Pear Duchess: The Unrivaled Duchess

If you ask a person living in a country with a temperate climate to name any fruit, then in response, most likely, you will hear “apple” or “pear”. And no wonder, because these fruits accompany people from the prehistoric era. As for the pears, the ancient Greeks, presumably, began to cultivate them 10 more centuries before our era. Centuries-old selection work has given mankind a huge variety of these fruits. All the more surprising is the emergence of a variety that is recognized throughout the world and is always considered the best. This is the famous Duchess.

History and Description of Duchess Pear Variety

The third century pleases the Duchess variety of gardeners and pear lovers. He was bred in 1796 by Wheeler - a breeder from the UK (Berkshire). The name can be translated as "Duchess." Now in private gardens and farms around the world you can find trees of several varieties of this variety, but all of them are united by the essential features of the fruit - a unique flavor, exquisite aroma and excellent juiciness.

It’s easy to grow Duchess. If he receives enough sunlight and heat, is protected from gusty winds, he will reward the gardener with an excellent harvest.

The name of the pear Duchess translates as "Duchess"

The only caveat: the pear must ripen on the tree. Torn ahead of time, it will lose its taste and lose its aromatic aroma, and it will not be possible to preserve it for any long time.

Varieties of Duchess

Duchess, bred by Wheeler, matures in late August; it is called summer. Later in Belgium, a variety matured in early October was bred. It is called Duchess winter. There are also other varieties of the variety.

You can choose the best only by taking into account the specific conditions that the site has at the disposal of the gardener:

  • local climate and prevailing weather conditions;
  • the availability of free space on the site;
  • the presence of pollinating varieties;
  • sun exposure of the site of the proposed tree planting;
  • the possibility of Duchess shading other trees in the garden and so on.

Duchess summer

The tree of this pear variety grows up to 4 m in height. It is completely undemanding to the soil, has a rounded crown in the form of a wide pyramid, does not become infected with scab, but can be attacked by thistles or aphids. Not very well, the tree tolerates drought and frost. After planting a seedling in a permanent place, Duchesse gives the first crop for the fifth or sixth year.

Duchess summer begins to bear fruit in the 5-6th year after planting

Trees bloom late. Inflorescences number 6–7 buds, which successfully survive significant temperature fluctuations, but they do not self-pollinate. Pearls of such varieties as:

  • Kappa's favorite;
  • Forest beauty;
  • Williams Bon-Chretien;
  • Bere Bosk.

The ovaries of the summer duchess are connected in bundles of 2-3 pieces. When ripe, large pears gain up to 180 g. In the stage of technical ripeness, pears have a light green skin color, which gradually turns yellow, small brown dots appear on it. The juicy and sweet pulp without hard patches has a creamy color and a nutmeg aroma. Among the dessert pears, the fruits of the summer duchess are considered one of the best to taste.

A thirty-year-old tree can yield up to 260 kg, which is a high indicator. One of the significant advantages of Duchess summer varieties for gardeners is that the fruits hold well on the branches until they ripen completely. Harvested in the middle or end of August.

Pears removed from a tree at room temperature can be stored for up to 2 weeks, and at + 1 ... + 5ºС the fruits will not lose their wonderful taste and unique aroma even in a month and a half. Duchesse summer pears can be processed into juices, preserves, jams, and canned. They are not afraid of transportation over significant distances.

Table: Pros and cons of the Duchess summer variety

  • high productivity;
  • great taste;
  • attractive appearance;
  • long-term storage of fruits without loss of quality;
  • immunity to scab disease;
  • transportability;
  • recyclability
  • lack of resistance to frost and drought;
  • susceptibility to damage by aphids and copper flakes;
  • lack of self-pollination, the need for pollinating varieties

Duchess winter

Tall trees of Duchess variety in winter outlines resemble an elongated pyramid. They do not impose special requirements on the soil, but sunlight and heat should be available to them as much as possible. They will only endow with wonderful fruits in the seventh or even eighth year from the time of their placement in the garden. But an adult tree can give the owner a gift weighing up to 100 kg.

