I am getting some pear trees on OHxF 87 and heard you can plant apples below graft to get a standard size tree. Can you do the same for pears?
I’ve tried this for some pears, but they don’t seem very interested in pushing roots above the graft. I only succeeded after making wounds to buried portions of some trunks.
87 are not small trees anyway how big do you want them to get? They are 70% of standard.
As big as possible ideally. I am hoping for it to be more attune to a standard size tree for the longer life expectancy too.
Doing what your proposing can be done by putting several cuts in the stem painting them with clonex rooting gel as was mentioned above. 2 things you should know ahead of time it sometimes will sucker like mad and the height will be variable to the height of the scion wood tree. So one scionwood tree will be 12 - 15 feet like seckle and another will be a 35 feet + monster like ayers. Keep in mind that depends on soil as well.
Will they live longer this way though. The pear varieties in question would be Comice, Cascade, Warren and Magness.
Also do you need rooting gel or would a slight cut do the job?
Funny you should ask this Pear Rootstock influence on pears fruit size, tree growth, nutrition, longevity etc - #5 by clarkinks . Pears in my experience are not showing the decline like what’s typical with apples (40 years) and peaches (30 years) among others. I’m not sure I’m able to answer your question. Rooting gel is needed sometimes so it’s something you want right the first time. It should work with no cut at all but that’s not been my experience.
Based on my personal experience only, I got rooting without applying hormone. I just made a slice in the side of each trunk and then wrapped a string (or rubber band… can’t remember which) around the wound to keep it from grafting back together. When I checked one year later, roots had formed above the cuts.
So if pears are not showing the decline maybe it would not be as worth it as say a apple tree. Maybe with apples it would be worth burying the graft however.
That’s my opinion so far. I’ve got a pear I planted 27 years ago and its going strong and its grafted. Some say things about pear trees but i assure you i tested pears thoroughly. Should say since one man only has one life its all the testing i can do in a lifetime. When i see suckers i do exactly what your suggesting and try to root them and its not easy. See the pot I have it in!
What about the pear on its own roots you might ask? yes I’ve done it and every year I’ve got this mess to clean up! Don’t ask where the floppy disks came from they are not mine and I don’t know where they came from. Was wondering myself when i just saw them. My suspicion is a family member worked some ancient confidential documents into compost and left their floppies they had in the file sitting there with plans to pick them up. What I can tell you is this is what your signing up for. The hose is indicative the legal documents were burned first in a grill. Would be mad if someone burned plastic in my grill. Need to trim up that pear again this week. There is a baby Hackberry there as well that looks about a year old. Those suckers can be broke out and rooted if a person wanted to do that but then you have more messes. Have done that and they do grow very well and true to type.
The tree in the pot is a sucker from the original. I planned to saw it off like make shift air layering for rootstock. There is not much information on these things which is why I share my information. 99% of my questions when I started growing pears went unanswered. Many times there were less than 5 types of pears available. scottfsmith, alan , olpea and many others shared a lot of good information with me then and still do now. Mamuang and I still share pear information. Fruitnut taught me how to tbud and many other fruit growing skills. We document all we can on the site so others can benefit from it and we are still sharing. There is still a lot left to learn always but thats all i know about it. Hopefully that helps you.
There is a classic book by Tukey titled, “Dwarf Fruit Trees”, in which he points out the historical record of early Americans in a Boston based horticulture society recommending using quince buried well below the graft union to protect that tender rootstock from harsh winter temps.
If rooting out occured without the methods Clark suggests, this probably would not have worked for the purpose intended, which was to have a dwarfing rootstock that survived New England winters. It is a good trick for northern growers, as quince is still tender and 3 centuries later, still the best dwarfing rootstock for pears in terms of size and fruit precocity.
I don’t like dwarf trees either, so have never tried it.
In my experience the newer gardener will try for the dwarfing and the more experienced will go for the standard because standard rootstocks are just less work. I started with trying to get dwarfs but have switched to trying to get standard. The reason I selected the OHxF 87 rootstock was because it was the biggest I could find at the time for Comice and Magness. Recently I found someone selling magnets on OHxF 97 but they are sold out. I got a Warren and seckle on standard rootstock coming too. I just hear warren is a good pollinator and somehow I got 50 dollars in store credit from Stark Bros and they are having a sale so I got a Seckle for 19 dollars with shipping.
I think there are pros and cons to all of the different vigor levels of rootstock. But the general trend for commercial plantings has been from large trees to small trees over the course of the last 100 years. And commercial orchards care a great deal about labor efficiency and labor costs since it affects their profitability. So I don’t think you can say the high vigor rootstock are less work overall. Sure they have high vigor so weeding, and watering is reduced but they are harder to prune, spray and harvest in the long run.
As far as longevity, under harsh conditions having higher vigor can help but it doesn’t necessarily increase cold tolerance. And in Europe there are orchards on M9 that approach a century in age.
In practical terms, high longevity is most useful for people that have lived on the same land for generations where the likelihood of some descendant caring for the trees is high. Or for an institution that is long lasting and trying to preserve rare cultivars. For the typical city or suburban dweller the trees will live only as long as you own them. Once you sell the land or your estate sells it the trees will in most cases be cut down and replaced with something else.
