Similar experience picking someone else’s standard tree. It has a lower part that we can reach with our pickers but we can’t get close to reaching the tallest part. But it is insanely productive so you still get a huge harvest. You can shake some of the pears down but some (half?) from the highest level will be damaged even falling onto grass. From that distance they pack quite a wallop if they hit you! I will have some standard size pear trees fruiting eventually.
Excellent choice!!! TY for posting this info.
As Dax noted, panhandle of Texas has water shortage issues. Whren fruit falls, even from lesser heights, it is like dropping on concrete. I will eat fallen fruit, but it won’t keep. I think the productivity comes from the trees spending all their energy on putting spurs on now they have better sun penetration. It is rejuvenation pruning, but how do you rejuvenate what you can’t reach?
I do not like to leave pear fruit in the top of trees because it is not eaten. It falls, or rots, and has to be picked up or we are overwhelmed with flies. But that is just what works for me. Every place is different.
The best thing to do is look at some of the results while we been here on growingfruit from full sized pears and go from there. It works for me I’m very happy with the results.
Absolutely every place is very location specific and none of us know what works better for you than you.
I absolutely regret planting full-size pears in my orchard. When ordering from Cummins in 2005, Mr. Cummins informed me that he only had full-size pears in stock, and that if I ordered these he recommended that they be planted at the north end of my orchard. “And they will be a challenge to keep under control.” I was impatient and he was correct. I spent the next 12 years trying to keep them under control for purposes of spraying, pruning, and picking. Between the fire blight and the growth challenges, I gave up and chopped three out of five. It took the Worthington 15 years to fruit. Not really worth all the work. One other pear, Anjou, is on Quince and has been well behaved.
I gave up trying to help my neighbor keep his full-size Bartlett under control. Now it’s huge and the unreachable pears drop in wind storms and the deer get to them before we can.
Go dwarf of semi-dwarf…or go home. I’m planting big nut trees, not big fruit trees.
Do the " semi dwarf" pear trees really grow that much smaller?
@MikeC in my experience they do dwarf properly. My ohxf333 are not a huge trees at least not yet. For that matter ohxf87 and ohxf97 dont grow overly strong either yet. The ohxf rootstocks are not fast growing in comparison to BET or callery. There is significant dwarfing due to my clay soils as well. If you have deep rich soil and no deer you might not want to plant anything besides ohxf333 or ohxf87. 61% height is not bad so if a tree was going to be 30 feet it might be 16 feet. In my soil it might be 9 - 16 feet depending on the soil in that pocket where I planted it. In straight heavy clay that dwarf pear will never reach 10 feet unless you add some compost and wood chips. Quince reached 2 feet in that situation then died. Quince will not live at this location. They don’t have enough roots or vigor to live here.
Thank you for the nice graph. I have seen different graphs but not as concise as this one. I have a clayish type soil, not entirely clay. I planted all OHxF 87 rootstocks on the tree pear trees I planted. Someone told me, in this area, that they were having issues with the OHxF 333 so they stopped using the OHxF 333 rootstock. I did not want a 30 pear tree. I had one at my other house years ago, too big for the place now. I had a lot better soil there than I do at my house now. My old place had been a sheep farm years before.
How tall do your grafted callery trees will get?
It depends on the scion wood but most reach 20 -35 feet. Trees like seckle grow slower than pears like Clara fris, ayers, Kieffer, or Duchess D’angoulme. Some of my improved Kieffer in very high clay soil are only 15 -18 feet. They get larger but then wind comes along and they are back to where they were. 20 feet might be temporary in the spring but then fruiting drops them to 17. The fruit slows them down. Ayers in the same soil reaches 30 because the pears are not as heavy on the branches or the wood is harder. I’ve never in any wind storm lost a branch of ayers as odd as that sounds. Duchess D’ angoulme has huge pears over a pound and very brittle wood. It will always be broken down.
I have a Kieffer, Duchesse, and an Abby Fetel pears trees. All are on the OHxF 87 rootstocks. I had a Bartlett on the same rootstock but it got severe fireblight so I took it out. It was only about 10 foot tall after about 7 years.
How wide are your pears on OHxF 87 and how old? I have some spaced at 6’ apart and am wondering if I should space them farther apart.
That sounds awfully close together to me.
I space all my trees at about 15 feet, no matter what rootstock I use. I figure if whatever tree dies or needs replaced I do not have to worry about what rootstock to put in the empty spot. I just make sure I never use a standard rootstock in any of the areas of my orchard.
6 feet will work between trees in a row as long as there are not other rows 6’ apart. Pears will go up but they also like to go out. It’s tight and no doubt 15- 20 feet is ideal. I’ve done what you did myself and got away with it. Certainly I understand sometimes there is limited space in which case pruning and additional care must be taken to make it work. One thing all of you likely know is trees shade each other and fruit. My fruit ripened for years ahead of schedule but now it ripens on time. In the old days my fruit trees were alone so they had constant full sun causing fruit to ripen quickly. The opposite happens if trees are to close together fruit will delay ripening or will not properly build sugars.
Thanks for your feedback! I think many of your enthusiastic and helpful comments about pears might have inspired the purchase of those trees in the first place. The pears are in a single row along our driveway and were planted with the hope of also providing a little privacy. There is a large amount of space on either side of the row (including a driveway which likely reflects heat onto them) and they get good sun there and shouldn’t shade each other much due to their orientation to the sun. We chose the spacing after I read on Adams County nursery, where it states: “For growers who wish to plant a higher density pear orchard, we recommend planting trees on OHxF87. These can be planted at 5’ in row and 12-14’ between rows.” I was curious as to whether people have actually found success with such higher density plantings. I’m glad to hear you have done it and gotten away with it. I certainly can plan on some summer pruning if needed, although I am slightly concerned that too much pruning of pears could lead to fireblight. Good reminder of the advantages of making sure the trees receive good sun. I suppose if worse came to worse, I could eventually remove every other tree leaving the spacing at 12’ apart.
They will be fine as is with no further action needed on oxf87. As a hedge that density works great. In the event you do need to prune off a branch remember fireblight is only active in the growing season. If tissue isn’t growing fireblight is not growing either. Above 65 degrees it can become a problem Fireblight: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment | UGA Cooperative Extension
Prune off any infected limbs right away.
What do you mean by this Clark? We are also on a windy hill and I thought that wind would be a downside for flowers to freeze.
about 45 feet tall seckel pear trees, NO REGRETS lol
Seriously though they were planted by my wifes grandfather. Some others are smaller like 25-30 feet and produce bigger fruits that i really enjoy in summer, they fall and I collect them, sometimes the fox beat me to them but there are plenty for us both. Deer are not such a problem in Europe because they are smaller and fewer but we still put up a deer fences.
I like to have big trees and let the fruits fall when it works out… I planted Quince A rootstock pears at 12 feet and standard seedling pears at 24 foot spacing in different orchard blocks.
I have some pole pruning tools I like but Euro sourced websites, if anyone is interested say so and i’ll look for the links.
Good question, frosts occur on still nights. If you ever noticed the lower land with still air has a tendency to get hit by frosts. That is why pawpaw are a perfect low land tree. Water accumulates in lower land, and so does frost. Pawpaw bloom very late. Wind is frequently seen as bad because it can push cold air in, but it can do the opposite. In my location, my lower orchard is typically more of a concern for frost.
Watch for the 3 c’s “For frost to form, you need the 3 C’s: Clear skies, cold freezing air, and calm conditions.”