Pear Duchess: the consummate Duchess

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If you ask a person living in a country with a temperate climate to name any fruit, you will most likely hear an apple or a pear in response. And it is not surprising, because these fruits have accompanied people since prehistoric times. As for pears, the ancient Greeks, presumably, began to cultivate them as early as 10 centuries BC. The centuries-old selection work has given mankind a huge variety of these fruits. The more surprising is the appearance of a variety that is recognized all over the world and is invariably considered the best. This is the famous Duchess.

History and description of the Duchess pear variety

The third century pleases the Duchess variety for gardeners and pear lovers. It was bred in 1796 by Wheeler, a breeder from Great Britain (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 indispensable features of the fruit - a kind of unique taste, exquisite aroma and excellent juiciness.

Growing Duchess is easy. If it receives enough sunlight and heat, is protected from gusty winds, it will reward the grower with a wonderful harvest.

The name of the pear Duchesse translates as Duchess

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

Varieties of the Duchess variety

Duchess, bred by Wheeler, ripens at the end of August, it is called summer. Later in Belgium, a variety was developed that ripens in early October. It is called Winter Duchess. There are also other varieties of the variety.

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

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

Summer Duchess

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 a honeydew or aphids. The tree does not tolerate drought and frost very well. After planting a seedling in a permanent place, the first summer Duchess harvest gives in the fifth or sixth year.

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

Trees bloom late. Inflorescences have 6-7 buds, which successfully survive significant temperature fluctuations, but they do not self-pollinate. They are pollinated by pears of such varieties as:

  • Favorite Kappa;
  • Forest beauty;
  • Williams Bon-Chretien;
  • Bere Bosc.

Duchess summer ovaries are combined in bunches of 2-3 pieces. When ripe, large pears gain up to 180 g. At the stage of technical ripeness, pears have a light green color of the skin, which gradually turns yellow, small brown dots appear on it. Juicy and sweet flesh without hard inclusions has a creamy color and nutmeg aroma. Among dessert pears, Duchess summer fruits are considered one of the best in taste.

A thirty-year-old tree can yield up to 260 kg, which is a high figure. One of the significant advantages of the Duchess summer variety for gardeners is that the fruits hold well on the branches until they are fully ripe. Harvested in mid or late August.

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

Table: pros and cons of the Duchess summer variety

Duchess winter

Tall trees of the Duchess variety in winter resemble an elongated pyramid in outlines. They have no special requirements for the soil, but sunlight and heat should be available to them as much as possible. They will give wonderful fruits only 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 sterile if pollinating varieties are not planted nearby:

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

Winter Duchess pears are large, weighing up to 350-400 g, and if the tree is underloaded with fruits, then they can collect 600 g. Ripe fruits take on a lemon-yellow color and pretty pink cheeks.

In the context, ripe pears are white, the flesh is juicy. Honey flavor with barely perceptible acidity is accompanied by pear aroma. The full power of taste and smell is revealed only in the fruits ripened on the tree. If they are harvested from the branch at the wrong time, all the charm of the variety will be lost. The winter Duchess is removed from the tree, usually by the end of October, when the leaves fall. The problem is that pears do not stick firmly to the branches and can crumble in winds and rains.

During storage, the harvested crop does not lose its merits 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 winter Duchess variety

Duchess pears

Gardeners living north of the Mediterranean love Duchesse as much as southerners. Now there are more winter-hardy varieties bred for cultivation in regions where it is much cooler:

  • Duchess Moscow wild;
  • Duchess Moscow garden;
  • Duchess Angoulême.

Duchess Moscow wild

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

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

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

Duchess Moscow Garden

Moscow garden Duchess pears grow ten meters higher than their wild counterpart. Just imagine this huge tree covered with white flowers in the spring. And the fruits grow on it several times large - they can reach 0.8 kg and even 1 kg. Planting and caring for this tree is no more difficult than any other pear. The fruits of the Moscow Garden Duchess are excellently processed into jam, jam and other delicacies.

Duchess Angoulême autumn

This variety, unfortunately, does not like cold weather, its winter hardiness is very low, therefore it is grown mainly on the Black Sea coast. Duchesse Angoulême trees, similar to elongated pyramids, will delight the gardener with the first fruits only 5-6 years after the plant appears on the site.

Mature pears give an average yield, which can range from 70 kg to 1.5 quintals per tree. But each pear is heavy - not uncommon for Angouleme pears weighing 1 kg. At the same time, the fruits are endowed with the taste and aroma inherent in the Duchesses. They stick tightly to the branches even until November. Pears taken from the tree ripen for 2-3 weeks. At a low temperature, the cellar or basement can lie for up to 3 or even 4 months.

