Fruits of most late varieties of pears are famous for their sweet juicy pulp, their taste shows a full bouquet that ripens over the summer. They contain more nutrients and vitamins than earlier varieties. One of the late winter varieties is the dessert variety Maria, whose large fruits are distinguished by a long shelf life and a very good taste.
Maria is a late pear variety of Ukrainian (at the time of its appearance) origin, included in the State Register of Breeding Achievements of the Russian Federation only in 2014. Approved for use in the North Caucasus region. On the Internet, there are a huge number of articles that introduce confusion associated with the popular name Maria. Sometimes the variety Maria is confused with Bere Maria or Santa Maria, but especially often with the autumn pear of Belarusian origin Prosto Maria. When buying seedlings or cuttings in connection with this misunderstanding, you need to be especially careful: these two varieties are radically different from each other.
Winter varieties of pears are not very popular in country gardens: harvesting takes place in late autumn, when the body is already saturated with vitamins, and good conditions are needed for the proper storage of pears of late winter varieties. Fruits fresh from the tree are usually completely inedible. However, after a short storage, they acquire a rich taste and aroma, any harvesting can be made from them, and the trees of winter varieties themselves, as a rule, have high frost resistance.
All this fully applies to the Maria pear variety, known since 1962. The variety was obtained at the Crimean Experimental Station on the basis of the varieties Doctor Til and Dekanka Zimnyaya. One of the authors of Maria is the breeder RD Babina, the creator of such widely known varieties as Dessertnaya, Crimean honey, Starokrymskaya, etc. Maria is widespread in Ukraine and the southern regions of our country; in the northern regions the tree is doing well, but the fruits do not have time to ripen. The critical border runs approximately at the latitude of Kiev or Voronezh: there is no point in planting this variety further north.
Winter pear Dekan - one of the parents of Mary
Maria belongs to the late winter varieties: harvesting even in the south occurs at the beginning of October, the fruits are well preserved in a cellar or refrigerator at a temperature of +2 aboutFrom almost to summer. The full harmonious taste of pears appears by the end of November. Due to its good keeping quality and excellent presentation, it is included in the list of so-called market varieties, and is in high demand in winter. The fruits tolerate transportation well.
The Maria pear tree is low, barely reaching three meters, the crown is wide-pyramidal, its thickening is at an average level. At the age of 8-10 years, the maximum crown diameter does not exceed 2.5 meters. Due to the compactness of the crown, a dense planting is possible in large farm gardens. Branches of the first order extend from the trunk almost horizontally, their color is yellowish. The leaves are shiny, large.
The frost resistance of wood is very high (at -30 aboutWith no damage), good and resistance to most diseases, as well as thermal and bacterial burns of leaves. Due to late flowering, it almost never falls under frost, as a result of which it bears fruit annually and abundantly, being the record holder among late varieties per unit of garden area. Easily tolerates dry periods. It begins to bear fruit very early: on quince rootstocks (and these are very often used rootstocks for Maria) it gives first fruits at the age of three. The yield is growing rapidly from year to year.
In order for Maria to show all her positive qualities, she must be grown on highly fertile soils, preferably the presence of such pollinators as Grand Champion, Yakimovskaya, Dessertnaya, Zhanna D'Ark nearby.
Fruits are large, mainly weighing about 220-250 g, there are specimens up to 400-450 g, they are on a curved stalk of medium size. Fruits are smooth, regular pear-shaped. They are colored at first in a yellowish-green, and as they ripen in a golden-yellow color, but there is also an integumentary pink color, which occupies a significant part of the pear. Numerous subcutaneous gray-green dots are visible over the entire surface.
The fruits of the Maria pear are large: not to say that they are beautiful, but they make you want to taste them
The pulp is tender, creamy, sweet and sour, of excellent spicy-dessert taste, the aroma is not very pronounced. Sugar content up to 13%, the amount of oily juice is very high. However, experts warn against the disappointment that may await the gardener at the first harvest: the real taste of the fruit, characteristic of the variety, appears only in the third year of fruiting. In the first two seasons, the tree still has insufficient strength to fully ripen the pears.
The pear is a tree that is quite resistant to the vagaries of the weather, and the Maria variety is one of the leaders in this regard. But in order for it to give full-fledged harvests, it is necessary to follow the basic rules both when planting and when further caring for it. The pear generally loves summer warmth and sunlight, and Maria, as a representative of the group of late winter varieties, needs to increase the amount of active positive temperatures during the growing season with any available properties. Even landing on the south side of a tall house can contribute to this. Doesn't like pear and cold northern winds. The best soils are fertile loams that retain moisture well.
