Did I make a good choice in pear rootstocks?

Last night I ordered OHXF333 root stocks with the intent of benchgrafting Euro pears this spring. Varieties I plan to graft are Ayers, Burford, Harrow Sweet, Harrow Delight, Harvest Queen, and Orient. I also grabbed an OHXF97 to try a graft of Olympic Asian pear. I’ve been second guessing my choice of 333 vs. OHXF87 due to a few comments I ran across of the potential for small fruit on 333. Anyone care to give me some reassurance?:relaxed:
I’m in central Virginia zone 7a.

I’ve never grafted before, so I may be worried about the wrong issue!

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I have not seen small fruit on my OHxF333’s with the exception of White Doyenne. I think a few varieties may give smaller fruit on it but most don’t; this information originally came some French study I can’t find now. My Harrow pears are on quince so can’t compare on those particular varieties. Most of my pears on 333 are asians and they are all plenty big.

They’re both good stocks.

I thought White Doyenne were smallish anyway; the few I have finished were, but then my “Seckels” are the size of Barletts.

Most pears are plenty big enough, in my opinion. I think good health, form, anchorage, precocity and the like would be higher on the list than size.

Besides, you’re going to have so many pears you won’t mind if they aren’t huge!

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I hope so! Thanks for the inputs everyone. You wouldn’t believe how much waffling I do trying to make the “perfect” choice.

I’m glad to hear Scott that your asians are doing OK on 333. I purchased 3 asian varieties on 333 before reading that most growers say it’s a bad idea. My reason in going with 333 is to keep the trees smallish at maturity, my spacing is 7’.

I spoke recently on the phone with the owner of Greenmantle Nursery recently who told me that asians on 333 rarely live past 10 years which made me concerned about my rootstock choice but conditions are much different in CA. The 2nd leaf trees survived ok a pretty bad drought this past summer and fall with no supplemental water so maybe all is not lost.

Chris I bought 8 in 2003 and they are all still going strong, no problems whatsoever on any of them. I think you can discount that information. I have heard of problems with some of the OH stocks runting out in the south, that is the main thing I would watch for. I never had that problem myself with any OH’s.

How tall are the Asian Pear trees on 333?

I would be shocked if they got over 6-8’ tall.

I have not found 333 to be all that dwarfing, I have 333’s right next to seedling stocks and they are not noticeably different. All of my trees are pruned to max 9’ high max but my guess is the 333’s would be 20’ or more in a few years if I let them take off. My Superfin tree from 2003 has a trunk that is 6" in diameter - its a big tree.

333 was a dog for me in central Texas. It didn’t produce much growth at all and fruit size was down on most varieties. I think it is due to the lack of a true rest period and also because of the horrible limestone dominated soils down there. In other areas I bet it does just fine. If I had room I would even try it again here in Dallas. They were precocious that’s for sure.

@scottfsmith, how do you keep your pears at 9 feet? Summer pruning? Any fireblight concerns with summer pruning?

I just prune off all the water sprouts in winter now. Some of them can be 8’ long, I just chop them off. In past years I bent over and tied down some of those sprouts to make more fruiting wood.

I did do summer pruning for several years, but noticed the sprouts just kept going from where I cut them so I decided to just do it once a year. Fireblight is definitely a risk in summer pruning and its good to pick a period of non-prime fireblight weather for the pruning.

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