Do You Want A Cooking Pear
or An Eating Pear?
That's the hot question: what kind of pear tree do you want?
Are you going to make preserves or do you just want to use the fruit fresh, like in a fruit salad?
Pears are fairly easy to grow in North Florida, though they can be a bit slow growing. Finding the right variety is something you should consider carefully.
Pears come in two "styles": they are either hard, as in good for cooking into pear cobbler or pear preserves; or they are soft, the only ones that are edible without a belly-ache! The best way to choose is sample the varieties in the grocery store and decide which ones suit your palette. Then consult the list below.
A few varieties are self-fertile, but it's almost a mute point as they do much better if you have a second variety as a pollinator.
NEW FOR 2015:
SPALDING PEARS: A Hidden Gem for North Florida
An Excellent Soft Pear Variety: But Hard to Find!
Spalding is an utterly delicious, soft, eating pear with a complex mellow flavor typical of European pears, yet it has a crunchy, juicy sweetness like an Asian pear. Read more
Purchase SPALDING in the list below:
pear blossom up close
Pears can be either hard or soft.
All varieties listed below are 4′-5′ trees in 3 gal pots
and are recommended for zones 8b, 9a and 9b.
Most grow 20-30' tall, 10-15' across at maturity.
Have a favorite we haven’t listed? E-mail us your request.
A few varieties are self-fertile,
but it is best to have a second variety as a pollinator.
UPDATE: We can now get pears in 7 gallon sizes -- inquire for details.
Low chill hybrid: requires only 150 chill hours to produce fruit. Highly disease resistant. Ripens in July/early August. The FlordaHome is a more reliable pollinator for the HOOD than the PINEAPPLE PEAR, but some years the PINEAPPLE PEAR works better. Depends on the winter
Pollinators: PINEAPPLE PEAR, FLORDAHOME, BALDWIN
Low chill hybrid: requires only 150 chill hours to produce fruit, though many growers simply say "requires less than 400 hrs".
Not as disease resistant as the HOOD, but makes a tasty good pollinator that can be eaten fresh. The FlordaHome is a more reliable pollinator for the favored HOOD than the PINEAPPLE PEAR is. Ripens in mid to late July
Pollinators: best with HOOD or PINEAPPLE PEAR
Choose from 5 varieties of low chill soft pears, delicious for eating raw: Spalding, FlordaHome, Hood, Ayers or Baldwin. Or 3 kinds of more firm pears perfect for cooking but also eaten raw: Kieffer, Orient or Pineapple Pear. Or Asian pears: Shinseiki is self fertile. Remember, most of these require a specific pollinator.
Low chill variety: requires only 150 chill hours
Pollinators: HOOD, FLORDAHOME, GOLDEN BOY,
Pollinators: GOLDEN BOY or KEIFFER
Requires approx 400 chill hours, or about 3 wks at 45° or less.
Pollinators: GOLDEN BOY or ORIENT