It is better to plant Maria pear in spring, but autumn planting is not contraindicated. Most likely, the purchased seedling will be one or two years old with an open root system, so the roots must be examined especially carefully: they are usually rather weak in the first years of the pear, and each additional root can play a significant role in the survival of the seedling. That is why pear trees hardly grow in the first 1-2 years after planting: they first build up the root system.
With some experience, you can purchase cuttings of Mary and graft them on a wild pear or quince.
Planting this pear is no different from planting other varieties and is not too difficult. The best time for planting is early April, when the buds are still dormant and the seedlings take root easily. One-year-olds, which are twigs without branches or only with rudiments of lateral branches, take root remarkably. But the trunk of a good one-year-old should be thick, at least 1 cm in diameter. Two-year-olds should be planted only if they have a branched system of living elastic roots.
If the site is characterized by a close occurrence of groundwater, it is better to plant Maria on a small mound. A pit for spring planting, of course, is prepared in the fall: it is very difficult to dig it in early April in wet soil after winter, and there is no time. But before preparing the pit, it is necessary to dig up a plot of at least 3 x 3 m with fertilizers: after all, after a few years the roots of the pear will grow and will require a large area of nutrition. As always, when digging on a bayonet, shovels are brought in 1 m2 humus, a liter can of ash and up to 50 g of any complex mineral fertilizer. And already in the pit they introduce increased doses of fertilizers, thoroughly mixing the removed soil with 2 buckets of humus, 150-200 g of azofoska and two liter cans of wood ash. During the winter, a biological balance will be established in such a hole, and in the spring the pear planting will take place without any problems.
So, the main steps for planting a Maria pear are as follows:
When digging a site, remove all large stones and perennial weeds
Digging a planting hole, they try not to lose the upper fertile layer
Manure should be used only rotted, without fresh inclusions.
Drainage at the bottom of the pit prevents root rot in case of excess moisture
After filling the hole with soil and driving in a stake, you can wait for spring
Roots treated with a chatterbox allow the seedling to take root better.
It is imperative to control the position of the root collar, in no case letting it go underground
Eight firmly holds the seedling and does not fall off by itself
It is necessary to soak the soil in the planting hole very well with water.
When mulching, do not fill up the stem
After a few days, the ground will settle down a little, and the root collar will be near the soil level. In the first year, the garter must be monitored so that it does not sag, but does not crash into the trunk, or injure him.
When several trees are planted, the gaps between them are relatively small: Maria is a compact pear, it is often used in dense plantings. But, of course, this does not apply to summer cottages: you do not need to plant more than one tree of Maria. But the pollinators mentioned above are required for her, and they should be located at such a distance that the crowns of adult trees do not close. This means that a distance of 3.5-4 meters must be maintained between the planting pits. In the early years, you can place any vegetables, flowers, and even plant strawberries between the trees.
Pear Maria is unpretentious to the conditions, but the most common care is necessary, like for any fruit tree. These are periodic watering, top dressing, formative pruning and preventive spraying. Maria begins to bear fruit very early, and already in the year of planting she can throw out several flowers. It is better to cut them off: anyway, nothing good will come of them in the first year or two. The tree should throw all its strength into building up the root system, then the crown, and only after that begin to bear fruit.
Abundant watering is required only in the first few years of the tree's life.... If it begins to grow intensively, this means that the roots have reached such a length that they themselves can extract moisture for themselves, and the frequency of watering can be gradually reduced. It is necessary to help adult trees with water at the very beginning of summer, when young shoots are growing intensively, and in August, when the fruit is being filled. During these months, it may take up to 15–20 buckets of water per tree, and the soil must be wetted well. The rest of the time, natural precipitation is usually sufficient, and watering is required only in case of prolonged dry weather. Around young trees, after watering, the soil must be loosened, and even weeds must be removed. Mature trees are rarely kept under black fallow, much more often the soil, on the contrary, is sodden by sowing any low grass.
In the first two or three years, the pear has enough fertilizers that were introduced into the planting pit, and then it must be fed... In early spring, even before the soil thaws, any nitrogen fertilizers (ammonium nitrate, carbamide, etc.) are scattered around the trees, about 40-50 g per tree. When the ice melts, they themselves will go into the soil, but if the application is carried out after thawing, they must be slightly repaired with a hoe. In the fall, immediately after harvesting, small holes are dug around the tree, where 30–40 g of superphosphate, a bucket of rotted manure and a liter can of wood ash are placed.
Manure can be replaced with bird droppings, but very carefully: it is better not to sprinkle it dry, but let it ferment (a handful of droppings in a bucket of water), then dilute it several times more and pour the soil around the tree with a ready-made solution.
