This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Ik looking over the list of Summer Pears now in cultivation in this country, we find the native sorts occupying a prominent position. Confining our present view to those pretty well known and ranking as best, we have the Tyson, Brandywine, Ott, and Moyamensing, of Pennsylvania; the Dearborn's Seedling and Andrew; of Massachusetts ; and the Bloodgood and Osband's Summer, of New York. Here are eight varieties all ripening in the climate of New York between the first of August and middle of September, beginning with the Bloodgood, and ending with the Andrews. We are yet in want of very early American Pears competing with the Madeleine and Doyenne d'Ete, and we would suggest to those whose attention is directed to the production of seedling varieties, to make special efforts to obtain such. An early native Pear as good as the Doyenne d'Ete, and twice as large, would be a great gain. This may soon be produced; in view of our present success, it is by no means unreasonable to hope for it. A cross between the Amire Joannet and Bartlett might give us what we want, and at any rate is worthy of trial.
We must not rely wholly upon chance seedlings.
Of the native summer varieties named above, the Bloodgood, Tyson, Ott, and Bran-dywine, are destined, we think, to be permanently valuable, whatever our future acquisitions may be. The Dearborn's Seedling may soon be placed among the rejected; for although it is a handsome and good Pear, a free grower and good bearer, yet its small size and want of high flavor, as compared with the Tyson or Brandywine, will lessen its value, and as people's tastes become critical, and the best more abundant, it will scarcely be considered worthy of general cultivation. At the late meeting of the Pomological Society, Samuel Walker, Esq., whose intelligence, good taste, and sound judgment in pomological matters, entitle his opinions to great weight, named the Rostiezer, Tyson, and Brandywine, as the three best Summer Pears; and we believe that most cultivators who have had experience enough to form a correct opinion, will not hesitate in assenting to this. Yet, if we were asked to recommend three Summer Pears to ripen in succession, we would not name these, because they are too nearly of one season; we should rather name the Madeleine or the Doyenne d'Ete, the Tyson, and the Bartlett.
The Tyson* which is more particularly the subject under notice now, is an accidental seedling, found in a hedge row on the farm of Mr. Jonathan Tyson, of Jenkin-town, near Philadelphia, some sixty years ago, and we believe the original tree is yet living. It has not yet been extensively disseminated, or at least has not yet borne in many localities. The oldest trees we know of in Western New York, are on the grounds of Asa B. Smith, of Macedon. We saw these trees some eight or nine years ago, and they had then just commenced bearing full crops. It is rather a tardy bearer on Pear stock; we have trees eight or nine years old that have not yet fruited, but we have had fine crops from young trees on the Quince stock. A small pyramidal tree, only four years old, was last season covered from top to bottom with fruit The tree was healthy and vigorous, and the fruit of full size and highly colored, making altogether the most beautiful object of the kind we have seen. We think we have seen it stated that it comes into bearing the fourth or fifth year on Pear stock; but this must be a mistake, unless forced by summer pruning or some other operation calculated to subdue its naturally vigorous and rapid growth. The habit of the tree is erect and pyramidal.
Young shoots - vigorous, dark brown, darker than the Seckel. Leaves- dark green, above medium size, finely serrated, and remarkably persistent Fruit- medium size, two to two and a half inches long and one and a half to two inches wide, pyramidal, tapering regularly to the stalk. Skin - dull yellow, becoming clear at full maturity, with a dark red cheek. Stalk - nearly two inches long, rather slender, and inserted without depression. Calyx - large, open, in a shallow basin. Flesh - finegrained, melting, sweet, and aromatic, like the Seckel. Ripens from the middle to the end of August; should be picked ten days to a fortnight before maturity. Last summer our best specimens were gathered on the 14th of August, and eaten on the 23d. It succeeds particularly well on the Quince, judging from trees of seven or eight years' growth. This variety appears to us to be a cross between the Madeleine and the Seckel; it has the form of the first, with the color and somewhat of the flavor of the latter, and the growth of the tree partakes of the characteristics of both.
Possibly it is a seedling from the Rousselet de Rheims, an old widely-disseminated variety, and said to be the parent of the Seckel. At all events it has secured the reputation of being one of the best if not the very best of American Summer Pears, and we can safely recommend it to a place in every collection, large or small.
* See Frontispioce.
