By: Amy Grant
If you love Bartlett, you’ll love Tosca pears. You can cook with Tosca pears just as you would Bartlett and they are also delicious eaten fresh. Before you purchase a Tosca pear tree, continue reading to learn how to care for Tosca pears in the home garden.
As mentioned, Tosca pears are similar to Bartlett pears. Tosca pear trees are a hybrid between the early season Coscia and the Williams bon Cretien, aka the Bartlett pear. These pears were developed in Tuscany, Italy and, due to their Italian heritage, are thought to have been named after the infamous opera by Giacomo Puccini.
The earliest pears to ripen (available in the late summer and early fall), Tosca pears are bell shaped with a greenish-yellow skin and bright white, juicy flesh.
Pear trees need full sunlight, 6-8 hours per day, so be sure to select a site that has enough sun exposure. Once you have chosen a site, dig a hole to accommodate the root ball. Amend the soil with plenty of compost.
Remove the tree from the burlap and set it in into the hole. Gently spread the roots out and then refill the hole with the amended soil. Water the tree in well and continue to water regularly once or twice a week. Tosca pears will begin bearing fruit in 3-5 years from planting.
Almost all fruit trees need to be pruned at some point and pears are no exception. Prune the tree as soon as it is planted. Leave the central leader alone and select 3-5 outward reaching branches to prune out. Leave branches that are growing upward alone except to trim off the ends a bit to encourage growth. Thereafter, monitor the tree for any dead, diseased or crossing branches and prune them out.
You should stake the pear to allow it to grow straight and to give it some support from winds. Also, mulch in a 3-foot (just under a meter) circle around the tree to help retain moisture and retard weeds.
Generally speaking, pears shouldn’t need more than an annual fertilizing, that is, of course, unless your soil is lacking in nutrients. Be cautious when fertilizing. If you give the tree too much nitrogen, you will end up with a lovely bushy, green tree but no fruit. A great option for the home gardener is a slow-release fruit tree fertilizer, which slowly provides nutrients that should be sufficient for a year.
Tosca pear trees will bear fruit in 3-5 years from planting. Because they don’t change color to say red or yellow, but are fairly yellow-green when ripe, color is not an indicator of when they should be harvested. Instead, rely on smell and touch. Ripe pears should give a little when gently squeezed and should smell aromatic.
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Read more about Pear Trees
One of the most well-known of all pear tree varieties, Bartlett pears are prized for several reasons.
For one, they are extremely productive. Bartlett pears produce big yields of extremely juicy and sweet pears. And they do so early on in their growing cycle.Golden Bartlett’s are just one of the excellent choices of Bartlett pears available for planting.
In fact, they can bear fruit as early as in their third full year of growth. It will take up to 5 to 7 years for a full crop, but it’s nice to know you can start sampling early on!
Bartlett pear trees are considered self pollinating, but they will produce much better if given a partner. A Moonglow pear tree is an excellent choice for second pollinating tree.
Bartlett pears are hardy in zones four through eight, and usually are ready to harvest in August. Product Link : Bartlett Pear Tree
Not only is the Moonglow pear a great pollinating partner, it is an excellent choice for eating too!
Hardy in zones 5 through 8, the Moonglow tree will grow to around 10 feet tall. It makes a great choice for planting dwarf pear trees when space is at a premium.
Moonglow pears with their slight tinge of red.
Their blooms are a spectacular show of color in late April to May. Moonglow pears are a greenish-yellow with a slight red tint when ripe. Porduct Link : Moonglow
Of the three choices listed, Seckel pears are the smallest. But are they every packed with juicy flavor!
They are also a perfect pollinator for Moonglow pear trees. The Seckel variety is hardy in zones 5 through 8, and is often referred to as the dessert or candy pear for it’s sweet flavor.
Seckel pears are often called candy pears for their sweetness.
Dwarf Seckel trees will grow 6 to 8 feet wide and around 10′ tall when fully mature.
Here is to adding a bit of perennial flavor to your landscape by planting dwarf fruit trees!
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