This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Who ever has had anything to do with pears must have noticed how con fused are the ideas of writers about pear diseases. We read of "pear blight," and " cracked pears," the writer evidently not recognizing that there are many distinct things under these names. Take cracking. That which we often see in the Giffard or the Beurre Diel is very different from that which we see in the St. Germain or the White Doyenne; and we must note these differences if we would reach a true idea of cause and cure. While a cracked Beurre Giffard may be had from a tree apparently with healthy growth, the White Doyenne and St. Germain trees always show a stunted growth. We have had a St. Germain tree before our eyes annually for ten years, but never saw an annual growth of over six inches, and yet the tree stands by itself in very rich ground, where there is no reason why it might not make some shoots of a foot or two at least. Besides, that there is no defect in the opportunities for nutrition is evidenced by the dark green foliage. If the tree did not grow from poverty, it would have yellow and not green foliage. So with White Doyennes under similar circumstances. The leaves are always of a healthy green, but it would puzzle the propagator to get any sticks fit for budding from a crack-fruited pear tree.
This fact should be borne in mind by those studying the diseases of the pear.
We have often heard that there is no such cracking known in the Old World, but we have from time to time shown that this is a mistake. If any further evidence be required, the following from the Gardener's Record may supply it: "A tree of White Doyenne pear, which had borne nothing but worthless, cracked fruit for years, had, three years ago, all its upper branches grafted with Autumn Bergamot, and the lower branches of the White Doyenne were suffered to remain. The growth of the Autumn Bergamot has been very strong, and their strength has been evidently communicated to the stock several inches below the point of union. On one of these branches a sprout of Marie Louise, growing just below the point of union, had been overlooked in the grafting, and the shoots bore last year clean, perfect fruit, all the rest of the tree being cracked and worthless as heretofore. The most probable influence in accounting for this is, that this shoot had received its conditions of health from the Autumn Bergamot shoot above it.'