It's been too hot and rainy this summer to spend much time at Tree Ring, so I haven't written much. Instead, I've done a lot of researching and thought that fellow Floridians might be interested in some of it.
Eventually we want to grow food on our Tree Farm. Last week my co-worker mentioned she was visiting her Grandmother in Northern Florida and was hoping her Gma's pear tree had some pears ready. I asked her what kind of pear tree grew in Florida, and she told me it was a Sand Pear.
First, with my black thumb, I want to know if it has a chance of living. Yes, this looks like my kind of tree, as it seems to be fairly disease resistant. One web site said you can just put a branch in the ground and start a new one.
Some web sites equate the sand pear to an apple pear, which is crunchy like an apple. Though it has a high water content, it can be used to may pies just like an apple. It supposedly has a slightly gritty texture, but I really didn't notice it at all when I ate the one my co-worker brought me after her visit.
It isn't a Florida native plant. Rather it is from Asia. In China it is a sacred fruit and apparently many sayings come from it, but in my research I couldn't find any.
It apparently grows in the northern half of Florida, so I assume it can potentially be grown in the Tampa or Orlando area. The trees with the lowest chill requirements are 'Hood' and 'Flordahome' and would be suited for the southern range. Some varieties listed on the University of Florida's web site:
Pineapple, Baldwin, Tenn, Flordahome, Ayers, Hood, Orient, Carnes
Here are links to some web sites that I used for my research:
http://wapedia.mobi- this has excellent pictures
http://www.floridata.com - a newly discovered Florida blogger
http://centralfloridagarden.blogspot.com - another newly discovered Florida blogger
Here are some online resources for purchasing a Sand Pear tree:
If any of you are successfully growing pears, please share the variety and your experiences.