Duchess winter is a very productive tree

The flowers of this pear are not pollinated by their own kind and will remain barren unless pollinating varieties are planted nearby:

  • Forest beauty;
  • Williams
  • Olivier de Serre;
  • Bere Ardanpon.

Winter Duchesse pears are large, weigh up to 350-400 g, and if the tree is underloaded with fruits, they can gain 600 g. Ripe fruits acquire a lemon-yellow color and pretty pink “cheeks”.

In the context, ripe pears are white, the pulp is juicy. Honey taste with subtle sourness is accompanied by a pear aroma. The full power of taste and smell is revealed only in fruits ripened on a tree. If you collect them from the branch at the wrong time, all the charm of the variety will be lost. Winter Duches is removed from the tree usually by the end of October, when the leaves fall. The problem is that the pears do not stick firmly to the branches and can crumble in the winds and rains.

Harvested during storage does not lose its virtues until the end of the year. If you place it in a cool basement or cellar, then you can feast on pears until May next year.

Table: advantages and disadvantages of the Duchess winter variety

  • large pears;
  • the crop is perfectly stored;
  • the variety is less afraid of frost than the summer counterpart;
  • suitable for processing into jam, marmalade, juice, jam and other
  • long period before fruiting;
  • the need for pollinators;
  • unstable to cold, pears crack and lose taste;
  • instability to frost;
  • shedding of fruits in wind and rain;
  • inability to collect pears until fully ripened

Pears of a duchess group

Gardeners living north of the Mediterranean, no less than southerners love Duchess. Now there are more winter-hardy varieties bred for cultivation in regions where it is much cooler:

  • Duchess Moscow wild;
  • Duchess Moscow Garden;
  • Duchess Angouleme.

Duchess Moscow wild

Trees of this variety feel great in the Caucasus and Belarus, in Central Asia and Ukraine, in the European part of Russia. They grow up to a height of under 20 m and live up to 8 decades. Not every year, but after one spring, the pears are covered in clusters of pinkish-white flowers. Of these, different-sized fruits will grow over the summer - from 0.15 to 0.4 kg, but the yield taken from an adult thirty-year-old tree can reach 2.5 c. In this variety, it is surprising that pears grown from seeds have all the properties inherent in the mother plant.

Duchess Moscow wild is unpretentious, caring for it is no different from caring for pears of other varieties.

Over the summer, different-sized fruits grow - from 0.15 to 0.4 kg

Duchess Moscow Garden

Duchess pear Moscow garden grow ten meters taller than their wild counterpart. Imagine this huge tree, strewn in spring with white flowers. And the fruits on it grow several times larger - they can reach 0.8 kg and even 1 kg. Planting this tree and caring for it is no more difficult than in the case of any other pear. The fruits of Duchess Moscow Garden are excellently processed for jam, jam and other goodies.

Duchess Angouleme autumn

This variety, unfortunately, does not like cold weather, its winter hardiness is very small, therefore it is grown mainly on the Black Sea coast. Similar to the elongated pyramids, Duches Angouleme trees with the first fruits will please the gardener only 5-6 years after the appearance of the plant on the site.

Adult pears give an average yield, which can range from 70 kg to 1.5 c per tree. But each pear is heavy - it is not uncommon for an Angouleme pear weighing 1 kg. At the same time, the fruits are endowed with the taste and aroma inherent in Duchesse. They hold on tightly until at least November. Pears removed from the tree ripen for 2-3 weeks. At low temperatures, the cellar or basement can be up to 3 and even 4 months.

Not uncommon Angouleme pears weighing 1 kg

Planting a Duchess Pear

For all the unpretentiousness of Duchess, if you decide to plant it on a site, you need to follow a certain sequence of actions so that the tree takes root, can grow and develop successfully.

