History: The history of the Seckel pear is somewhat contentious. It was said to have been named after a Mr. Seckel who discovered the variety growing as a sapling near Philadelphia in the late 1700s or early 1800s. Some say it is the only commercial American pear since it was thought to have been a wild seedling but others believe the tree sprouted from a seed left by German immigrants. Either way, this lovely little pear is still grown on a small scale across the States as a specialty fruit.
Why We Grow It: Although it is small in size, this heirloom is popular for eating fresh due to its high quality flavour. The skin is green and the flesh is very sweet with a spicy flavour, which is why it's sometimes called 'Sugar Pear.' Aside from being excellent for fresh eating, this pear is great canned, pickled, and spiced. As an added bonus, the tree is resistant to fireblight.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 5
Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam, intolerant of chalky soils. Prefers average to moist conditions with well-drained soils, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Weakly vigorous with a slender and upright growth habit, compact, crops are decently reliable of decent size. Somewhat susceptible to scab and susceptible to stony pit but somewhat resistant to mildew and fireblight.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Requires a pollinator of a different pear variety (European or Asian) that blooms around the same time
Flowering Time: Middle
Ripens: Mid September
Storage: Keeps until November when stored in cool, humid conditions and December in cold storage
Recommended Use: Canning, fresh eating
Customer Suggestion: One of our wonderful customers shared a recipe for Pickled 'Sickle Pears' (aka Seckel) that had been passed down from his great grandmother. We haven't tested it out yet, but Seckel pears, brown sugar, cinnamon, vinegar and cloves, cooked and marinated, then pickled sounds very intriguing! Thanks for sharing David!
Size including roots:
- 1m+ Whip: 100cm+
- 1m+ Branched: 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
- <1m Whip: less than 100 cm