A Group Of Traveling Merchants And Animals Is Called A History Of The Pear

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History Of The Pear

There is convincing archaeological evidence from the excavations of the ancient lake dwellers in Switzerland that the European pear, Pyrus communis L., was known by that civilization. The pear is believed to have been known by prehistoric man, but there is no agreement whether the apple or the pear came first. The ancient pear of Europe was fundamentally different from the Asian pear, Prunus pyrifolia.

English records indicate that in 1629 “pear stones were sent by the Massachusetts Company to New England” colonists to plant and grow on trees in Plymouth, MA.

On March 30, 1763, the famous American, George Mason, made an entry in his extensive garden journal: “grafted 10 black Worchester pears from Collo… these are a large ripening fruit (thick) for baking” and old variety of French pear. .

Fort Frederica on Saint Simons Island, Georgia, was established by English colonists in 1733, at the same time the city of Savannah was settled. To provide the settlers with self-sustaining food supplies, a plan was developed by General Oglethorpe to introduce trees and plants to grow in both temperate and subtropical climates that would be valuable for future farms and fruit and nut tree orchards in Georgia. These objectives were reported by William Bartram in his book, Travels, which was published in 1773, 40 years later. John Bartram, William Bartram’s father and traveling companion, made their research trip to East Florida, the Carolinas, and Georgia in part to investigate the sources and inventories of plants abandoned by the Spanish to the English as colonial purchases.

Prince Nursery was established as the first American nursery for collecting, growing and selling plants and trees in Flushing, New York in 1737, Prince Nursery advertised “42 pear trees for sale in 1771”.

John Bartram planted the seed of a pear tree in 1793, and this ancient tree grew and bore fruit until 1933.

The great American botanical hybridizer and writer of his epic and monumental 12-volume account of his observations of plant development over many years by Luther Burbank stated that there were essentially two genetic lines of pears that he and others had used to improve the commercial quality of pears and their fruits. European pear, Pyrus communis L., Asian pear, Pyrus pyrifolia, also called Korean pear, Japanese pear, Chinese pear, and Taiwanese pear. These were crossed to obtain a recombination of genes to screen for complex character mixtures that would hopefully produce superior fruit.

Bartram wrote in his “Fruit Improvement” about a chance hybrid of the pear that appeared on a farm near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a result of a European pear and Chinese sand pear that had been planted on the farm as ornamental garden trees. This hybrid occurred on the farm of Mr. Peter Kieffer, thus bearing its name for the first hybridized oriental pear. “Kieffer” pears have a pleasant aroma; it is a beautiful and pleasing tree with large white flowers, but this pear is best when cooked in preserves or pies because of its durability. Cold hardiness and disease resistance make this pear a valuable cultivar that remains the best-selling pear today.

Other oriental pear trees that entered popular nursery catalogs were Le Conte, Garber and Smith pears. These pear trees became standard cultivars for Bay State orchard plantings, where European pears do not grow well.

Other varieties of pears developed in California were described as large in size, with delicate color, flavor and excellent texture. One of these hybrid pears was nine inches high and weighed five pounds—a single fruit.

Burbank noted that the commercial pear trade frowns on large pears because of boxing, sorting and shipping problems, and the average buyer of pear fruit does not often prefer large pears. The Northwestern United States produces the most commercial pears, generally because of the fruit’s exceptional sweet quality. The oldest pear market sensation is Bartlett (Williams), grown in a group called “Winter Pears”, including other varieties. Comice, D’Anjou, Bosc, Red D’Anjou and Concorde pears. These cultivars have a very limited area of ​​successful growth, due to their fragile lineage to the European pear, Pyrus communis, and are not recommended for growing in most regions of the United States.

The pear tree is unique as a fruit that does not fade, being easily distinguished from its normal description, referring to the shape of the fruit, “pear-shaped”, a specific shape that everyone understands. Buyers of pear fruit are very biased in buying a pear in the shape they are used to and often reject the Asian pear, ‘Pyrus pyrifolia, a round or apple shaped fruit. The texture of the pear is unique among fruits, along with the aroma, taste, and the idea that the pear (European clone) must be removed from the tree to ripen later; whereas, Asian pears are best left on the tree to ripen for full flavor development.

The skin of the pear grows in a wide range of colors, green, yellow, orange, red and mottled, and it makes a great protective shield from the eyes of birds and other animals. Pear trees require longer ripening periods to begin fruiting than most other fruit trees, but the tree will bear earlier if grafted onto a dwarf quince rootstock; however, most tree dealers offer semi-dwarf trees for sale, and of course, larger trees begin to bear fruit earlier than smaller trees. Asian pears produce fruit more quickly than those trees of European pear origin. One factor that has delayed the spread of pears since ancient times is the fact that the seeds show poor germination success if they are not moist, and most travelers on the ancient trade routes of the “Silk Road” dried the seed to sell or trade. .

American fruit shoppers have shown a dramatic and growing interest in purchasing fresh pears at grocery stores in the past 25 years. USDA sources say per capita consumption of table-quality, fresh pears has increased more than most fruits, while purchases of fresh peaches have decreased. Fresh pears can be kept at near-freezing temperatures for up to 5 months for later purchase by consumers. For backyard gardeners, pears can grow 20-30 feet on semi-dwarf rootstocks and are well adapted to growing in most soils, even poorly drained soils, preferably in a pH range of 6 to 7. Pear trees will grow and tolerate temperatures down to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Burbank performed many strange crosses with pears. He crossed pears with apples and quinces; however, those hybrid trees did not grow to produce acceptable fruit.

Pears contain antioxidants and are fat-free, with health benefits from Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, niacin, and the minerals calcium, phosphorus, iron, and potassium.

Many Pear cultivars are recommended for planting. Ayers Pear, Baldwin Pear Tree, Columbus Red Pear Tree, Florida Pear Tree, Hood Pear Tree, Kieffer Pear Tree, Leconte Pear Tree, Moonglow Pear Tree, Orient Pear Tree, Pineapple Pear Tree , Sand Pear Tree and Warren Pear Tree. Four species of Asian pears have also been planted: the Korean Giant Pear Tree, the Hosui Pear Tree, the Shinseiki Pear Tree, and the Twentieth Century Pear Tree.

There are also four types of flowering, non-fruiting pears. Bradford Flowering Pear, Cleveland Flowering Pear, Aristocrat Flowering Pear and Autumn Blaze Flowering Pear.

Copyright 2006 Patrick Malcolm

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