Grafting on Bradford Pear


I’m going to cut down a Bradford Pear. I decided such a big rootstock would be great to raise some real pears on. My understanding is that it is an Asian pear. I see pictures where people are growing European pears and apples on them. Is that really possible? If have to waste my time. I googled it and never get anything but grafting on the wild cross pollenate thorny ones that are coming up everywhere.


@clarkinks does this with wild callery pears, though I think he only grafts Euro Pears onto them. I haven’t seen him mentioning anything about grafting apples onto those trees.


Yes I have done it. I just put some limbs on it from a great pear tree in decline so that I could save
the variety for later scions. It makes a few pears every year.


My experience with Bradford pear is that it induces earlier fruiting and will take both Asian and European pear varieties.


Most European pears work great and many asian pears. You can graft some apples to some callery eg. winter banana but incompatability is known to be an issue sometimes. I’m going to bow out on that topic though @Auburn has plenty of experience with grafting apples to pears. Aronia, Quince, Hawthorn, cottoneaster, medlar etc. can also be partially compatible. Im going beyond the scope of your question so getting back on topic here is a link where i top worked a callery pear Top working Pears weather permitting. What i found out is a great deal of callery pears are actually partially BET rootstock so much so its very hard to find many wild trees that are not. Bet are great asian pear rootstocks. The original group of callery i grafted were awful and not compatible with asian pears and many european pears too so im thankful to have those grafted over now. My recommendation is graft pears to pears and you generally have long term success. Several pears i grafted on callery 15 years ago are going strong! Thanks @Joe you have a good memory.


Yes I think Winter Banana apple is required as an interstem that for some weird reason is compatible with pear rootstock. I have not done it but am intrigued by it because we need all the options we can get to convert nasty Bradfords into respectable citizens. I’ve grafted a half dozen Euro pears to Bradford. They grow like crazy.


Thanks. For some reason I thought the Bradford Pear originated in China. For that reason I thought Asian Pear would graft onto it. I’m going to cut a well-established Bradford anout 2/3 down this winter. In the spring I plan to cut it down further and graft everything I can get a hold of that will grow on it. Any varieties that are know to grow on it are what I’m looking for. Once I see that I have gotten some positive results, I will cut every limb of the Bradford so it can’t produce any viable seeds. Only thing I have lined up is a Bartlett and some Asain pear in the neighborhood. No one knows what it is but it’s delicious. I’d be happy to pay for any Scions that have a good chance of growing.


When you cut it back be certain to leave limbs lower on it for nurse branches. Try to graft above deer browse.

You’ll need several nurse branches left on. To get an idea of how many, watch as my buddy prepares this tree. He really knows what he’s doing. Been doing it 40-years.

You do not need to bag the scions or put foil around them. Simple parafilm on the scion is all that is necessary and then close the wound on the branch stub your grafting onto with a grafting wax or parafilm or electrical tape. I use electrical tape and so does my buddy.

Pears are very-very easy to successfully graft.



My post was not clear. I meant to say that Winter Banana interstem is required to graft apple to Bradford, not to graft Asian or Euro pear to Bradford- no interstem needed for that, that I know of.


Here is an Housi Asian Pear grafted in 2017 onto a Bradford limb fruiting in 2018.

Here is an Beurré Bosc European Pear grafted in 2015 onto another Bradford limb fruiting in 2018.

The only graft incompatibility I have seen from Bradford has been birds breaking the grafts off. I have 20 different varieties on this particular Bradford. I don’t think you have to worry about any European or Asian pears being rejected. Some people call Asian pears, Apple Pears, so maybe there is some confusion there. You don’t want to be putting actual Apples onto any pear roots unless you are adventurous in spirit.


Thanks for the information
My intention exactly. What scions do you have I could get. I’m in zone 5B It be happy to reimburse you for your time and mailing expense. I’m going to overhaul a Bradford Pear next spring.


I’ve grafted a lot of callery through the years and not all of them are the same Wild callery pear rootstocks . It may be easy to graft them or it may be hard depending on genetics. They can be thorny or thornless which may be BET genetics Pyrus Betulifolia Asian pear rootstock crosses Favor for a friend - Top working Pears! . Callery are variable even among the pure strains Callery pear as rootstock?