Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My Wild Pear Tree (CORRECTION ISSUED BELOW)

This is a story of survival about a wild pear tree growing on our property. This past Spring it appeared the late frost had killed the blooms but this week, Bill told me he noticed pears when he was mowing under the tree. Scooter wanted to investigate.  

Scooter hot, tired, exhausted and dragging me back to the house after our exciting adventure.
This is the tree. It is growing in the area between our driveway on the right, and our neighbor's driveway on the left.


This is the side facing our driveway.  We assumed the tree was bare because we could not see any pears as we passed it in the car, so we ignored it.


We also did not expect any fruits because last year the tree was hit with a blight.  All of the pears were covered in a nasty mold and seemed to petrify on the branches. These are last year's pears still hanging on the tree.  I suppose I should have pulled the rotten ones off or sprayed, but my solution was to ignore everything.


The tree is in a horrible place, is split at the bottom, is growing against the trunk and is in the shade of a large cedar tree.  It appears, years ago, something dropped the pear seed on the ground where it sprouted and survived. We have discussed cutting the cedar tree down and letting the pear tree grow, but it would fall on our neighbor's property.  Both trees are only a few feet away from the boundary.  It would be a big job which we would need to do quickly to keep from blocking their driveway.  Our solution has been to ignore it. 

The split pear tree covered in poison ivy is on the right and the cedar tree trunk is on the left.
It has a strange shape with one branch growing parallel to the ground.  Bill complains because he has to dodge it when he mows.  I won't let him cut it because these are the only pears I can easily harvest. We should prune it in the winter so it will produce better, but our solution has been to ignore it.

The neighbors drive is to the left, mine is to the right and Scooter is in the shade of the tree.

Looking toward the neighbors drive.
These are the pears which are growing on the other side of the tree.  They are not good for eating fresh since they are hard.  They won't ripen until September or October and then I will dehydrate some and use the rest to make the world's best pear butter.  Reese once identified it as a Chinese variety when he was in college studying for an agriculture class in fruit production.  The name has been forgotten, also ignored.

My neighbor's side of the tree.  It might even be hanging over the property line.
This is a fruit tree which is never pruned, fertilized, watered, sprayed or attended in any way.  It is completely wild and yet some years will produce an abundance of fruit.  It has earned the privilege of being chosen by me to receive the honor of being featured in  August's Wildflower Wednesday link up party.


CORRECTION:

8/25/2017  I would like to issue a correction to the information above but first I must share some exciting news:  Reese read my blog without being nagged by me!  I am so thrilled!  He sent me information about my pear tree from Wikipedia and I will share it below:

Pyrus pyrifolia is a pear tree native to East Asia...where the tree's flowers are a popular symbol of early spring.  The fruits are not generally baked into pies or made into jams because they have a high water content and a crisp, grainy texture very different from the European varieties. (I disagree.  We don't care for pear pies, and the grainy texture does not bother us in pear butter. The early flowers explains why they often get hurt by the late frosts.)

They are commonly served raw and peeled. (Not us, we consider them too hard to eat fresh.)

Due to their relatively high price and the large size of the fruit cultivars, the pears tend to be served to guests, given as gifts, or eaten together in a family setting.  (YIKES! I didn't realize they were expensive or something special.  I just thought it was a strange pear tree.)

Now that I know the error of my ways due to being corrected by Reese, the next time he is home I will:  call all the family together, invite some guests and present the pears to everyone as gifts. 

Thank you Reese for helping create a new family tradition.  Oh, by the way, we will need to borrow your truck so we can pick the pears.  Also, it would be nice if you offered to climbed up the ladder while it is sitting in the back of  your truck bed and pick the pears in the top of the tree for us since we are so old.  You can take all you want back with you as gifts.
Love and miss you, 
Mom and Dad

21 comments:

  1. Benign neglect can sometimes be a good thing!
    Have a wonderful day!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This seems to be an interesting sort of a wild pear tree. When I see the picture, the fruits look like apples, ball-shaped.
    It is good, that you can use these pears for dehydrating. Maybe you
    could add them in an English-style fruitcake in winter. I did not know what pear butter is and had to look it up. Seems to be a sweet
    spicy sort of spread. How do you use it? For sandwiches or pancakes?
    Christel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I core the washed pears and put them into a crock pot and let them cook down. Then I use a hand blender to blend it until it is smooth. You can add sugar, spices or stevia then put in jars and seal. I pick the pears, bring them inside and use the ripest first. My crock pot will often be used constantly for a few weeks while I slowly do one batch at a time.

