Vekovaya Pear Tree- Zone 3
Characteristics of the tree
Vekovaya is a large and beautiful pear, with a unique sweet and slightly acidic flavour. It is ready to harvest in September and stores rather well. The Vekovaya pear tree is remarkable for its cold hardiness, disease-resistance and productivity. Its name means ‘Century’ in Russian, where it originates.
Vekovaya is a large pear, weighing up to 250g, and is very beautiful and striking in appearance. It is pear-shaped but with a slightly flattened base and slightly square-cut form, and is yellow in colour with an intense red blush on a third of the pear.
The flesh has a very nice texture: firm and crunchy, but very juicy. It has a very good and interesting flavour, sweet with some acidity and slight astringency behind it, with a floral aroma.
People who enjoy more complex flavours and find the Bartlett pear boring, will surely love Vekovaya! The skin is quite astringent, however, so it might be preferable to peel it before enjoying the fruit.
The pear is ready to harvest in mid to late September, and keeps for up to three months in cold storage.
The Vekovaya pear tree is fully hardy to zone 3a. It is moderately vigorous, with a tight, rounded crown. It takes about 4-5 years to start producing fruit, after which it is a highly productive and reliable tree, producing large annual yields.
It is also noted as being very resistant to fire blight. No issues with any disease have been noted to date.
Vekovaya is a good pollinator for other pear trees. It is also noted as self-fertile by its Russian breeders, but you are sure to get higher yields with pollination from another pear tree.
Vekovaya is the result of over 60 years of breeding in Russia, where a great deal of work has been done to discover new cold-hardy pear varieties. It was produced in the Southern Ural Research Institute in the late 1980s, under the leadership of Erik Falkenberg.
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!