I agree with a lot of your post but would like to add some caveats and ask a question. First, you are right that the pruning requirements of vigorous trees increase labor in ratio to yield, but commercial orchards on full dwarf rootstocks are usually irrigated and undoubtedly require more water overall- fully dwarf trees certainly have little tolerance for drought. Also, the vast majority of commercial apple growing in the U.S. is done in relatively temperate areas in the U.S, including Washington state and parts of New York where extremes are moderated by bodies of water or air flow via the Hudson River. Traditional English dwarfing rootstocks may do poorly in much of the rest of the country. Home orchards also may have conditions that are dwarfing in themselves and require relatively less dwarfing roots to achieve the same vigor as in better or deeper soils or areas with longer growing seasons.
Pears don’t really take much time to prune anyway, it is mature apple trees that require a great deal of labor (lucky for me as half of my working days in a year are spent pruning mostly vigorous apple trees in scores of orchards)- and dwarf pears are not necessarily the commercial trend.
Apple trees are the only species that have commercially shifted to fully dwarf trees to my knowledge. I’m guessing cherries are rapidly switching to semi-dwarf rootstocks, but Mazzard wants to make a huge tree.
My question is, where did you get the info that there are nearly century old M9 based commercial orchards in Europe- that is with the original trees? That surprises me and based on my reading (or at least my memory of it), it certainly isn’t even close to life expectancy for such orchards in the U.S. However, I just did a search to try to clarify the specific longevity of orchards on M9 and came up blank. I’m not claiming to have clear knowledge on the subject.
Something I would mention about the commercial part vs the home gardener it all depends where you live. Where I live water is scarce. Most of our water is from snow in the winter. Plus more people are moving to my state and it seems to be warming over time so I only predict water will become more scarce over time. Arizona is a good point of reference with how things can head south with water issues. Many from California have moved to Arizona and Colorado has cut off water to Arizona. I am sure the people who planted on dwarfing rootstocks there are hitting themselves right now. With farms it is all labor based vs homes are not really labor based. Home wise your biggest issues are maximizing space per yield and maximizing cost of supplies to grow the good. That is why many city folk will buy dwarfs. They want to maximize their space opposed to growing a 30 foot tree. If you have the space as a home owner there is less of a need for dwarf trees. Another thing is dwarfing rootstock is far more precocious so you end up getting fruit earlier which is massive for the commercial sector. The only downside for the commercial sector with dwarfing trees is the trees don’t grow as big so they don’t produce as much but is still correctable by planting high density. Like I said with the residential people it all depends on if you live in the city or a area with a lot of land. I would hope when I die people preserve the land. The place I would end up living would have more established fruits trees than anyone could hope to ask for and would likely feed a family if everything goes well.
Drought is dwarfing anyway and can even encourage early fruiting. If you are worried about water, I would think M111 would be your rootstock. I wonder exactly how much you can control vigor with the spigot? Reduce the water get sweeter, smaller fruit and less vegetative growth. For pears where temps aren’t too extreme I’d go with Bet or Cal. https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/catalog/files/project/pdf/pnw341.pdf
I do have a Warren on Callery coming from edible landscaping and a seckle that all Stark Bros mentions is standard so hopefully something like callery. I think M111 is the rootstock from my Spitzenberg apple from trees of antiquity and my mountain rose apple from One Green World will be on M-7. My Pink lady from Costco just says semi dwarf, the Zestar! from Stark Bros just says standard and my 5 in 1 apple tree does not even give a rootstock but I did bury it pretty deep so hopefully it just roots it’s own roots. My paw paw plants are on seedlings rootstock. My green gage is on Mariana, trilight peach plum on Lovell, Black Gold Cherry on Mazzard, White Gold cherry on the other standard rootstock from Cummins, forget the Nadia cherry rootstock is on from cummins. My old cherries from last year are on Newroot-1. Getting some persimmon on regular American Persimmon rootstock. I have some muligrafted fruit trees on citation with peaches and nectarines. I have donut peaches on standard rootstock from Stark bros. I forget the rootstock I have my Shiro plum on. Then I have the pears on OHxF 87 rootstock I mentioned above. The main ones I am concerned about is the citation rootstocks and the paw paw.
Citation is semi-dwarf, I’d guess I’d say. Size is as dependent on variety as rootstock. I’d be more worried about Marianna, but then I have no experience with it, but I assume it is more dwarfing than Citation.
The OHXF rootstocks often seem very dwarfing at first. They tend to take their time to really plug in- at least in my much different climate.
These are life expectancies on dwarf apples which I’ve seen to be accurate Apple tree disease resistance; also lifespan of dwarf trees #274886 - Ask Extension
“Life expectancy for a dwarf tree is somewhat determined by the type of rootstock used. In general, a dwarf apple may live 15-20 years. A semi-dwarf tree may see 20 – 25 years while a full sized tree should manage 35 to 45 years. Those are just general guides and there are certainly many trees that don’t fall within those parameters.”