Saplings successfully take root during spring planting, but it is better to prepare a planting pit in the fall, so that the soil in it settles. The further procedure is as follows:

  1. The soil excavated by digging a hole is mixed with:
    • a glass of superphosphate;
    • a liter can of wood ash;
    • 3 buckets of available organic fertilizers.
  2. The soil is returned to the pit, watered and left so that the soil subsides. The prepared place is marked with a peg. If the landing pit was not prepared in the fall, it is dug in the spring, but at least a week before the seedling is placed in it, so that again the soil has time to settle. Land sediment in the pit is very important so that the root neck of the seedling remains 5–7 cm above the ground, and does not go into the ground when watering after planting, otherwise the tree will not grow and develop normally.

    It is important that the root neck of the pear seedling is above ground

  3. Before planting the pear in the prepared soil, the pits make a hole and try on whether it is sufficient for the roots of the seedling. The roots should be freely located in the hole.
  4. For successful survival of a seedling, it is important to spread its roots so that they diverge in different directions, do not overlap each other.
  5. Next to the pear is placed a support - a stake or plank, which is buried in the ground below the root system of the plant, and a tree is tied to it.

    Pear seedlings must be tied to a support for stability.

  6. After this, the roots are covered with the remaining prepared soil.

    A seedling of a pear is covered with earth after its roots have been straightened

  7. The earth around the seedling is tamped.

    After planting, the seedlings are carefully tamped.

  8. Each seedling is abundantly watered (3-4 buckets of water).
  9. When the water is absorbed, the front circle is mulched with humus or wood shavings. In the future, mowed grass can be used for this purpose.

Caring for Duchess after landing

To ensure the normal conditions for growth and development of Duches, standard methods of caring for fruit trees are quite enough.


From organic mulching of the tree trunk circle, performed during the planting of Duchess, should not be refused in the future. This simple agricultural technique allows you to:

  • protect the roots of the tree from frost in winter and from heat in summer;
  • keep the earth loose during irrigation and rainfall;
  • retain moisture in the soil.

    Mulching helps protect tree roots from adverse conditions

At the same time, air access to the roots is not at all limited, and the tree receives additional top dressing with the gradual decay of mulch.

Top dressing

The first 2 years the seedling is not fed, it needs enough fertilizers laid in the planting pit. From the third year of life, trees begin to be fed on the Duches site.

Mineral fertilizers are scattered on the surface of the trunk circle annually in autumn.

Every year, in autumn, 30 g are scattered over the surface of the trunk circle and sealed with a rake to a depth of 15 cm for each m2:

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  • ammonium nitrate;
  • potassium chloride;
  • superphosphate.

Organics - manure or compost - is made once every 3 years at the rate of 10 kg per 1 m2.

Whether the plant received enough nutrients can be determined by spring growth. If by the beginning of summer it is less than 10 cm, the tree needs to be fed additionally.


The decisive moment for watering the tree is the weather. If there is heat, there is no rain, Duchess, of course, you need to water it additionally. An interesting method for calculating the amount of water that a tree needs is used by experienced gardeners. They correlate it with the age of the plant: for each year of life of a pear, 2 buckets of water are poured under it.

There are 3 required watering:

  • in early May, before the flowers bloom;
  • at the beginning of fruit ripening (half a month after the first);
  • after harvesting.


The first 5 years of plant growth on the site are devoted to the formation of the crown of the tree. Since Duchess has not very high winter hardiness, it should not be weakened by autumn pruning. Therefore, spend it in the spring. On a one-year-old tree, the central shoot (conductor) is shortened by a quarter of its length, the remaining branches, which will form the skeleton of the crown, are cut by 5 buds.

To form a crown of a pear, pruning is carried out every spring.

In the formed crown of a grown tree, frozen and diseased branches are cut (sanitary pruning). Also shoots and branches going inside the crown, intersecting, shading each other, curved (regulating pruning) are removed.

