When the garden was first established in 2011, a small seckel pear tree was planted in one of the sunniest areas of the garden. It has thrived and is now a beautiful twenty-five-foot high tree. It has produced pears for several years now and its branches are sturdy enough to host the thistle feeding station that we put up for the winter goldfinches and others.
Last year was the best year in terms of the pears’ quantity, size, and flavor. Seckel is an heirloom variety, thought to have originated in Pennsylvania in the 1700’s. Its fruit has proven to be remarkably free of insect damage. Of course, in the interest of health, we use no toxic sprays at all in our garden, so we are particularly impressed by the hardiness of this variety.
Interestingly, there were two fruiting pear trees on the land near our school in the early 1990’s. One of these was removed to install more parking spaces. The remaining pear tree is probably helping the bees with the pollination of our Seckel pear blossoms because this is a tree that requires another nearby pear tree to set fruit. We’re glad to be continuing a tradition on this hillside and, based on our plant’s productivity, these two pears seem to be a good match.