Seckle pears are a great dessert treat if you can find them. They are not easy to locate but are unusual and well worth a search. The fruits are borne on semi-dwarf trees and are small (bite-size), and very sweet, leading to the name “sugar pear’.  The flesh has a grainy texture while the skin is smooth and olive green, often with a dark red blush.  Available from September to January, the fruits are especially good with chocolate and creamy mild cheeses. They are also good poached in wine or pickled for use in salad or as a garnish. The head-gardener has grown these pears at our nursery in New Jersey and he always says as they ripen in the Fall they are outstanding right off the tree. The Seckle pear is an American pear, probably a hybrid of Asian and European varieties, and is named after the Pennsylvania farmer who discovered it over 100 years ago growing about four miles outside of Philadelphia.

Fruit Description: 2½-3” long, 1½ -2” wide; olive green often with red blush; sweet, grainy texture.

Fruit Availability:September-December

Seckle (lf) Bartlett (rt) pears

Plant Size: Semi-dwarf (15-20′)

Light: Full sun

Soil: Fertile, well-drained

Fertilizer: Apply balanced fertilizer annually

Hardiness: Zones 5-8

Pests and Diseases: Good resistance to fire blight

Propagation: Graft.

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By Karen