Anyone have own experience using Ussurian/Harbin as rootstock for European pears? Or know anyone who has? I’ve been reading whatever I can find to decide on a rootstock for my orchard but most reports are about Asian varieties, or are just repeats from previous publications re pear decline without any hard info. I don’t even know if that’s a problem here. There are many northern references to using Ussurian (which sounds good for me) but I’m not sure if it’s been for Euro varieties. Some varieties I’m considering have ussurian in parentage but others Euro, or I can’t tell.
Sue I know your zone 3 so harbin might be the best option but what are you planning to graft to them? I’m assuming some of these varities https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/trees/handbook/th-3-91.pdf. @Lucky_P once upon a time got pears from a nursery on harbin. I’m putting Asian pears on harbin this year but that’s a very different situation. Harbin get very large with euro pears on them and can get decline. You might look at this old thread Rootstock for Ure, Golden Spice and Early Gold pear. My understanding is areas with bad psylla problems are at risk for decline. Hopefully someone from that area can answer the psylla question or give some tips but if I remember correctly psylla are a big problem there. @jerry63 may be of help Pear for 3b -4a . This is a nursery in Carlton, MN you could call (218) 391-1113 to find out more information about pear rootstocks but I suspect they use harbin http://theappletreeguy.com/product-cat/pears/. @Windfall_rob may be another good person to ask if new pear releases have came out. @jessica4b may be aware of cold hardy pear disease issues. @warmwxrules & @northof53 will have some great advise as they can speak from experience on cold tolerant pears that they grow.
I contacted Jeffries Nursery about their pears and rootstocks a couple months ago. Their pears are grafted or budded on pyrus ussuriensis rootstocks. They want the most cold hardy trees possible
I’ve also wondered about using ussurian for Euro pears and communis for pears like Ure, Golden Spice, and Early Gold.
Companies such as burntridge do use harbin for rootstocks for those so it should not be a problem http://www.burntridgenursery.com/mobile/GOLD-SPICE-PEAR-Pyrus-communis/productinfo/NSEPGOL/
Thanks clark. Looks like that Gold Spice (Golden Spice?) is grafted onto P. ussuriensis. I believe Golden Spice is a Ussurian pear, not Communis?
Yes Golden Spice is Pyrus x ussuriensis as are most cold hardy pears http://trees.umn.edu/nursery-tour/species/gosppe/. Similarly Ure is grafted to harbin http://www.burntridgenursery.com/URE-EUROPEAN-PEAR-Pyrus-communis/productinfo/NSEPURE/. You might be interested in these scions available from ARS GRIN http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgsold/swish/accboth?query=ussuriensis&si=0&start=75. You might also want to look at this nursery Pears – St. Lawrence Nurseries as they will have zone 3 pears. There are many more zone 3 pears than what there once was. Not sure if your on the Canadian or U.S. side but Canada has the new Russian cultivars. You might be interested in this post Krazulya Pear - #2 by clarkinks
Thanks again clark. I’m in central MN and I’m currently growing Ure, Early Gold, Walden Large, Stacey, Hill and an unknown pear (I’m guessing it’s Golden Spice) from north of my location about an hour. I’ve ordered Sauvignac, Waterville, and Vavilov scions from GRIN for next spring. That will probably be the extent of my pear experiments…at least until the pears from the old Soviet Union are available in the U.S. anyway.
,oops, forgot to include Southworth as a pear variety I’m currently growing.
I’ll throw out this nursery as another source of cold hardy pears. Their offerings vary from year to year, but the owner is easy to work with. I got the Walden Large, Hill, and Stacey pear scions from them last year. https://waldenheightsnursery.com/
Another P. communis x ussuriensis hybrid is Patten pear. It was bred by C.G. Patten in Charles City, IA. I think @clarkinks grows it. It is said to be Zone 3 hardy. I guess that was during the tail end of the Little Ice Age and N. Iowa was colder than it is now.
I think I do grow patten but it must be one of my small trees. @hungryfrozencanuck4b may know additional information about the Russian pears by now. He follows a couple of groups that discuss those cold hardy fruits. I love to grow every good quality pear I can find!
