GardenMessenger

This blog reviews the latest products, plants and innovations in gardening. It also provides a link for my many gardening friends who are members of the GardenMessenger and Seedmessenger Yahoo groups and their sub-groups that I moderate.

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Location: Australia

I am a semi-retired UK botanical garden curator and former international horticultural consultant, who has worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Australia. I spend part of the year in Australia and part in Europe, mainly due to family and work commitments. I earn my living from writing and editing Internet copy, articles and books. I have written over fifty books on gardening and have been translated into twenty-four different languages. I am a former UK Garden Writer of the Year and a previous Quill & Trowel Award Winner from the Garden Writer’s Association of America. I am interested in developing gardening communities on the Internet and I manage the popular GardenMessenger Yahoo group, along with its various sub-groups like PondMessenger and SeedMessenger. I also edit International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another Fire Blight Resistant Pear

Pear 'Shenandoah'

‘Shenandoah’ is the third fire blight-resistant pear cultivar to be developed by US Agricultural Research Service horticulturist Richard Bell. Fire Blight is a devastating pear disease caused by a bacterium, Erwinia amylovora, and is native to North America. It greatly limits pear production in eastern and mid-western states, so growers in California, Oregon and Washington produce most of the pears harvested in the United States. ‘Shenandoah’ can be grown in all production regions, but it is thought will be especially useful in areas where fire blight is prevalent. In the Eastern United States, pears mature and are harvested from early August through early October. ‘Shenandoah’ matures in September, about four weeks after the widely grown 'Bartlett' cultivar. The new pear can be stored for up to four months in cold air storage.

Richard Bell and colleagues at the ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, West Virginia, began developing the original seedling of ‘Shenandoah’ more than two decades ago. As pear trees have a long juvenile period, they do not produce enough fruit for evaluation until they are five to eight years old. The researchers then spent an additional eight years studying how long the ‘Shenandoah’ pear tree takes to bear a crop, the quality of the crop's yield and its consistency from one year to the next. This cultivar is only available in limited numbers to home gardeners in North America at present.


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Happy Gardening

Philip

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