Asian Pear: Yakumo
Yakumo has medium-sized crisp fruit with a sweet flavour said to be reminiscent of honeydew melon. Ripens early compared to other Asian pears. The fruit is slightly tapered, rather than entirely round like other Asian pears, and it does not have a russeted skin which some Asian pears are known for.
Yakumo is of the Asian pear species Pyrus pyrifolia. Asian pears differ from European pears (Pyrus communis) in that they are generally round and crisp when ripe, rather than oblong and slightly soft when ripe. I sought this variety out because of it's prominence in Japanese pear breeding programs.
Rootstock: OHxF 97 - 75-90% fullsize.
Uses: Fresh eating, winter storage, dried pear slices, cider, canning, and more. Great for pollinators, beautiful, and ornamental.
Parentage: Nijisseiki x Akaho. Developed from a Japanese breeding program that began in 1915, which resulted in Yakumo being released in 1927. Yakumo genetics have been central to subsequent Japanese pear breeding programs, which tells us it has qualities that fruit breeders find worth keeping.
Disease resistance: Resistant to pear scab and sooty blotch, with few known problems.
Pollination: Requires cross-pollination with a different pear cultivar. Read my article on fruit tree pollination for more information.
Short video from Burnt Ridge Nursery in Washington state on why they like Yakumo: Yakumo Asian pears are a great addition to any orchard.
Description on an Australian agricultural website: Yakumo.
Trend of Breeding Works for Japanese Pear in Japan. 1979 publication from the Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly.
The Pear Genome (book, published in 2019).