Asian Pear Root Stock for North Alabama


I want to graft some of my Asian Pears on to root stock to expand my orchard. My land is mostly clay, on a slight slope and of course high humidity and long summers with short winters. I hear that Callery pears is the way to go but does that include wild, Bradford and Cleveland? Is there a source for seedlings? Is there a better alternative?


If you’ve got wild, ‘volunteer’ callery seedlings (and I’m sure you do!), the best use for them is as rootstocks for edible pears! They’re everywhere, anymore, at least in the Eastern half of the USA.


Lucky, any idea if there will be a problem with weak wood with the callery pears snapping off in a windstorm as they carry a load of fruit? (They do without a load of fruit!)

Just curious if anyone has experienced that. I’ve grafted to a couple so far, turned one into 5 varieties and very happy with the excellent growth of the new limbs.


The callery is only the root stock. The top is a different and stronger tree. I have tons of callery. I really like them as they are tough and do well in my rock/clay soil. They are taking over the wildlife here. When I learn to graft I have all the free ones I need to experiment on. When something takes over that tells you its tough.


Seedlings maybe not easy to get since the land I see them in is behind a fence. Every where else they get mowed down. May have to try to grow from cuttings.


If they’re pencil-sized, the fact they’ve been mowed shouldn’t be too much a problem since you’re grafting to roots and not limbs. My only experience so far is heading back a tree with a trunk big as my wrist and turning it into several varieties, both Asian and European on the same tree.

In fact, I suspect you could dig up, literally the roots, and graft to the big end of a piece of root and get a graft to take.


I’m near Birmingham and my first choice for root stock is the wild Callery.


Is there a source for Wild Callery Pear seeds? Would like to start my own root stock.


Since they are mowed (weekly almost) most never get beyond tooth pick size.


If you ever take a trip up or down I-75 just stop beside the road near a city…they only mow the rights-of-way here 3 x a year anymore. The county state dept of trans offices do not mow anymore. It’s contracted out to a ‘minority contractor’ and gets pretty wild between mowings.

Back around 1998 I marveled at the white fencerows around Lexington, KY when Bradford pear seedlings were in bloom. Now they are spread well beyond the cities…I’ve seen them in the Daniel Boone National Forest.


Yep. Those volunteer callery seedlings are EVERYWHERE. I’ve got one rocky spot underneath 3 big oak trees at the top of the farm pond here at the house that I ‘let go’ about 10 years ago… maybe 1000 sq.ft… at least 100 callery seedlings in that area. I’m gonna have to attack that with a chainsaw and some basal herbicide while the leaves are off… I’ve grafted a few of them out on the periphery, but most of the rest of them need to go away.

25+ yrs ago, when we’d go home to east-central AL from mid-MO or here in KY, I’d count callery seedlings in fencelines, median, at exits along the interstates - you could pick them out easily in bloom in spring, or at Christmas, most (at least in AL) still had colorful fall foliage on. Nowadays, there are too many to count… bazillions of them.

I lined out a couple of rows of callery seedlings 20 yrs ago, grafted fruiting varieties on with a 10-inch interstem of OHxF513… I can’t tell that the 513 dwarfed them to any extent… some are close to 20 ft tall now.


Callery pear roots are working really nice for me


Where can I get seeds? I have plenty of time since I will be starting planting pawpaw and asian persimmon on the fall.


Take your shovel and go to any vacant lot or interstate highway exit. There will be thousands of seedlings. I promise.
Or, walk down any city street or suburban neighborhood where the various callery pear cultivars have been planted by unknowing or unthinking folks… they’ll be loaded with fruits this time of year, if flocks of robins, starlings, etc. haven’t already eaten them and spread them over the countryside. Each little fruit probably will contain 4 or 5 (or more) seeds.
Plant 'em and start fighting…