Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sand Pear

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: this has excellent pictures - a newly discovered Florida blogger - 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.


  1. We have a Asian pear (sand pear) tree in our back yard out by our old horse barn. Our tree is a couple hundred years old, it is several stories tall and is almost impossible for us to harvest the pears before the birds and squirrels eat them because they are so high up. The deer love the pears if they make it to the ground. Our tree was planted by early Americans who had built a home here. The original home, which was built in the 1700's, is gone, and we now live in their home which was built in the 1850's, but their fancy imported Asian pear tree still gives us fruit after all this time. It must be a hardy and strong tree. The pear is hard and crunchy, and is more tart than a normal pear. We really like them. We also have a number of historic apple trees near the pear tree, but their apples are small and bitter.

    If you get your Sand Pear tree, may it live as long as ours and bless you with many pears thru the years.


  2. I love these pears. I like them so much because they aren't too sweet. They almost taste like sweet jicama. They would go great in a salad.

    A friend of mine has a sand pear tree in Lakeland. It was chock full of pears.