Angouleme pears weighing 1 kg are not uncommon

Planting pear Duchesse

For all the unpretentiousness of Duchesse, if a decision is made to plant him on the site, a certain sequence of actions must be followed so that the tree takes root, can grow and develop successfully.

Seedlings take root more successfully during spring planting, but it is better to prepare the planting hole in the fall, so that the soil in it settles. The further procedure looks like this:

  1. The soil taken out 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 to settle. The prepared place is marked with a peg. If the planting hole has not been prepared since the fall, it is dug in the spring, but at least a week before the seedling is placed in it, so that the soil again has time to settle. It is very important to settle the soil in the hole so that the root collar of the seedling remains 5–7 cm above the ground level, 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 collar of the pear seedling is above ground level.

  3. Before planting a pear in the prepared soil, a hole is made and a hole is tried on if it is sufficient for the roots of the seedling. The roots should be loose in the hole.
  4. For the successful survival of the seedling, it is important to spread its roots so that they diverge in different directions, do not overlap each other.
  5. A support is placed next to the pear - a stake or bar, which is buried in the ground below the root system of the plant, and a tree is tied to it.

    A pear seedling must be tied to a support for stability

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

    A pear seedling is covered with earth after its roots have been spread

  7. The earth around the seedling is compacted.

    After planting the seedling, the ground is carefully tamped

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

Duchess care after landing

To provide Duchess with normal conditions for growth and development, standard methods of caring for fruit trees are quite enough.


Mulching with organic matter of the trunk circle of a tree made when planting Duchesse should not be abandoned in the future. This simple agricultural practice allows you to:

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

    Mulching helps protect tree roots from adverse conditions

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

Top dressing

For the first 2 years, the seedling is not fed, the fertilizers laid in the planting pit are enough for it. From the third year of life, the trees on the Duchess site begin to feed.

Every year in the fall, mineral fertilizers are scattered over the surface of the trunk circle

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

  • ammonium nitrate;
  • potassium chloride;
  • superphosphate.

Organic matter - manure or compost - is applied once every 3 years at the rate of 10 kg per 1 m2.

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


The decisive moment for watering a tree is the weather. If it's hot, there is no rain, Duchess, of course, needs additional watering. Experienced gardeners use an interesting method of calculating the amount of water that a tree needs. They correlate it with the age of the plant: for each year of the pear's life, 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 harvest.


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, they spend it in the spring. On a one-year-old tree, the central shoot (guide) is shortened by a quarter of its length, the remaining branches, which will form the skeleton of the crown, by 5 buds.

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

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

Preparing for winter

When preparing the garden for winter, it is important to protect 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 mature trees, do not forget to restore the whitewash in order to protect the bark from burns.

Don't forget to update the whitewash of the pear

Diseases of the Duchess variety

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 as 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 bloom, a three percent solution of the chemical is prepared for spraying;
  • the second treatment before the opening of 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 preparation.

Bacterial burn

The microorganisms that cause fire blight enter the plant through the flowers. The 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 spread to other plants. The cut 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 off.

Duchess pests

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

To prevent the appearance of heirs of the hawthorn, the tree is treated with a solution of high concentration of urea before bud break (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 preparation.

Caterpillars of a pear sawer, eating foliage, are no less dangerous. They hatch from the egg clutches on the underside of the leaves. When single nests of these pests appear, they are collected and burned, but in case of a massive invasion, the tree can only be saved by treating the tree with insecticides.

Colonies of green aphids that feed on plant sap can also appear on a tree. Destroy them with a solution, for the preparation of which Fitoverm is dissolved in 1 liter of water and 1 tbsp. l. liquid soap.

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

Photo gallery: pear pests

Reviews about Duchess

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

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The Duchess variety was bred in 1796 by the British breeder Wheeler. The name translates as "duchess". Unfortunately, during the life of the breeder, the culture did not become popular, but now this plant is found all over the world, since everyone likes very tasty and fragrant fruits. Gardeners love Duchesse and for the fact that he is not difficult to grow. He only needs a lot of light and warmth to give an excellent harvest.

The only caveat is that the pear must ripen on the tree. If you pluck it ahead of time, it will cease to be tasty and aromatic, and the shelf life is significantly reduced.

Description and characteristics of the variety with photo

Duchess pear is of two types: summer and winter. There are no significant differences, except for the ripening period of fruits, between these varieties, but it is worth finding out their description and characteristics in more detail.

Summer Duchess

A low-growing tree, the height of which is no more than 4 m. The tree has a wide pyramidal crown. The leaves are large, oval, pointed at the tips.

The flowers are white and can withstand temperature fluctuations well. The inflorescences consist of 5-7 medium-sized flowers. Duchess is summer, blooms late and blooms for a long time.

