These are seedlings from “pears gone wild” that we find thriving around fencerows, yard edges, and railroad tracks in the prairies surrounding our nursery. Their rootstocks that were so common to the landscape back when folks were more into growing and preserving fruits for jellies, preserves, and drink.
Most of the original trees were hit hard by fire blight in the 70’s and 80’s but left behind their seeds to sprout and pass on their legacy. These “wild” pears were left to fend for themselves and mother nature has since weeded out the disease and insect prone specimens. We have been watching these remaining trees and raising their offspring for a number of years and know which parent trees offer the traits we want in a wildlife tree.
Although these don’t taste as good as a grafted pear chosen specifically for fresh eating, they don’t require nearly as much maintenance or special attention and the deer readily gobble them up. Plant these on a well-drained site and expect so see nickel to ping pong sized fruits appearing in as little as five to seven years.
For best results use little or no fertilizer once established. Drop time varies so we recommend planting at least four or five trees per setting (20’ spacing between trees) to allow a wide window of drop time and plenty of mast from late summer through mid-late fall.
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