This procedure is best done in the spring, since the droppings contain a large amount of nitrogen, in the form of an infusion it is converted into a quickly digestible form, and in the fall, nitrogen is completely useless for the pear. If an adult pear begins to behave strangely (growth slows down, the leaves turn pale, and there are no obvious signs of disease), most likely, it lacks some nutrients, and top dressing should be added.
The formation of the crown should begin as early as the second year after planting. It is better to prune in early spring, before the buds swell, covering all large sections with garden pitch.
The conductor should always be higher than the side branches, no matter how powerful they grow: they must be shortened in time and to the appropriate extent.
Pruning the Maria variety is not difficult, there is no strict scheme here... It is important to remove broken, diseased, dead and heavily thickening branches.
Whatever the pruning scheme, it is necessary, first of all, to brighten the crown.
Maria's yield is very high, and branch breakages, even skeletal ones, are not uncommon under the weight of the fruit. And the main branches extend from the trunk at almost an angle of 90about... Therefore, in no case should you feel sorry for the unnecessary branches. In addition to timely pruning, the use of various supports for branches helps in preserving the crown, which must be built on time using any strong spears: substitute them as the branches are bent to the ground due to the increasing load on themand.
The Maria variety is distinguished by increased frost resistance, therefore, it does not require special preparation for winter. But young seedlings must be protected from cold weather. They must be whitewashed with lime or special compounds in late autumn, and the trunks are wrapped in paper, non-woven materials or the old Russian method: nylon tights. The seedlings are protected from rodents by tying spruce branches to the trunks. The trunk circle must be mulched. Adult trees are practically not prepared for winter, but it is imperative to remove all plant residues around the pear, and it is advisable to whitewash the trunk with a lime-clay solution with the addition of copper sulfate.
Whitewashing is not only a cosmetic procedure, it protects trees from being burned by the spring sun
For the prevention of diseases, early spring spraying of trees with a solution of ferrous sulfate or Bordeaux liquid is used, and the main part of the pests is destroyed by equipping for the summer trapping belts made of corrugated cardboard or dense matter impregnated with any insecticides.
The pears are harvested Maria slightly unripe... In any case, immediately after harvesting, the fruits will seem almost inedible and will reach full maturity only by the beginning of winter, if stored in a low positive temperature.Before placing them in the cellar, they must be carefully examined, removing all damaged specimens. After a while, they can be used for compotes, jam and other preparations.
One of the many advantages of the old Maria pear variety is its very high resistance to pathogens of most diseases and various pests. Preventive treatments with fungicides, with the correct implementation of other agrotechnical techniques, almost guarantee the absence of diseases, and the installation of trapping belts by more than half reduces the risk of damage to fruits by insects and caterpillars. In addition to such simple preparations as iron vitriol and Bordeaux mixture, improvised means are widely used in the prevention of diseases, such as infusions of nettle, calendula, chamomile, etc. bark. Maria almost does not suffer from scab, which is common among pear trees, which distinguishes this variety from others.
Diseases and pests inherent only in the Maria pear variety do not exist. With poor care, it can suffer the same problems as any other pear variety. The main dangers are as follows.
Scab spoils not only the appearance of the crop, but also prevents it from being stored
Rotten pears are disappointing; fortunately, they are not very common
Black cancer is a deadly disease, but at first it can be stopped
The most common pests of pear trees are listed below.
The moth is known to everyone, but it is less common on pears than on apple trees.
Aphids and ants coexist well, and pain with these insects should be carried out at the same time
It is clear that any chemical preparations should be used strictly according to the instructions on the package, and when using them, use elementary protective equipment.
Pear Maria has been known for more than half a century, but it was placed in the Russian State Register quite recently. Apparently, its inclusion is no coincidence: even the appearance of many new varieties did not lead to the fact that Maria was ousted from amateur and industrial gardens. This is one of the best late winter varieties, enjoying well-deserved fame and in demand on the food market.
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A very tasty variety with a high sugar content and low acidity, pears are large and beautiful. Good frost resistance. Keeping quality is not very good, rather vigorous growth, it is difficult to keep the tree within the required limits - this is one of the minuses.
Vasily Petrovich, Minsk
The yield of the variety is average, but the pears are large, beautiful. The taste is good, sweet and sour balanced. The sickness is less than other pears that are on my site. It quickly begins to bear fruit, but it grows quite vigorously, it is necessary to limit, which is not easy to do.
Nina, Rostov region
I really like this variety. Quickly enters fruiting, winter-hardy, almost does not get sick. When rationing pears are large, the yield is high. Very sweet on the palate with a pleasant pulp consistency.