The fruits of this variety begin to ripen in the second decade of August. The first harvest can be expected within five years after planting. Productivity - up to 200 kg per adult tree. The fruits are rather large, oblong, pear-shaped, stick to the branches until they are fully ripe. The weight of one pear can reach 200 grams. The rind is thin, glossy and aromatic. At the beginning of ripening, pears are light green, towards the end of ripening they turn yellow with small black dots. The pulp of the fruit is yellow-white in color, has a slight nutmeg smell.

Fruits are harvested starting in the second decade of August. If the pears are harvested on time, they will be stored for about two weeks. In a cold room, pears can be stored for up to one and a half months. Pear variety Duchess, grows well in fertile and sufficiently moist soil. This variety has low frost resistance and does not tolerate dry weather.

Winter Duchess

A tall tree that can grow up to 20 meters. It grows for a long time, has a wide pyramidal crown. The leaves are medium-sized elliptical.

The biggest advantage of this variety is its frost resistance. Grows well in fertile, draft-proof soils. The first fruits usually appear in the sixth year after planting. Winter ripening of the Duchess variety begins in October and lasts until December, while the taste of the fruit does not change.

The fruits are large enough in size - an average of 350-400 grams. But some pears can weigh over 500 grams. The pears are yellow in appearance with a red barrel. The skin is smooth and shiny. They have a delicious aroma and sweet and sour taste. When stored properly (in the refrigerator or cellar), pears can be kept in excellent condition until mid-spring, retaining all the flavor.

Pear "Duchess" - description of the variety. Photos and reviews

Pear "Duchess", which means "Duchess" in Russian, was first mentioned in 1796. This variety was bred by the English breeder Wheeler.

Pear "Duchess": description of the variety

"Duchess" today is widespread throughout Russia and has several varieties. This is, firstly, "Duchess Letniy" - the same old English variety with fruits of late summer ripening. Also known as Williams Summer, Williams.

Secondly, "Duchess Winter", which came to us from Belgium. It is widely cultivated in Uzbekistan, Crimea and the North Caucasus.

Thirdly, "Wild Moscow Duchess". It grows in the Moscow region, the Caucasus, the European part of the Russian Federation, Central Asia.

Fourth, "Garden Moscow Duchess". And the last variety - "Duchess Angoulême", which mainly grows in the Crimea and the Caucasus.

Pear "Duchess Winter" is a long-lived tree and grows to a decent height. The crown is strong, pyramidal in shape. Leaves are green, medium-sized, elliptical in shape. The fruits are very large, shaped like a barrel and weighing up to 800 grams. The surface of the pear is smooth, the color is bright amber or saffron yellow with a slight sun blush on the side. The pulp is white, juicy, melting in the mouth, sweet taste with a slight sourness. Reaches full maturity in early October, fruits can be stored until May next year. Fruit yield from 80 to 150 kilograms per tree.

The “Summer Duchess” has a vigorous tree with a pyramidal crown. Fruits reach 80-180 grams. They have a wide pear-shaped shape, with an oblong head and a rough surface. A ripe pear has a lemon yellow color with a precise, diffuse blush. The pulp is creamy, granular, juicy. The taste is sweet, spicy with a nutmeg aftertaste, very tasty. Harvesting takes place in mid-August. The yield is high - up to 250 kilograms per tree.

"Wild Moscow Duchess" grows to a height of no more than 20 meters, has fruits from 150 grams to 400 grams in weight. The tree has a lifespan of 80 years, and its yield is up to 250 kilograms.

"Garden Moscow Duchess" has a height of about 30 meters. Its fruits are large in size, reaching more than 800 grams. The color of pears is reddish with a pale yellow tint. The fruits are very sweet and keep well.

"Duchess Angoulême" is not a winter-hardy and medium-yielding varieties. The fruits are very large, weighing up to a kilogram, very tasty, aromatic and juicy. They ripen in early August, but can remain on the tree until November.

The most widespread varieties on the territory of Russia were obtained by the varieties "Duchess Zimny" and "Duchess Letniy". The advantages of these varieties are: very tasty fruits, unpretentiousness, rather long shelf life. The disadvantages include average resistance to frost and drought, a tendency to attack by aphids, and in a cold, damp summer - scab.

Pear "Duchess": planting and care

"Duchess" loves fertile and well-saturated soil and areas protected from the winds. The best time for planting seedlings is the 2nd decade of April. To improve the soil, humus or compost with a small content of peat is added to the planting hole. After planting, the trunk circle is mulched with humus.

In the 1st year after planting, the lateral ramifications above the buds, as well as the central stem side, must be shortened by a quarter. In the 2nd year after planting, the center of the tree should be shortened by 25 centimeters. Side branches are cut from 5 to 8 centimeters. Thus, the crown is formed in the form of a truncated cone. For winter, the lower part of the tree is wrapped in cotton cloth and newsprint to protect it from wind and frost.

Watch the video: Dutchess- Why you mad Ceasar Diss


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