What a shocking but happy reveal! My 3-in-1 pear trees have produced juicy pears commonly found in supermarkets, but what I thought were fuzzy pears, with their unusual apple-like shape got me to investigating a bit more. Why would a pear be fuzzy, I thought.
I found out more information about my two 3-in-1 pear trees. Yes, they produce pears; I’ve eaten them. But my trees are also dwarf varieties, and that was the key to unlocking this mysterious fruit.
As it turns out, dwarf pear trees are often grafted onto a smaller quince rootstock, to keep the trees small. How very interesting! If you have a dwarf pear tree that is producing what looks to be a fuzzy pear, you might have a quince on your hands! Let me know if this has happened to you also.
As shown in my photo above, taken within the hour, the fuzz will rub off easily, but I’m letting nature take care of that as it matures. The fruit used to be bright green, but will be ripe and ready for picking when it becomes yellow. One of my quinces fell to the ground and, at the time, I still thought it was a pear. I cleaned it off and cut off a small piece and discovered very quickly how very sour a raw, immature quince really is!
My more productive tree has five quinces growing right now, about the same size, the size of an average apple. I will likely cook a very cherished, boutique quantity of jelly from it. I absolutely love, love, love having surprises like this. Pears and quinces grown on both of these trees.
I am curious which of the variety of pears was pushed out, if any, to accommodate the quince on my trees. I bought these two 3-in-1 pear trees, bareroot, on clearance, and they each had five labels attached to them! It would be fabulous if I had on each tree quince plus three varieties of pear. Dare to dream!
By the way, the quince is not widely grown in the USA, fewer than 200 acres. For more information about the quince, including its history, see http://afrsweb.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan07/quince0107.htm?pf=1.
CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: The quince is related to apples and pears, whose seeds are highly toxic if ingested. For this reason, do not ingest the seeds of the quince. More information on toxic plants can be found here: