Newbie here and attempting to graft for the first time this year. About four or five years ago, I planted a flowering Cleveland pear tree hoping for some shade in the backyard. Now after discovering how much I am enjoying gardening and growing fruit, I’m kicking myself for not planting a fruit tree instead. I was contemplating cutting down the tree and not looking forward to dealing with digging up the root system, but saw a couple of instances where fruit-bearing scions were grafted onto a nonflowering tree such as the Cleveland and Bradford pears.
Hoping to get some input from some of y’all that are more experienced than I. Is this really a feasible option and what are your thoughts on what types of fruit I should graft onto the tree? I am hoping for two or three varieties of pears and hopefully one or two Asian pears. Is this too much? Can apple be grafted onto this?
As you can see, I have a lot of questions about this. I am just north of Austin in zone 8a so I would like to find a variety that would do well here. Hopefully I can attend a local scion exchange or if there is anyone here that has scion wood that would work with this, I would be more than willing to pay for some.
I’m no expert here, but I grafted over a couple of my ornamental pears for the most part. I left the 2 big branches in each to give us more privacy from neighbors, but the rest I went crazy on. I mean, pears are easy! Yeah, it’s a mess, but that’s what pruning is for, right? Bob Purvis, as I recall, told me that he was concerned about more fire blight grafting onto an ornamental. I started this a couple years ago, and so far I haven’t noticed a problem. It may just be where I live.
Sounds like a great plan! If you want pears fast I would stay away from warren , Ayers, magness etc.
In zone 8a many people plant pineapple and others. @coolmantoole,@fruitnut, @k8tpayaso, @wildscaper etc. can give you good suggestions on pear varieties for Austin.
Good point! But those are some really good pears to have when they get around to fruiting. In the mean time, I grafted Kieffer, which are great for canning, and got them the next year. That’s what’s so great about grafting… you get lots of varieties that each have unique qualities to them.
I agree Warren are top quality pears but you might not live long enough to eat them. Your grand children will love them! Hence the saying “ pears for your heirs”. Please don’t take that literally but they can take 15 years+ on callery according to some reports.
I’m going to be pruning my pear which I think is Orient. The reason I say think is that it was tagged Kieffer but bore pears this year that were absolutely not Kieffer but looked like Orient and ripened the same time as Orient. It did bear pears for me on second year after purchase. If you want scions from it I will send some but if you want to hold out for a sure known variety I understand.
Yes it does speed up the fruiting process. Let’s say you got a 20 year old callery and graft it to warren you would be eating pears in 3-5 years. Some trees are stubborn! I have a callery with Clara frijs, Ayers, and clapps favorite I grafted over 5+ years ago and I’m still waiting on fruit! The tree has a 4” trunk and is 10+ years old! Those 3 pears spurred up finally so I will get fruit anytime but remember that tree was 5+ years old when I grafted and 10 years old now ( actually 11th year). @Auburn did your Ayers ever fruit? Rootstock has a big influence on pears because I have another Ayers on 333 which bloomed the first year in the ground. Most people growing European pears on standard rootstock have no idea they are signing up for a 10-15 year wait depending on soil type, weather, and variety of scion and type of rootstock.