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Have you ever tried an Asian pear from the supermarket? You know—those odd, golden brown, apple-shaped fruits you see in the fall and winter? They’re often packaged in Styrofoam wrappers because they bruise so easily, and they cost a small fortune. Well, we’re sorry to inform you that if you’ve only tried Asian pears from the grocery store, you probably haven’t had a real Asian pear. You see, supermarket Asian pears are picked before they’re perfectly ripe, and unlike European pears, they don’t ripen off the tree, so in eating them you’ll never know this special fruit’s true potential. The Chojuro Asian Pear, for example, has a delightfully sweet flavor at peak ripeness that carries notes of butterscotch. You’ll have to grow your own tree to truly enjoy this extraordinary treat!
Although Asian pears may be little known to most Westerners, they have a long history in the East. In China, where they first originated, they have been cherished for over 2,000 years. The early-blooming white Pear blossoms are a welcome sign of spring there, and the fruits are held in the highest esteem—it is estimated that 3,000 selections have been made! In the U.S., Asian Pear Trees arrived via Chinese laborers in the 1850s, but the fruits never became mainstream. The Chojuro Asian Pear is a classic selection from Japan that was introduced around 1895. Its name means “Plentiful” in Japanese. Chojuro is valued for its long storage life—up to five months in cool, dry conditions.
Is it a pear? Is it an apple? The Asian pear is sometimes called an apple pear, because it is round and crisp like an apple, but it is, botanically speaking, a pear. The Chojuro Asian Pear is most often eaten fresh (you may choose to peel it first). Chill it in the fridge for a day or two, and then add slices to a salad to give it a wonderful, crunchy kick.
How to Grow
Plant your Chojuro Asian Pear Tree in an open site with good air circulation and all-day sun. Good drainage is a must, as Pear Trees don’t tolerate soggy soil. However, regular irrigation is also important, especially during the first year or two of establishment, so use the Bower & Branch Elements™ Watering System to deliver just the right amount of moisture to the roots. Chojuro will bear some fruit on its own, but will produce much more fruit with another Pear Tree nearby. In fact, this selection may bear too many fruits for its branches to support, so you’ll probably have to thin the pears when they’re the size of a cherry. This tree isn’t immune to pests and diseases, though these can be controlled or prevented with some know-how. Please don’t hesitate to contact our expert growers at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on cultivating this or any of the trees we offer.
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