Harrow Delight is an early harvest blush red sweet pear end of July to early August here in zone 7 Virginia. Harrow Delight is a heavy producer with delicious medium to large smooth texture fruit. Similar to Bartlett but extremely fire blight resistant. Not self fertile, needs a pollinator. Zone 5-7
|Pest Resistance||Very Good|
|Drought Tolerance||Very Good|
|Heat Tolerance||Very Good|
|Humidity Tolerance||Very Good|
|Wet Soil Tolerance||Fair|
|Fresh for Kids||Excellent|
|This information is accurate to the best of our knowledge, comments/opinions are always welcome|
Harrow Delight Pear can not be shipped to CA.
Shinko Pear in winter
Surround® will control the same insects as on apples plus pear psylla. Note: fruits expand quickly after petal fall, so keep fruits covered with Surround® to maintain maximum protection.
How to tell if a pear is ripe
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced gardener, planting and caring for a pear tree should be easy.
If a spot is already considered for planting, good. The semi-dwarf need a 10 - 15' circle and dwarf's 8 - 10'. Standards are 15 - 20' circle. Full sun is best. Pears have an upright growth habit, they are usually taller than wider.
Soil prep will go along way. If the area chosen has been cultivated for the last few years, good. If it's just lawn, there's some work. Pears exceed in a loose, moisture retentive soil with good drainage, adequate nutrition of organic matter with a Ph @ 6.2 or 'fairly sweet'. If the area is usually acidic then annual lime is a good course. The additions of this calcium works well with pears, especially if they have some susceptibility to fireblight. Compost will increase the organic matter and manure, if old, works, but not a lot.
Once the plant is set in place a mulch of 1 to 2 year old bark works well to keep all things snug and weed free for the first growing season. Hopefully, your chosen spot is not frequented by deer, and is easily watered. Deer browsing on a young plant can set it back a lot. Sometimes never to recover.
Bunnies like to nibble on the young bark near the ground of pears, as do voles. To prevent this, aluminum screen around the trunk and stapled together at the ends, will keep them off. The screen should go into the loose soil about 1" to protect below the soil surface too. Keep the diameter of the screen larger than the trunk diameter.
Oh yes, and another aspect of your chosen site. Make it hard for squirrels to get to it. If a taller tree is near your pear they can easily jump from it to your fruit. Squirrels do not like being on the ground to long, especially if there are dogs around. So, keep this squirrel tip to add to others you may learn in the future years, because there will be more. Tip one - make squirrels run to your tree.
Crows will also peck the heck out of the fruit, usually to the point they drop before you think they're ripe. Choosing a site where human activity usually is, can keep the crows away.
To get a better idea of your pears evolution, familiarize yourself with it's family heritage. Knowing about what part of the world it originated gives you a good idea of what attributes and limitations it evolved with.
Now that you've made the pear feel like a honored guest with its own 'room' with a 'view'. It should have no trouble becoming a healthy member of the family. As the tree matures and begins to set fruit there will be questions that arise from your observations. Insect knowledge, pruning, harvesting, ripening and animal knowledge will mature in you as the tree grows. None of these areas of endeavor are 'rocket science' since pears are fairly easy to grow.
Challenges for success don't come all at once, but are seasonal. Plus the season from one year to the next will differ in the severity of the challenge.
Plum curculio prefer plum, peach, nectarine and apples more than pears. But, they will lay eggs on them. They lay their eggs after petal fall on the small fruits. We use surround to deter the curculio. The spray should also take care of any soft bodied insects such as aphids, if they are on the young growth tips of the trees. At the same time a small light green caterpillar that can travel by a thread may come down from above to your pear tree. These 'canker' caterpillars like to chew. They will chew a chunk. Kind of looks like the first bite we take from an apple, but bite and fruit are very small on the young fruit. This small chewing damage can look large by the time the fruit matures. These worms can drop down from taller surrounding trees. So the first line of defense is to place your pear tree out from taller trees.
Observe, the first year, to see if either of these insects are present. For instance curculio has never crossed the Rockies. They are poor flyers and clumsy. So, if you are reading this west of the Rockies, you're cool. There's more on curculio in the plum and apple care guide.
The STINK BUG! The Asian species likes to suck on fruits just about any time of the growing season. They don't like Surround either. But it is challenging to keep Surround on from the first spray till harvest. Probably easier to bag the fruits and thin them to 4" apart for large fruits. The damage if severe makes the pear 'bumpy' and the flesh of the damage becomes hard and gritty. One stink bug injury on the pear would be about the size of an aspirin. The flesh would be fine except for where the damage is. A small amount of damage can be tolerated. Asian pears are much more susceptible to damage than European pears, because the stink bug evolved with the Asian types.
Pears are generally left on their own and establish a pretty upright form. They spread more after carrying a load of fruit. Sometimes on varieties that are tending to grow to upright we will cut back some of the upright growth by at least half. This gives the tree a rounder shape and keeps the fruits at an easier level for picking. Usually this pruning happens to trees about 3 to 5 years old. This tall upright growth can also be curved downward in spring and forced into a bow, making them more horizontal. This encourages fruit bud set because fruiting happens sooner on horizontal branching. You'll have to force them to bend by weighting or staking with rope attached to the limbs to arch them ad hold them there. Don't girdle the m by tying to tight. The limb will expand in width as it grows. Clipping vertical growth before it gets to tall happens in June and July. Observe your tree at that time and tip the growth before it goes straight up with no branching. If you miss that opportunity then dormant pruning is best.
Asian pears are delicious right from the tree when mature they turn more yellow and look ripe. Usually they'll taste sweeter and better than any commercial Asian pear you've tasted. All the more reason for growing them.
European pears usually ripen off the tree. When they look fully mature, bring the weight of the pear to the horizontal and see if it releases easily from the tree. If it doesn't, leave it another week and try the same. You can store the fruits in cold storage or leave them to ripen at room temperature.
Most varieties have different storing capabilities and durations. The later ripening varieties usually store longer than the summer varieties.
Share your experience with us. Hope this care guide serves you well!