      It is like pear preserves except easier because you don't have to peel anything. Since the skins have never been sprayed, I am willing to use them.

      I use it on sandwiches, muffins, pancakes or homemade bread. My Mom likes it mixed with a jar of peanut butter and used that way.

      Delete
  3. Interesting, informative, and funny post, as always! And now I want pear butter. And a cuddle with Scooter. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scooter could use some cuddles. He was upset because the neighbor's cat sat on their porch and stared at him the whole time. He, of course stared back at her, but it was very upsetting.

      Delete
  4. What a great story. Every gardeners dream...ignore it and it will flourish. I think I would want the cedar gone.....free pears!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's on the to-do list, oh so many things to do.

      SALLY WOULD YOU COME HELP US CHOP THE TREE DOWN??? Bill will be glad to provide an ax.

      Delete
    2. I can't do that to you. It would be considered elder abuse!

      Delete
    3. After I read the correction to Bill and we both realized they are expensive pears, he said maybe we should cut that old cedar tree down. Then after he thought about how much work would be required, he said maybe he shouldn't cut it since it "might" be on our neighbor's property.

      Delete
  5. They look just like the Asian Pears the we had at a fresh food market I worked at during college. They were really good and it sounds like your are too!

    Love your "ignore" technique for dealing with gardening problems. We use it too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish my "ignore" technique worked on more things!

      Delete
    2. Rebecca, it appears you are right!

      Delete
  6. I wonder if Reese is thinking that no good deed goes unpunished! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reese will not read my correction since I emailed him and told him I did not say anything interesting about him on my blog. I am sure he not want to hear what I said. Also, if he does read it, I don't think he will ever come back home again.

      I am just so thrilled he read my blog!!!!

      Delete
  7. Now I understand! That fruit (pyrus pyrifolia) is known as NASHI-PEAR
    in Germany or they also call it apple-pear because of that round shape. You can buy trees to plant and also fruits in super-markets.
    I have never tried them, but I will when they will be offered, as I
    want to try them now.
    Christel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you try one, do let me know what you think.

      Delete
  8. Asian pears are a seasonal treat for us.
    Perhaps you would enjoy them fresh if you ignored the name, and thought of it as a crisp apple. Which is the consistency ours have. Mine are bought, but maybe you need to wait for the fruit to ripen to golden first?

    Delicious! But then I would love russet apples which we had in Switzerland, not available here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the idea Diana. This year I will be a bit more diligent and try other recipes like maybe a fruit salad. I also think I will wait longer and let them ripen more on the tree. Usually I start picking them when they start falling but maybe I need to let them sit (in the house) for longer.

      Delete
  9. I've had those before! We call them Asian pears and have eaten them crispy, like a extra-juicy apple, I guess. I've never cooked with them.

    I don't know why, but everything tree I've ignored gets wormy. The apples. The pears. Then, I buy some apples or pears that aren't wormy. (or someone gives me some) I also bought some spray for worms, but never put it on....still wormy. Didn't work at all sitting in the shed. Hmmmm.

    We love pear butter, too. We grind up the pears, skin and all, and cook down with some sugar. We usually don't even add species, although I did this time. It is so good! I'm glad you can use these pears for that. I didn't know that, since I've not had them very often in my life. I guess I wasn't a guest in the right place at the right time very often!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Everyone knows about these pears but me. Perhaps it is because they are "expensive" and I am cheap? Anyway, I have sprayed the tree with neem oil and bt from time to time. No pattern, just whenever I thought about it. Last year I didn't spray because of the fungus, it was too far gone, and this year I didn't bother.

      I promise to do better.

      Delete

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