The Concorde pear, patented in the mid-1990s, is a sweet, dessert pear bred from Doyenne du Comice and Conference pears. The distinctive fruit is longer than pears normally found in the grocery store, with yellow skins blushed all over with pink. Concorde pear trees have dark green foliage and are resistant to some diseases. Concorde pear begins producing fruit at 3 years old and is a high-yielding tree best grown in colder regions of the United States.
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Zone and Size
Concorde pears are not widely available in the United States, though they are grown commercially in the Pacific Northwest. The trees bloom in late April and fruit is ready to harvest in mid-September to October in U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 5 through 8. The height of the tree depends on the rootstock the tree is grafted to, but ranges from trees grow 10 to 30 feet tall with a similar spread. Plant trees 20 to 25 feet apart.
Concorde pears have the same growing requirements as other pear varieties. Pear trees tolerate different types of soils and prefer full to grow in full sun. Fertilise lightly once a year and prune dead wood as needed to maintain good air circulation in the canopy. Watch for fire blight, pear psylla, codling moth and plum curculios. Like most pears, Concorde needs to grow near another pear for proper pollination and fruiting. Plant Concorde near Comice, Conference or Williams pear tree varieties for best results.
Although Concorde is too sweet for canning in heavy syrup, that same heightened level of sweetness is a plus for fruit chutneys, relishes and preserves. The pear is firm and more aromatic than many other varieties of pear. As a dessert fruit, Concorde pear may be served raw in salads or on fruit trays, or simply eaten out of hand. The trees may be grown along with other varieties in a small home orchard grouping.
Pick Concorde pears just before full ripening. The fruit will ripen within a few days at room temperature and remain fresh in storage for one to two months.
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