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Nitaka and Orcas Pears
With so many gardeners wanting to grow their own food there is more interest than ever in the edible landscape. When enough room is available fruit trees are a wonderful choice. Pears can be grown in most areas of the country. Both the heirloom and the modern varieties are good choices for the
home landscape. Here are details on some recommended varieties.
Nitaka Asian Pear
This variety does especially well in zones five or six through nine. It is available as a standard tree. These will begin bearing in about two years. This variety can have a moderate to relatively strong growth rate. The tree is generally upright. Prone to fire blight, this can’t be used as a pollen source to cross-pollinate other pears. This needs cross-pollination in order to bear fruit. This bears very large reliable crops every year.
Released in 1915, this tree’s parents were Amanogawa and Imamuraski. The very high quality, large fruits are almost round and three inches in diameter. These ripen during the last two weeks of September or early October. They can be stored for two months. These ripen to brownish-orange and have russeting.
The aromatic flesh is crisp and very juicy. The flavor is very sweet and has been described as resembling that of candy—specifically caramel and butterscotch.
This is highly recommended for the Pacific Northwest where it is widely grown. It originated in the area, and was discovered by Joe Long, a horticulturist, and is named for its place of origin, Orcas Island, Washington.
The tree is quite resistant to scab. They bear a large reliable crop every year. The strong growing trees have an open spreading growth habit. They’re sold as semi-dwarf trees.
These very large, all purpose fruits are recommended for eating fresh as well as drying and canning. These ripen mid-August to early September, and are considered mid-season. The skin ripens to yellow and features a red blush.
With a wonderful rich flavor, the flesh is very juicy with a fine texture. It is buttery.
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