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Asian Pear in Rhode Island?

14 years ago

Hi All-

I think Ive decided on 4 out of the 5 apples my front yard orchard next year, but for the last spot, I was thinking of trying an Asian Pear. I was considering the Korean Giant (which I believe is also called "Olympic")

Some thoughts:

1) From what IÂve read here on the forums, and elsewhere on the web, it seems that there are less disease and insect issues with APÂs than with apples. This is important for me, because my apple challenges are about all I can handle!

2) One of my concerns is Fire Blight. During my 3-4 years of growing apples, I have not yet had any problems with FB. But, IÂd like to keep it that way. According answers I received in another thread, having a tree which is more susceptible to fire blight wonÂt necessarily increase the risk to my apple trees. But later in that thread, some indicated that insects could actually transport the disease to other trees which would mean an increase risk. Any more thoughts on this?

3) Does anyone have any experience with Fire Blight in Rhode Island? New England? I know my local orchard has not had any FB problems yet, but they do also spray for it.

4) Since it appears that APÂs by nature are more FB prone, might I want to do a preventative spray of something like Agri-Strep? (I don't do any FB spraying for my apples) If so, is that relatively easy to obtain? I didnÂt see it for purchase looking around online.

5) I see that many people say that you have to do a ton of thinning when it comes to APÂs. For this reason, IÂm planning on planting just one variety. Sound like a good plan? How would that yield compare to a properly-thinned well-pollinated tree? On a related note: Do people ever use Sevin as a chemical thinner with APÂs?

6.) I do not have a basement in my house, so I donÂt really have a good cool, dry place to allow them to ripen. Do you think IÂll be happy with the ripening results on the tree? If not, although I donÂt have an extra fridge, could be one be used (on a high setting) for the same purpose?

7.) It looks like most people have had good luck with the Korean Giant. I like the idea of a large fruit, which tastes good, and looks good. Some sources say itÂs quite FB resistant, other say itÂs only a little resistant. Does anyone think there is another variety which would be better suited for my situation?

8.) I was thinking about Betulafolia rootstock for its FB resistance and also tolerance of damp soil. IÂm wondering if the damp soil tolerance will be a good thing in this particular spot (had a spring pop up 15 feet away, but now it has been well drained with lots of crushed rock, PVC pipe, etc), especially with a future yard sprinkler system. Any idea how tall a Korean Giant/Olympic on Betulafolia would likely get? ItÂs FB resistance will not impart any protection to the upper part of the tree, etc, correct? I would probably get it from Adams County Nursery or Cummins Nursery because IÂve had good luck with them before.

Thanks all as always,


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