Interesting topic, thanks for all those links and info Clark.
My understanding with p ussuriensis pear decline is that it affects it when European varieties are grafted onto pu, and might indicate some level of incompatibility between stock and scion.
I hope to start growing ussuriensis to use for asian pears, wildlife plantings and hybrids like Ure, Patten, etc.
Not much new on my end. Konrad posted some tasting notes at: http://forums.gardenweb.com/discussions/4134934/lets-talk-about-hardy-pears
Thanks for all the info and links. I think I’ve read most of them but I’ll check for sure. Definitely lots to learn. I only have room for two new pears this year plus I plan to put several grafts on my old chokepear. I’m hoping I can find a source for a small (as in two!) ussu rootstocks. The real challenge then comes on choosing a variety. As you’ve mentioned, there are a lot of choices even for z3 (I had about 30 on my original list). I’ve got it narrowed down to 13. A lot depends on what scions I can get. My 1st list so far is Patten, Sauvignac, Southworth, and a very old pear growing up by Lake Superior (I’m real excited about that one, the pears are great). 2nd list includes Nova, Sierra, Vermont Beauty. 3rd is Beedle, Bierschmitt, Early Gold, Helmer, Hudar, Moonglow, Northbrite. I have Stacey and Summerville. Maybe I should plant what smsmith hasn’t planted and we’ll have some good experience some years down the road! I guess I’ll just have to expand my orchard again.
What is a chokepear?
Walden Heights carries some rootstocks, they may be worth checking with for a couple ussuriensis rootstocks.
I’d love to have a trading source for other cold hardy pear varieties.
I"m assuming my “chokepear” is a common pear. It was the rootstock of a Bartlett that lasted only a few years, planted almost 40 yrs ago. I’ve read common pear seedling fruit is variable but most comments make it sound like they are at least somewhat edible but these aren’t, except to the deer who love them, and probably birds. This year we had a bumper crop of the 1 inch round fruits and I found when they are REALLY ripe they do have a bit of a pear taste, but one bite is plenty enough for me. The tree is beautiful and about 35 ft tall and I’ve never done anything with it. But now I have a stronger interest in pears and plan to do some pruning and grafting. I’d like to get a few branches of edible pears on it. A book I have “Edible Wild Plants” by Oliver Perry Medsger is the only place I’ve seen the name choke pear but that’s what we’ve always called it. I’ll check out Walden Heights for rootstock, thanks.
Sue, did you ever trial the Harbin rootstock/Euro pear combos? I heard from Bob Purvis this winter regarding this topic, and similar to what Clark mentioned, he recommended Ure, Golden Spice, Summercrisp, or some other pear with ussuriensis in its heritage. These hybrids could be used as an interstem for a European pear to be grafted on top of. He mentioned that European pears grafted directly to Harbin can suffer from blackend, which is caused by the graft union being unable to transmit sufficient calcium.
Hi Duane, Yes - thanks to a member I got 5 usser. rootstocks, planted early 2017. Later spring I grafted them. One rootstock died, one graft didn’t take but was regrafted the next year. So I have Patten and Southworth growing by themselves and both are growing healthy and very vigorous (I hope they calm down as they get older). On another is an old unknown variety from near Lake Superior. It isn’t as vigorous (fine with me) but is also doing well (and has had a few blossom the last two years!). The 4th usser was the largest and grafted '18 & ‘19 with 5 grafts. All were growing well until this year when the old 40’ seedling pear, which is right next to it, got hit hard and pretty fully with fireblight (as did Stacey). The usser. central leader graft Flemish Beauty was the first to get hit, then side branch grafts Gifford and one Nova. All dead. A side branch graft of Hudar (now the leader) and another Nova were fine as was the rootstock. None of the other pears had any strikes (thankfully) and they are all doing well. Patten was from Purvis, the rest from ARS-NPGS (except the unknown from Lake Superior).
So I’m REALLY hoping they will continue healthy and not give in to any other disease. I’ll let you known. Sue