Winter preparations

When preparing the garden for winter, it is important to protect the pears, especially young ones, from rodents, which, by eating the bark, can destroy the tree. There are many options for such protection, gardeners often use improvised materials or coniferous spruce branches.

On adult trees, one should not forget to restore whitewashing in order to protect the bark from burns.

Do not forget to update the whitewash of pears

Duchess disease

The most common pear diseases:

  • scab;
  • moniliosis;
  • bacterial burn.

The first 2 diseases are fungal in nature.

Scab and moniliosis

With scab, brown spots form on the leaves of the tree and its fruits.

Scab appears brown spots on the leaves and fruits of the tree

Moniliosis has other names - monilial burn, fruit rot. With it, the fruits and leaves of the tree suffer.

Moniliosis is also called fruit rot.

To combat both diseases, pears are treated with Bordeaux liquid 3 times during the growing season:

  • before the buds open, a three percent solution of the chemical is prepared for spraying;
  • the second treatment before opening the buds and the third after the appearance of the ovaries is carried out with a solution of the drug at a concentration of 1: 100.

You can use fungicides instead of Bordeaux liquid, preparing them in accordance with the instructions for the drug.

Bacterial burn

Microorganisms that cause a bacterial burn enter the plant through flowers. Infection spreads very quickly, therefore, as soon as twisted and darkened flowers, leaves or ovaries appear on the tree, they are carefully cut and burned so that the disease does not get onto other plants. The cutting site and tools are disinfected with a 1% solution of copper sulfate or 0.7% iron. Then the tree is treated with an antibiotic at a concentration of 50 μg / ml:

  • Streptomycin;
  • Rifampicin;
  • Chloramphenicol.

    With a bacterial burn, parts of the tree darken and die

Duchess pests

Among the pests that often appear on the pear are the butterfly caterpillars, the hawthorn and the pear moth, destroying the leaves, buds, buds, and the fruits themselves.

To prevent the appearance of "heirs" of the hawthorn before the buds open, the tree is treated with a high concentration urea solution (700 g of the drug is taken per 10 liters of water).

To prevent the appearance of caterpillars of the pear moth, the tree is treated with any insecticide 30–35 days after flowering. The solution is prepared according to the instructions on the drug.

No less dangerous are the pear sawfly caterpillars that eat foliage. They hatch from egg clutches on the underside of leaves. When single nests of these pests appear, they are collected and burned, but with a massive invasion, the tree can be saved only by treating the tree with insecticides.

May occur on a tree and a colony of green aphids, feeding on the sap of the plant. Destroy them with a solution, for the preparation of which Fitoverm and 1 tbsp. Are dissolved in 1 liter of water. l liquid soap.

An important point is the timely termination of all chemical treatments of Duchess: this should be done at least a month before the harvest.

Photo Gallery: Pear Pests

With a small number of pear sawfly caterpillars, they can be assembled manually

To prevent the appearance of hawthorn caterpillars, trees are treated with a urea solution

Against the pear moths will help insecticides that need to spray the pear

For the fight against green aphids use the drug Fitoverm

Reviews about Duchess

Since the late 1950s, a pear of the now rare variety Duchess Angouleme has been growing in the country. To taste, of course, not Bere Bosque, but quite decent, without granulation and, as they say in Pomology, with some spice. It is never processed by anything, by the time of ripe maturity in early September, a good third of the fruit is crumbled. Lays 2-3 months.


Much is not clear with Duches, in Tambov we have Duchess summer, which normally grows and produces small and tasty fruits, they say, even this is a local variety.


I like the Duchess pear, a very fragrant variety. He is summer. I also love when pears ripen in the winter, when there is already nothing, and pears are waiting for frost.


For the successful cultivation of Duchess, the main points are the correct planting of the tree and further compliance with the agricultural technology of this plant. This will ensure the normal growth and development of the pear. For many years she will delight the gardener and his family with wonderful fruits, the best of which have not yet been found.


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