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[nafex] Flemish Beauty & Fireblight


    I planted a little Flemish Beauty from Mellinger's in '83, and it
grew up into a nice tree by '89, at which time it suffered an attack of
fireblight.  The blight returned in the summer of '90, and there was so
little tree left that I took it out.  (In the very same spot I later
planted a Shinseiki, which is extremely healthy).

   Nothing daunted, I planted another Flemish Beauty, also from
Mellinger's, in '91, and as of this writing it is healthy as a horse.
This tree has never shown the slightest sign of fireblight or any other
disease, and in '98 it started to produce the most delicious pears that
I have ever eaten.  It is now quite a large tree, and I am pruning to
keep it down below 15 feet.  This past summer's crop was, unfortunately,
taken by a late freeze.  The tree is sited in one of my best spots, with
all-day sun and good air circulation.  But I am, after all, on the zone
6/7 border, and summers here can be brutally humid.  Nevertheless, the
tree is entering its 12th healthy year.

    Now you may say : "Just wait, Don Yellman, fireblight will
getcha.......", and you may be right.  But I also wonder whether
individual trees of the same cultivar might occasionally show some
fireblight resistance that is not shared by all.  It's not that I don't
have fireblight around.  I had a moderately severe attack on a 3-year E.
Spitzenberg this summer, and some obvious fireblight on two mature
Braeburns.  Dr. Tom Burford advised me to just take them out, but I am
still dithering about it, wondering whether they might be saved by
careful pruning.  Probably not.

    So, while the fireblight may catch up with my Flemish Beauty
someday, in the meantime this tree produces the absolutely juciest,
tartly-delicious pears that anyone can imagine.  Of course, my little
Magness tree is not yet in production, and I have never had the
privilege of eating a Warren.  They would have to be pretty good to beat
the F.B.

    There is lots of scionwood available on this tree right now if
anyone is interested in grafting.  Just name your caliper and I've got

Best Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

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