Pear trees must have a period of dormancy and an accompanied chilling at 45 degrees Fahrenheit or less in order to bear fruit. This time is known as chill hours and varies by species. Most of the varieties that grow in Florida need 200 hours or less of chill time. Because of this requirement, pear trees generally do not do well south of Orlando and are mostly grown in the northern region of the state.
The Baldwin pear is best grown in northern Florida. These trees are hardy to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. The Baldwin pear is a tree that is resistant to fire blight. It produces blooms late in spring each year. The fruit of the Baldwin pear is a golden-yellow color with waxy skin. The shape of this fruit is slightly elongated. The flesh of the fruit is very creamy and juicy. These fruits are ideal for baking and canning.
The Hood pear grows well in north Florida, and can survive as far south as Orlando. It is sometimes referred to as the Magness pear. It blooms in early spring each year. The fruit of this tree is usually green in color. In some cases, the pear will have a brownish hue and an elongated neck. It is a small- to medium-sized fruit. Hood pears are ideal for canning or eating fresh.
The Flordahome pear grows in north and central Florida. It blooms early in spring and bears fruit in early fall or late summer. It can grow up to 40 feet tall with a spread of 15 feet. The fruit of this tree is small and light green. It produces best when it is pollinated with another pear tree, preferably the Hood pear. Flordahome pears are disease resistant and the trees are an attractant to bees. The fruit is best eaten fresh.
The pineapple pear tree grows in northern and central Florida. This tree is named for its acidic fruit, which has a pineapple-like taste along with meaty flesh. These trees bloom early in spring and are self-pollinating. Even so, it will produce a better crop if planted with a pollinator. The pineapple pear tree will bear fruit at a fairly young age. The fruit of this tree is a reddish-yellow and is usually available in August. It is a popular choice for home canning.
The Kieffer pear is grown in northern Florida. It blooms late in spring, with the fruit ripening in September each year. It produces a small rounded yellow fruit with heavy red speckling. The flesh and skin have a crisp texture and the fruit is very juicy. It is a very hardy tree, resistant to fire blight, and tolerates heat well. Two of these trees should be grown together to ensure proper pollination. The fruit of this tree is ideal for canning.
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