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The name says it all. Luscious Pear (Pyrus communis 'Luscious') was bred for its delicious flavor that has fresh-off-the-tree sweetness. In fact, it's so naturally sweet that it's classified as a "fresh dessert pear." So instead of reaching for a sugary dessert, walk outside and pick a Luscious Pear from your own tree. You may want to take a napkin with you because these pears are also incredibly juicy! Anyone Can Grow This Tree You may have shied away from trying to grow fruit trees because you think it requires gardening know-how that's above your skill level. But you can put your hesitation away, because Luscious Pear tree is so easy to grow. Even beginning gardeners and novice fruit growers will appreciate the simplicity of growing this tree. • Low-maintenance. Luscious Pear is an easy-care fruit tree. Once newly transplanted trees become established in their new site, you typically have to monitor their water needs (as you would for any other landscape plant) and test the soil every few years to check their fertilizer needs. • Disease resistance. Luscious Pear is resistant to fire blight, a common disease which many fruit trees can't fend off. • Little to no pruning required. We've already pruned your Luscious Pear tree into the proper shape. They may need infrequent pruning, but they will not require intensive pruning that other fruit trees must have to set abundant fruit. Color from Springtime through Autumn If you'd love to have a fruit tree that provides multi-season color to enhance your landscape, put Luscious Pear tree on your shopping list. In early spring, it provides a show-stopping color display with a flurry of snow-white flowers. As the flowers fade, the glossy green leaves appear. And just wait for the tiny pears to form! These medium-sized fruits are typically bright-yellow with a lovely red blush '– what a beautiful contrast against the green leaves. But the show's not over yet. When cool fall temperatures arrive, Luscious Pear tree's leaves deepen to a rich purplish-red color. The Highest Quality Pear Tree since 1967 For almost 50 years (since its introduction in 1973), Luscious Pear has produced fruits of consistent quality, productivity, and flavor. The fruit is similar in taste to the famous Bartlett pear, but Luscious Pears are even more flavorful, and the trees are more disease-resistant. Luscious Pear's parentage began with trees that were crossed in 1954. Successive-generation trees were also crossed until the Luscious Pear tree was selected in 1967 as the highest-quality plant of all the offspring. Plant breeders propagated it for the next 6 years until it was offered to growers. Since its introduction in 1973, the Luscious Pear tree has maintained a consistent track record of superior qualities. A Luxurious Creamy Texture Perfect for Fresh Eating Luscious Pear is a European-type pear tree with soft fruits that have what's called a "melting texture." Melting does not mean mushy; the texture of Luscious Pear fruits is firm but with a "melt-in-your-mouth" creaminess. In contrast, Asian pears have a crisp, apple-like crunch to them. The difference in texture means that European pears are best for fresh eating, and Asian pears are best in baked and cooked dishes where their firmness holds up under high heat. This distinction is what makes Luscious Pear the perfect fresh dessert pear! Dessert That won't Put Your Health at Risk You'll like eating the fresh pears you grow, but you'll really love the health benefits they provide! Each Luscious Pear is fat-free, sodium-free, and contains about 100 calories. Pears are also fiber-rich, and each fruit provides a whopping 24 percent of dietary fiber. To top it off, pears contain vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. So go ahead and indulge in this healthy addition to your garden! Harvesting Hints Unlike some other types of fruit, you'll harvest Luscious Pears before they're fully ripe. If you allow them to ripen on the tree, they'll taste "gritty" or "mealy." A general rule of thumb is to wait until a few pears fall from your tree, and then go ahead and pick the rest of them. Twist each fruit, tilt it horizontally, and gently pull; it should release from the tree easily. If fruits are still firmly attached, wait a couple of days and try again. Don't force them from the branches by pulling too hard because you may remove the part of a branch that has the developing fruit buds for next year's harvest. How to Store Pears to Extend Their Freshness Place newly harvested fruits in your refrigerator, where they will keep up to a month. When you're ready to eat a pear, set it out at room temperature for several days so that it can finish the ripening process. (When you buy pears at the supermarket, they've already had a chilling period, and they're ready to ripen at room temperature.) Gently press your thumb into the "neck" '– the narrow part near the stem end. When the area gives slightly to the pressure, your pear is ready to eat! 3 Tips for Choosing a Good Planting Location 1. First, plant Luscious Pear in a spot that receives full sun within its perennial range in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 through 7. 2. Next, look around. Your Luscious Pear tree can grow up to 25 feet tall and up to 15 feet wide, so you don't want to plant it underneath a power line or where its mature growth will damage any structures. Locate any underground utility lines so you can site Luscious Pear where its roots won't interfere with these. 3. And last, since you'll need at least two pear trees, make sure there is room for both of them at maturity. Plant Luscious Pear downwind of the other pear tree so there is a good pollen exchange. Preparing the Planting Site Properly planting your Luscious Pear tree is important for the life of the tree. If you pay attention to this step, your tree will become better established and will need little help from you in years to come. Begin preparing the planting site as soon as you order your Luscious Pear tree so it's ready for planting as soon as it arrives! • Check the soil pH. Luscious Pear trees grow best in soil that has a pH of 6.0-7.0. Ask your local Cooperative Extension Service to test the soil pH. Their analysis will also include fertilizer recommendations. • Loosen the soil. Spade or rototill the entire planting area to loosen compacted soil so the new roots can easily grow into the surrounding soil (instead of just loosening the soil in the planting hole). • Clear the planting area. Remove rocks, sticks, grass, and weeds from the planting area. Planting Your Tree Dig a hole that's only as deep as the root ball and two to three times as wide. When you set your tree into the hole, make sure the top of the root ball is at ground level; don't bury your tree too deeply. Spread out the roots so they'll begin growing faster. Backfill the hole with the soil you removed, and gently firm the soil around the roots. Make a rim around the planting hole that's about 2 inches above the soil surface and at least 24 inches from the tree trunk to create a watering basin for the tree's first growing season. Fertilize according to the recommendations of a soil test. You can also apply a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch around the tree to help suppress weeds and conserve moisture. Pull mulch about 6 inches away from the tree's trunk. Give your newly planted tree a deep, thorough watering, making sure the water soaks in easily without leaving the tree standing in a pool of water. Luscious Pear tree must borrow pollen from a nearby pear tree so its flowers can be fertilized to produce fruit. Plant a second tree that's a different cultivar such as Parker, Bartlett, or Kieffer to lend its pollen to your Luscious Pear tree. It's also a "pollen-sterile" tree, which means that it cannot lend its own pollen to fertilize another pear tree's flowers. The best way to ensure a bumper crop of pears is to plant three different types of pear trees! A Few Serving Ideas You'll enjoy your Luscious Pears when freshly picked right off the tree. But if you chill them in the refrigerator, their flavor is even more enhanced by the cold temperature. Try these serving suggestions: • For your next fall or winter dinner party, or your resplendent holiday buffet, offer a pear and cheese tray with thin slices of Luscious Pears and a variety of cheeses. Tip: Pear slices turn brown when exposed to air. You can dip them in lemon, pineapple, or orange juice after slicing them to stop them from browning. Blot excess juice with paper towels to keep your serving tray dry. • For a breakfast treat, top pancakes with fresh slices of Luscious Pears, or stir diced Luscious Pears into your morning oatmeal. • Make a fruit salad using your favorite fruits, including Luscious Pears, of course!