The Chojuro Asian Pear tree produces delicious fruits in late August that store for five months of the year. Their sweet, crisp and very juicy white flesh tastes of pears and butterscotch, and they are great for eating fresh, or using in both sweet and savor salads. The medium-sized tree is easy to grow from zone 5 to 8, and with its bold spring display of creamy-white flowers, full of fragrance, it makes a beautiful ornamental tree too. Once the fruit has ripened and been picked, you are still in for a beautiful fall display of bright red leaves, making this tree truly a dual-purpose ornamental and fruiting tree for any garden. Plant one on a lawn, or in a flower bed, or begin your own home orchard.
- Large, crisp and juicy fruit tastes of pears and butterscotch
- Fruit will store for five months in a cool room
- Beautiful spring display of fragrant blossoms
- Spectacular bright red fall leaves
- Easily grown medium-sized tree
The Chojuro Asian Pear is easy to grow. Choose a sunny spot in rich, well-drained soil, and plant on a slope, or on higher ground, and avoid low-lying spots that can hold the frost in spring. All pear trees can be affected by pests or diseases, but the Asian pear is much less affected, and it is very easy to grow with very little attention. Some simple pruning and training in late winter, and thinning fruit for maximum size, is all the care needed to have your very own Asian pears on your table for almost half the year.
Growing fruit at home is not difficult, and there are many kinds of fruit trees and bushes available. Ideally a fruit tree should not only be productive, but attractive as a garden tree too. There is not much point in growing at home fruit that is readily available cheaply at the grocery store, and a fruit you can store for a long time is good too, since it reduces waste. The Chojuro Asian Pear satisfies all these things, and it is also a terrific fruit for eating, and an easy tree to grow. What more could you ask for?
Growing Chojuro Asian Pear Tree
The Chojuro Asian Pear Tree is a small tree, growing no more than 20 feet tall, or smaller if pruned correctly. With a spread of about 10 feet it fits perfectly onto a smaller lawn as a specimen tree, and indeed, when in bloom it really is a beautiful sight – as attractive as almost any flowering tree. The branches of the Chojuro Pear Tree are covered in spring with clusters of creamy-white fragrant flowers, nestling among the new leaves. The young leaves have a coppery sheen to them, turning deep green as they mature. In fall they turn brilliant red, giving you another ornamental feature from this beautiful tree.
But of course, it is the pears we are here for, and delicious pears they are. Asian pears are quite different from European pears, and much easier to succeed with at home. The fruit of the Chojuro Asian Pear does not have the typical long shape of a European pear, but instead it is round, like an apple, and medium to large – 3 or 4 inches in diameter. The skin is golden brown, with the texture of a russet apple, and you can eat the skin, or peel it, as you wish. The flesh is white, crisp and very juicy, with a rich, aromatic pear flavor, and many people describe it as tasting like butterscotch. The fruit begins to ripen at the end of August, and the texture remains crisp. If you have eaten Asian pears from the store, you know how expensive they can be, and homegrown tastes so much better too.
This pear is ideal for eating fresh, putting into sweet or savory salads, or baking into tarts or muffins. With its firmer flesh it makes very attractive pies, as the slices hold their shape. It also dries well, into delicious dried pear slices. The best part of all is that you can store these pears for up to 20 weeks – that’s right, 5 months of having this delicious home-grown fruit available for your family. For storage the fruit should be picked and handled carefully, without bruising. Wrap each fruit separately in paper, and store in a cool room in single layers. Check periodically and eat any pears showing soft spots first. That’s all you need to do to enjoy this pear in your home for almost half the year.
Planting and Initial Care
Grow the Chojuro Asian Pear Tree in full sun, on a lawn, in a garden bed, or in a home orchard. This tree grows best in fertile and well-drained soil, so add plenty of rich organic material when planting, and as a spring mulch over the root zone. Keep the area under the tree free of grass and weeds, and a mulch will help you do that, as well as feeding the soil and conserving moisture. Although some pests or diseases are always possible with fruit trees, Asian pear trees are much easier to grow than their European relatives. Prune in late winter, and develop a single central stem, with radiating branches spreading almost horizontally. You can use string attached to stones to pull the branches down and spread them out. When the young fruit is the size of a dime, remove all but one from each cluster. If you leave all the fruit on the tree, most of it will be misshapen and small – thinning gives you larger fruit of a much better quality.
History and Origins of the Chojuro Asian Pear Tree
Asian pears are a different species of pear (called Pyrus pyrifolia) from the European pear tree, Pyrus communis. It grows throughout China, Japan and Korea, and it has been grown and eaten there for centuries. These fruits have only recently become available, and they always attract interest, and command high prices. The variety called ‘Chojuro’ originated in Japan around 1895, and it has remained popular there, as well as becoming very popular in Western countries. Our trees are produced by attaching stem pieces taken from the correct tree, onto roots of seedling pear trees. If you see any sprouts coming from the base of your tree, remove them cleanly immediately. This variety is partially self-fertile, so it will produce fruit when grown alone, but for a much larger and more reliable crop, plant near another Asian pear, or a European pear variety like Bartlett, which blooms at the same time.