pines and maybe thin out the pears a bit.
Google Travis Callahan pears and posted there are the experiences of pear growers, mainly from the south. There is sort of a break between californian and northwest fruit growers and the rest of the country, especially in the south due to very different climates. The western fruit growers are more active relative to coming up with new developments in my opinion. Especially for low chill cultivars. Setting up orchards in the south is becoming more active and recovering almost extinct cultivars and rediscovering old knowledge is in progress. People use to grow a lot pears and even apples in the south. The big thing is choosing the right cultivars and the Hood for the home grower is a reliable tree that I harvest fruit from in July.
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Old 02-20-2012, 01:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

Barnetmill,

I am thrilled to find someone near me that has the knowledge and experience with pears and apparently a lot of other fruits. We are lucky to have Skeeter (member here) that lives in Pensacola and he knows citrus, blueberries and bananas very well. If you have questions about those he can help. Hydroid (another member) grows very impressive bananas but his climate is better than ours. He lives in Gulf Shores. He is very generous with pups. We need to get together and talk. I interested in your pears and would like to see about getting some loquat seedlings from you. Big Jim is supposed to be a good Loquat cultivar. I have a Fuyu persimmon but it is only one year old.

Doing anything with Paw Paws? It may be a good wildlife foil. The persimmons should work great around here too.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

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Barnetmill,

I am thrilled to find someone near me that has the knowledge and experience with pears and apparently a lot of other fruits. We are lucky to have Skeeter (member here) that lives in Pensacola and he knows citrus, blueberries and bananas very well. If you have questions about those he can help. Hydroid (another member) grows very impressive bananas but his climate is better than ours. He lives in Gulf Shores. He is very generous with pups. We need to get together and talk.
Yes I would like very much to meet kindred fok.
I interested in your pears and would like to see about getting some loquat seedlings from you.
I have not done it yet but you are welcome to what ever germinates.

Big Jim is supposed to be a good Loquat cultivar. I have a Fuyu persimmon but it is only one year old.

Doing anything with Paw Paws?
I have planted several but they are not doing much relative to growing.
It may be a good wildlife foil. The persimmons should work great around here too.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hood Pear

I notice that quite a few of the people here spray. I was reading something on native bees the other day and apparently they are declining in numbers. After work today I walked through my orchard and looked at blossoms and did see both honey bees and native bees are work as I normally do. I see native bees out during the winter on any warm day if there are flowers about. Pear blossoms are low in nectar, but there are always honey bees on them anyway if the weather is warm.
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