Southworth Pear Tree- Zone 3
Characteristics of the tree
Southworth is a vigorous and extremely cold hardy pear. Its fruits are large, mild and sweet, with very good storage capabilities. The pear is firm at harvest, becoming buttery and juicy as it ripens.
Southworth is a rather large pear, weighing around 150g on average and measuring 6 cm in diameter. It is quite pretty in appearance, with a typical elongated pear shape. The pear is light green in colour with dark green or brown lenticels.
When first harvested it is firm and crunchy, with a mild sweet taste but not much flavour. It becomes more juicy and soft when it is left to mature for a few days at room temperature, and develops a sweet and refreshing flavour.
The Southworth pear is late to ripen, ready to harvest generally in mid to late September. It can be stored until January or possibly even February, retaining a firm texture and pleasing sweet taste.
Southworth is very hardy, up to zone 3. The pear tree is self-fertile, so it can produce fruit alone, although like most fruit trees, it will produce higher yields with a pollinator.
The tree is also an especially reliable producer, giving quality yields every year.
Discovered by Frank Southworth near the Great Lakes in Minnesota, this variety was first introduced for sale by Fred Ashworth in New York State.
Pear trees have a very vigorous and upright growth habit; becoming taller than apple trees (10 m/35 ft in height at maturity) but spreading less wide (6 m/20 ft) Their height can be controlled somewhat with rigorous pruning, but only to a certain degree. All going well, these trees will live for about 200 years, providing fruit for several future generations.
You should note that this illustration is meant only to give a general indication of what you can expect, and the growth of your tree might look somewhat different. The development of a tree depends on the soil type, irrigation, fertilisation and climatic conditions.
All our pear trees are sold bare-root, without pots. They have been cultivated directly in the soil, and are taken out of the ground to be shipped to you during their period of dormancy. Bare-root trees do not take up much space, and can be therefore shipped by mail all over Canada!
Pear trees have a naturally small root system – do not be surprised if your pear tree seems to have fewer roots compared to the other trees you receive! This photo shows a 3-foot-tall pear tree, similar to one you would receive. Depending on the height that you select when you order a pear tree, it could be smaller (1-2 feet) or taller (3-5 feet).
Our pear trees are propagated by grafting, on rootstock that we produce at the nursery. For pear cultivars that are hardy in zone 3, we use Pyrus ussuriensis rootstock for its vigour and hardiness (zone 2, growing in Alaska). For cultivars that are hardy in zone 4, our rootstock consists of either Pyrus ussuriensis, or seedling pear trees born from the trees in our orchard in zone 4.
About half of the pear trees we offer are self-fertile and can produce fruit on their own, though they will always give better yields with a pollinator. The rest are self-sterile, and cannot produce fruit without pollination from a different cultivar. Therefore, if you only have space for one tree, you might want to use the filter to see only self-fertile cultivars.
Provided it is grown in good conditions and properly cared-for, your pear tree will begin to bear fruit by around 5 years on average, although this can vary depending on your location and the fertility of your soil. Be sure to also have a look at our articles on how to plant and care for your growing tree!