060 `Blake's Pride' Fire Blight-resistant Pear Cultivar

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  • 1 USDA-ARS, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, 45 Wiltshire Road. Kearneysville, WV 25430-9425
  • 2 USDA-ARS, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster, OH 44691

`Blake's Pride' has been released jointly by USDA and The Ohio State Univ. as a new fire blight-resistant cultivar. The original seedling tree was selected in 1977 at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster by R.C. Blake and T. van der Zwet from a cross of US 446 × US 505, performed in 1965 by H.J. Brooks, and was tested under the original seedling number, OHUS 66131-021. The fruit of `Blake's Pride' is pyriform to round-pyriform in shape, and is moderate in size, averaging ≈2.75″ to 3″ in diameter, and 3.25″ in height. The stem is short, medium in thickness, and upright. Skin undercolor is yellow, the finish is glossy, and 20% to 30% of the fruit surface is covered with a smooth, light tan russet. Harvest maturity occurs about 3 weeks after `Bartlett', and the fruit will store in air storage for at least 3 months without core breakdown or superficial scald. The flesh texture is moderately fine, juicy, and buttery. Grit cells are moderately small and occur primarily around the core and in a thin layer under the skin, similar to `Bartlett'. The flavor is subacid and aromatic. The tree is moderate in vigor on `Bartlett' seedling rootstock, and upright-spreading in habit. Yield has been moderate to moderately high. Fire blight infections are rare, and extend no further than 1-year-old growth. Artificial blossom inoculations indicate a moderate degree of resistance of blossoms to fire blight infection. Resistance of `Blake's Pride' to both shoot and blossom infection is much greater than that of `Bartlett'.

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