There are several new summer varieties of native origin that give promise of excellence, among which the Sterling, from Western New York, is prominent We have not seen the fruit, but the tree is a vigorous and beautiful grower, and this is not a trifling recommendation. The Westcott, of Rhode Island, also promises well. It ripens in August, and in size and form resembles the Madeleine.
Among Summer Pears of foreign origin, the Doyenne d'Ete, Beurre Giffard, and Rostiezer are great acquisitions. Portraits and descriptions of these three will be found in the two last volumes of the Horticulturist.
The Giffard is decidedly the largest and finest Pear of its season, following close upon the earliest varieties, Doyenne d'Ete and Madeleins. The tree is not so robust a grower as we would desire, but this defect can very well be borne, in view of its excellence.
The Rostiezer is a rampant grower, like the old Jargonelle, making long, stout, naked, very dark shoots; quite at home on the Quince, and is not a tardy bearer on the Pear stock. The fruit is not large enough to suit some people, but for a nice dessert Pear, it is as large as we would desire. Very few persons would wish to eat an entire Pear that would weigh half a pound. Dealers who seek a profit by retailing, are not very partial to large Pears, as they buy by the measure and sell by count As taste becomes cultivated, there will be less importance placed upon the size of such fruits as Pears and Apples.
The Beurre Goubault is of comparatively recent introduction. It is a remarkably vigorous grower, and an early and abundant bearer. Fruit - medium size to large, roundish. Skin - thick, green. Flesh - soft, juicy, melting, sweet, but not high flavored. Both tree and fruit so much resemble the Summer Francreal as to show a close relationship. Ripe about the first of September, almost the same season as the Bartlett, and this detracts from its value.
Manning's Elizabeth is a very beautiful and excellent variety, medium size, obovate. Skin - pale yellow or straw-color in the shade, streaked and mottled with bright red in the sun, and sprinkled with small red dots. Flesh - a little coarse, but melting, sweet, juicy, and highly perfumed. Ripe about the middle of August This variety has been recommended by the Pomological Society. A good grower, and productive.
The Rousselet Stuttgart is an excellent Pear, but little known. The tree is hardy, an erect, beautiful grower, and a prodigious bearer, succeeding equally well both on Pear and Quince stocks. The wood is dark, like the Seekel, Tyson, and others of the Rousselet stamp. Fruit - medium size, obovate, often pyramidal, slightly necked, greenish-yellow in the shade, dull brownish-red in the sun, with carmine dots thickly sprinkled over it Flesh - half-melting, juicy, sugary, and aromatic Ripe latter end of August and first of September. Should be picked a week before ripe, but is often found in very good condition on the tree.
The old English Jargonelle is almost abandoned; for although it is a fine tree, a great bearer, and a sprightly, refreshing Pear, it is difficult in our climate to get it from the tree before it is gone at the core.
The Julienne has been underrated. It is a strong grower, very hardy and prolific, and if picked in proper season, a good fruit At the west and south it succeeds remarkably well, and is very justly held in high esteem. It will not soon be struck from the lists of good, profitable Pears.
The Summer Francreal is not beet in quality, but is so productive and so good as to be highly valuable. When taken from tie tree at the proper time, it is as juicy as a Peach. A friend of ours regards it as the best substitute for a Peach of any Pear he knows; and he is pretty well informed.
The Duchess of Berry (Duchesse de Berry d'Ete) is a handsome and very good Pear, ripening in the latter end of August and first of September. It is distinct in form, being generally roundish, with a short, stout stalk. Color - bright yellow. It frequently varies from this form, being somewhat pyramidal, with a longer and more slender stalk, and has occasionally a blush on the sunny side.
The Summer Calebasse, (Calebasse d'Ete), ripening also latter end of August, is likely to prove good. It is distinct in form, resembling the Long Green.
The Jalousie Fontenay Vendie ripens about the same time as the Bart-lett, and is a very excellent Pear, a good grower, and remarkably productive, succeeding well both on Quince and Pear.
We might mention several other Summer Pears which are in American collections, but these are the most important.
The "Revue Horticole" for November last, gives a drawing and description of a new variety - Briffant - which resembles the B. Giffard, and ripens first of August It has been originated by Mr. Briffant, gardener at the Sevres porcelain manufactory.
The varieties we have mentioned, might be classified, for convenience, as follows: Best, and worthy of general cultivation. - Madelaine, Doyenne d'Ete, Blood-good, Beurre Giffard, Rostiezer, Tyson, Ott, Brandy wine, Manning's Elizabeth, Jalousie Fontenay Vendee, and Bartlett.