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The Musical Fruit Tree

October 12, 2022

To grow a pear tree as a source of wood for musical instruments seemed like a long shot when I first started. I got the idea initially from a Hohner pear wood recorder I purchased in high school. I had quit playing trumpet and needed another avenue. Please note I was not aware of Miles Davis yet and was stuck in the marching band with not a lot of choice of music. Every now and then I take out my recorder and play the flute melody from Jethro Tull “Thick as a Brick”. I recently purchased an alto recorder that is also pear wood. It has a beautiful tone. A customer who makes cabinetry for organs told me it was his preferred wood. Tests done with tuning forks in a lab show it to have quite a good resonance. There is a small market for it. As old Pyrus communis trees begin to fade for pear fruit and hollow out with age, the trees become unusable for wood. Few fruit trees exist that can be harvested for just wood to create decent sized planks. My thought is you could have both fruit orchards as well as timber crops combined. Today Callery pear wood is used for turning bowls to some extent and could possibly used as a substitute if they got large enough. I have to do some thinning on these plantings now and will be harvesting a little bit of wood this winter in the process. Interesting in that a combination of black and red squirrels combined with some large flocks of cedar waxwings love the fruit and seeds. The low yields of fruit high in the canopy has prevented me from harvesting fruit for seeds. I think I hear that song again. ” Your wisemen don’t know how it feels…. to be thick as a brick.” But I still think it is a good idea beyond feeding the wildlife and the immense clouds of bees and other pollinators in the spring!

A few seeds will be available in 2022. Request a free sample of this selection in check out. “Timber Pear”  Fruit ripens from August through December. Collection is done from the most upright and strongest trees in the plantings. Pruning and close spacing will further accentuate the upright timber quality as well.

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