Compatibility grafting?

I have green gage, mirabelle, transparent green gage, and golden gage on satsuma. All of them took last year and this year, they are beginning to wake up. Transparent green gage is flowering currently.

Clark, you mentioned ‘Palmata’ has equal vigor to ‘Winter Banana’ in terms of interstem use, but do you have any observations about whether or not the mature tree size should be expected to vary between ‘Palmatta’ and ‘Winter Banana’?

1 Like


My knowledge is strictly academic on this palmata apple. My winter banana apple are doing great so more experiments will follow. @39thparallel grows winter banana it’s an Interesting looking large apple. The flavor isn’t bad it’s pleasant but unimpressive in a sea of fantastic apples available. The winter banana’s charm lies in its use as an Interstem and as a large heirloom apple that is beautiful and useful.

1 Like

I’m interested in any research or personal accounts of apple grown on pear rootstocks. Curious about long term survival, productivity and vigor. Voles have killed a bunch of apple trees, but zero pear trees. Being able to top work callery to apple would be a really valuable use of resources.

I’m definitely going to start experiments with Winter Banana on OHxF and Callery in the Spring.


I recommend searching here:

Journal of the American Pomological Society


I’ve had, at least temporary, success grafting Fertility pear to an apple tree.

If you want to up your odds, you might go Callery-Fertility-WinterBanana-goodApple


For my own personal account, I’ve been trialing zone 3 hardy apples and pears onto the local wild Saskatoon - Amelanchier alnifolia with success in the first year. Pears I expected would have some compatibility, but apples were a surprise. Of all the varieties trialed there seems to be compatibility and survival at least until the first winter, after that I’m still waiting to see. There’s other complicating variables that could affect the longevity of intergeneric grafts like leaving undergrowth, pruning and staking, and use of interstems. If they work out to survive some years with apple I can see some clear benefits to using A. alnifolia in the north, it’s incredibly hardy (zone 2), it’s dwarfing but doesn’t require staking or extra watering, voles leave it alone, grows well in sandy soil, also it grows wild prolifically in most of Canada. Also it grows delicious purple berries, one of the few rootstocks I know of that grow a choice edible fruit, if the rootstock outlived the grafted variety you still have something good.


It doesn’t require staking until you use it as rootstock. It’ll become top heavy with larger species grafted onto it if they survive long term.

Ok I was wondering if pear would need some support, maybe manageable with pruning? So it could need staking for a different reason, where staking dwarfing stocks are usually staked or trellised in part to keep the tree from uprooting right?

In genaral, dwarving rootstocks of all types are less vigorous than most of what gets grafted onto them. That’s why it’s the norm to stake them. If you were to just plant a bunch of dwarf rootstocks and NOT graft onto them I highly doubt they’d need staking.

1 Like

Do you have some experience growing pear on Saskatoon? My first year grafts in 2022 all grew 2-3 ft and look good, and the apple I tried along side them grew about half that but the unions all look normal and so far they haven’t outgrown the rootstock. Partly I’m growing them out just to make more scion wood, but also would be cool if something turns out to have some longevity.

Check out this thread.

Where’s @Bernie ? He &/or Del Stubbs were grafting onto Amelanchier, like, 30 years ago…

I have been grafting to Smoky Saskatoon (pears) for about 10 years. A few observations…the pears produced are full sized and to me indistinguishable from pears growing on pear rootstock in terms of shape and taste. You MUST graft at chest height, or about 4 ft. off the ground or the graft will fail after a year or two. Why? Part of the mysteries of life, unknown. 100% of the pear on Amelanchier I have done at ground level died after one or two years, but the ones at chest height do fine. The pear will overgrow the Saskatoon stalk, but this does not seem to be a problem. This is probably not a long term producing union, however I have some pears that have been producing and surviving for the last 7 or 8 years. It is slightly variable in terms of increasing pear hardiness. For example, one Russian variety called Decabrinka dies out and is damaged by my cold -40C winters on pear rootstock (both Siberian Pear and OHxF87) yet has not shown any damage on Smoky Saskatoon. However other pear varieties do not seem to gain extra hardiness on Amelanchier. You could also try cotoneaster (the hedge plant common in my area) as a dwarf rootstock. You get a tree only 6-8 ft. tall and the graft union with pear seems secure and long lasting. You need to let a few branches of cotoneaster feed the roots, so graft pear a foot or so above the ground leaving at least two cotoneaster branches off the trunk below. Lastly aronia berry also takes pear grafts and you get fruit in only 2 or 3 years, but this is apparently not a long lasting union. My pear on aronia seem to be doing well, and are going into their 3rd summer coming up and should fruit for me. Its a fun hobby!


I may have already related this, earlier in this old thread.
I had two pears grafted onto cockspur hawthorn (C. crus-galli). One was doing fine when it and several other fruit trees were removed for a structure. The other one, grafted in 2001, is still going strong, but very columnar in habit, and only 8-9 ft tall, 20+ yrs later. The pear trunk is nearly 50% larger diameter than the hawthorn understock.


Thank you for listing the Journal of the American Pomological Society! So much new material to read!

Do you find your pears need any type of support or are the free standing? I’m interested to know if you’re managing them with some branches from the rootstock like with Cottoneaster or if maybe this isn’t needed? Chest height seems to also have an advantage with vole resistance.

Never had to use any support on either Saskatoon or cotoneaster so far. All are free standing.
I think a heavy crop on cotoneaster in the future might require staking to keep the branches from tearing away in a strong wind.


I’ve seen these reports for years, and find it interesting that you far-Northerners can graft onto Amelanchier (and cotoneaster).
Looking at my serviceberries, I just don’t see how it would work… While there were two A.laevis trees in town, at the local library, that actually assumed tree-like dimensions, with a single main trunk, the rest of my serviceberries - A.alnifolia, A.stolonifera, and even various seedling A.x grandifolia (apple serviceberry) and A.x lamarckii selections are mostly multi-stemmed, suckering shrubs… the alnifolia, in particular, never have a stem much larger than pencil-diameter… I just have a hard time envisioning them physically supporting any sort of vigorous pear graft for any length of time


Around here the A. alnifolia grow as small trees, and they’re prolific around the mixed aspen forest along with P. virginiana - they get to be about the same size as the Choke Cherry and are hard to tell apart. Best fruiting when they’re 6-10’ tall with a 1-2" trunk caliper, but I have some up to 3-4" and 15’ tall depending on light and conditions, most of them are in the understory here. About the right size for a semi-dwarf rootstock.