`Shenandoah': A New Fire Blight-resistant Pear Cultivar

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  • 1 USDA, ARS, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV 25430
  • 2 USDA, ARS, Appalachian Fruit Research Station, Kearneysville, WV 25430
  • 3 Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State Univ., Horticulture and Crop Science, Wooster, OH 44691

`Shenandoah' is a new European pear (Pyrus communis L.) cultivar which combines resistance to fire blight with fruit of excellent quality. The original seedling tree was selected in 1985 from a cross of `Max Red Bartlett'× US 56112-146, and was tested under the original seedling number, US 78304-057. The fruit of `Shenandoah' is pyriform in shape, and moderately large in size, averaging 72 mm in diameter and 92 mm in height. Skin color at harvest is light green, turning yellow-green when ripe. The skin finish is glossy, and 10% to 20% of the fruit surface is blushed red. There is light tan russet at the calyx. Lenticles are slightly conspicuous, and are surrounded by small, light brown russet. The stem is medium to long (≈25 mm), of medium thickness, and slightly curved. Harvest maturity occurs about four weeks after `Bartlett', and the fruit will store in refrigerated (-1 °C) air storage for at least four 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. The flavor is aromatic, similar to `Bartlett', and is moderately acidic during the first two months of storage, becoming subacid after longer storage. The tree is moderate in vigor on `Bartlett' seedling and `OHxF 97' rootstocks, and upright-spreading in habit. Shenandoah' blooms in mid-season, similar to `Bartlett'. Yield has been moderately high and precocious, and with no pronounced biennial pattern. Fire blight resistance is similar to `Seckel', with infections extending no further than 1-year-old branches. Artificial blossom inoculations indicate a moderate degree of blossom resistance to fire blight infection.

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