Cold Snap Pear

Now Canada has its own new native variety, the “Cold Snap” pear.

The progeny of traditional breeding (using one variety to pollinate another), the Cold Snap pear is a decades-long result of a research and crop science alliance between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the Vineland Growers’ Co-operative, located in Jordan, Ont.

The Cold Snap pear is a cross between the Bartlett pear and a variety known as “US56112-146” produced in 1972 at the AAFC research station in Harrow, Ont.

Its development – the first trees were planted about five years ago – could represent something of a rejuvenation of the pear in Ontario, an industry that has suffered the throes of plant diseases. It is one reason fewer Ontario farmers are growing the delicious Bosc pear, for example, and why there was focus on the disease resistance of the Cold Snap pear.

“Today, growers won’t plant pear trees unless they have the ability to resist a disease called fire blight. With a series of trees developed by Agriculture Canada, producers today have a future in growing pears,” said Dave Lepp, director of operations at the Vineland Growers’ Co-operative.

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