Here are my experiences with Kieffer, hopefully it can be helpful.
I grew the Kieffer pear for about 4 years, but I removed it because the flavor just wasn't there for fresh eating for me. I've heard it is mostly a cooking or preserving pear, and maybe the flavor comes out then, but for fresh eating it was so bland I couldn't eat it.
Here's some pros and cons from my growing experience.
- It was an incredibly vigorous and fast grower.
- It grew well even in a really wet area, where most fruit trees would be very unhappy.
- It had excellent pollination, and almost every bloom seemed to turn into a pear. Like stated above, it is most likely self fruitful based on my experience and what I've read. It probably would make a good pollinator for other nearby pear trees.
- It is super reliable and produced a surprising amount of fruit for a small tree.
- It seemed pretty critter/pest/disease resistant. The wildlife never bothered it (can't say I blame them
), it didn't have any fire blight, and just had a little codling moth damage (probably my fault).
- It can take the heat without missing a beat.
- The pears have a nice look and were usually pretty blemish free.
- I really wanted to love this tree, as it has so many positives mentioned above, but the flavor was so bland though that I couldn't even eat it. I tried picking it at different times, ripening it different ways, but nothing helped.
- If it is pollinating other nearby pear trees and you are saving the seeds, it may pass on its bad tasting genetics and decrease the quality of fruit the offspring may produce.
Here is a chart I found about some pear varieties, including Kieffer, and pollination.
I recognize a lot of supposedly high quality eating pears on this chart below which shows more pollination information.
This chart has even more information which I found really helpful.
Bartlett is the only other pear I've gotten fruit from so far, but it is very susceptible to fire blight. It has produced fruit, but has big patches of fireblight that constantly plague the tree and keep it from being its best.
I'm experimenting to try to find some fire blight resistant varieties that can handle our heat, and I hope to save the seeds from the best varieties to create new varieties that are well adapted to the Southeast. That's a long ways down the road though.
I wish I had better info about what does well here, but hopefully this info is a little helpful, best of luck with your fruit growing!