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Pyrus communis 'Pitmaston Duchess' (C/D)
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

pear 'Pitmaston Duchess'

'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

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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Rosaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
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

Name status

Accepted

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 and informal garden
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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