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Doyenne du Comice pear trees

Pyrus communis

Comice is widely considered to have the best flavour of any pear. It has both the characteristic "melting" flesh of the highest quality pear varieties, along with a sweet richness and delicacy which others can't quite attain.

Although originating from France it was well-known in England by the late 19th century and the Victorian author Robert Hogg records several letters from fellow enthusiasts praising its "surpassing flavour".

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Doyenne du Comice pear trees for sale

Pot-grown

All pot-grown trees are suitable for planting out in the garden, some are suitable for growing in containers.

  • PG12-year bush-trained 11.5L pot-grown tree Quince Eline rootstock £42.50
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
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  • PG2Premium cordon 12L pot-grown tree Quince Eline rootstock £46.50
    Small tree (1.5m-2.5m after 10 years)
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Bare-root

  • BR12-year bush-trained bare-root tree Quince Eline rootstock £32.95
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
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  • BR2Cordon-trained bare-root tree Quince Eline rootstock £34.95
    Medium tree (2m-3m after 10 years)
  • BR31-year bare-root tree Quince A rootstock £21.45
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
  • BR42-year half-standard bare-root tree Quince A rootstock £36.45
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)
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  • BR51-year bare-root tree Pyrodwarf rootstock £21.45
    Large tree (3m-4m after 10 years)

How to grow

As befits such a refined pear, Doyenne du Comice needs to be grown in a sheltered south-facing situation, and it does best in the drier climate of the south or east side of the UK. Espalier or fan-training against a south-facing wall is the ideal.

The other important consideration with Comice is that it needs a reliable pollination partner nearby, as the shape of its flowers makes it difficult for successful pollination to occur. Conference is a good choice as it is a naturally good pollinator, as are Gorham or Williams or Beth - the latter works well with Doyenne du Comice because they have separate fruiting seasons.

The fruit size is relatively large by pear standards - provided you thin the fruitlets in late spring.

As with all pears, it is important to get the time of picking right. Unlike apples, which are usually best if left to ripen on the tree, pears should be picked under-ripe and then ripened indoors (or in a fridge). In the UK Doyenne du Comice is generally ready to pick in early to mid October.

Inspite of its somewhat fussy requirements, Comice is quite resistant to fireblight, one of the main diseases of pears.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

History

Raised in the garden of the Comice Horticole, in the town of Angers in the Loire valley, France, during the mid-19th century.

Doyenne du Comice characteristics

Growing

  • Gardening skillExperienced
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Flowering group4
  • Pollinating othersPoor
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • Climate suitabilityTemperate climatesWarm climates

Using

  • Picking seasonLate
  • CroppingLight
  • Keeping (of fruit)2-3 weeks
  • Food usesEating fresh

Problems

  • Disease resistanceAverage
  • ScabSome susceptibility
  • MildewSome susceptibility

Climate

    Identification

    • Country of originFrance
    • Period of origin1850 - 1899
    • Fruit colourGreen - light
    • Fruit sizeLarge
    • AwardsRHS Award of Garden Merit