• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Pyrus communis 'Pitmaston Duchess' (C/d)

pear 'Pitmaston Duchess'

  • Other common names pear 'Pitmaston Duchess'

  • Family Rosaceae

  • Genus Pyrus are deciduous trees or shrubs with oval leaves and scented white flowers in spring, followed by green or brown fruits, edible in some species

  • Details 'Pitmaston Duchess' is both a dessert and cooking pear that has a sweet delicate flavour when cooked - quite sugary and melting. It has large handsome fruits that are excellent for exhibition and attractive blossom on a vigorous tree. Crops over a short season in late September to October. Pollination group 4 and is a triploid. Any non-triploid pear in flowering group 3, 4 or 5 will pollinate it, but because 'Pitmaston Duchess' produces no viable pollen a third, different, pear must be grown to pollinate the pollinator

Characteristics

  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)

    H6

Colour

Sunlight

  • Full Sun

  • Aspect South-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered

Soil

  • Loam

    Loam

  • Clay

    Clay

  • Sand

    Sand

  • MoistureWell-drained, Moist but well-drained

  • SoilLoam, Clay, Sand

  • pHNeutral, Acid

Size

  • Ultimate height 4-8 metres

  • Ultimate spread 4-8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Plant in a well-drained, but fertlie soil in full sun. The ideal pH is 6.5, but will tolerate other soils, if they are deep (45-60cm (18-24in) and enriched with well-rotted organic matter. Suitable for all training forms including espaliers, fan-training, pyramids and cordon. Needs two other pear cultivars for pollination. Keep a weed free area of 60cm radius around the trunk. Thin fruit if necessary

Propagation Propagate by grafting or chip budding onto a rootstock for fruit. Quince rootstocks are usually used for pears

Suggested planting locations and garden types Cottage & Informal Garden

How to care

Pruning Regular pruning required, according to form: cordons, espaliers and pruning established fans. Can also be grown as standards or spindlebushes. For further guidance see: pruning new pear trees, summer pear pruning, winter pear pruning, renovating pear trees

Pests May be attacked by aphids, caterpillars, codling moth, birds, especially bullfinches, pear midge, pear and cherry slugworm and pear blister mite

Diseases Susceptible to pear scab. It may be affected by pear rust, brown rot, blossom wilt and fireblight

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