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The Columbia and Dana Hovey Pears

Both the European and Asian pears are suitable for home orchards. When choosing pears for the home landscape you won’t go wrong with Columbia.

Also called Columbia Virgalouse and Columbian VIrgalieu, this was highly recommended by A.J. Downing in his classic book, Downing’s Fruits and Fruit Trees of America, published in 1849.

Hardy to zone four, these are large spreading, strong growing trees. These have yellow-brown shoots. They bear very large crops of fruits every other year. A single graft on this upright tree can bear five bushels in one year. Even neglected trees still tend to bear well. Easy to grow, this variety dates to about 1835. It originated in Westchester County, New York on the Casser family farm. An excellent American pear, it was introduced to the trade by Bloodgood and Company of Flushing, New York.

This is a relatively late ripening pear, usually in November to January, and is considered a fall or winter pear. The stalks are over an inch long. The fruits are mostly pear shaped to somewhat oblong with the broadest point being at the middle. These large fruits have greenish-yellow to golden yellow skins. They can have touches of pale orange on the cheek. It can also feature gray dots. The skin is smooth.

This has a rich sweet flavor, and is quite aromatic. It is very juicy with yellow-white to white flesh. It has melting flesh that isn’t particularly fine grained.


Dana Hovey Pear

This pear has been compared to the Seckel in many respects. This was introduced during the 1850’s and was first grown by Francis Dana for whom it was named. It originated in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Sometimes called the winter Seckel, this dessert quality fruit grows on a large spreading to upright tree.

The tree bears large crops every year. However, the trees are somewhat less productive than the Seckel. These pears are medium to small in size, and more uniform in shape and larger than the Seckel. This has a yellow skin with russeting. Ripening rather late, this has a rich sweet flavor somewhat like that of Seckel. Very sweet and very juicy the flesh has tinges of yellow. It has aromatic, melting flesh.

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