I’m at my parents’ house for the holidays in zone 7a coastal NJ (they live on the Barnegat Bay, for anyone familiar with the area). There is a volunteer callery pear that is growing maybe 15 to 20 feet away from their waterfront bulk head, next to a fence that separates their yard from their neighbor. The first branches are maybe 5ish feet high, my dad cut the tree like that to clear the fence. The total height is probably 20 or so feet tall. I’m assuming a bird “left” the seed that grew into the tree, since there are no other callery pears in the area, and neither my parents not their neighbor planted the tree. Here are some pictures of the tree.
I’ve never grafted anything before, but after reading this forum more and more over the past year or so, I’m itching to try. I’d like to graft this callery pear over to into some edible pears. I have SO many questions though:
- Can edible pears be grown so close to the water? The bay here is brackish (it’s fed by a large cedar Creek and an ocean inlet).
- If yes, what types of pears could be grafted into this callery pear? Does anyone have experience with seaside pears?
- How would I go about grafting? Would I cleft graft to some of the smaller branches/twigs growing out of the main trunks? Would I just chop off the whole top of the tree and top work the main trunks with bark grafts?
- What is the best time of year to graft pears?
- Would anyone be kind enough to send me scions that I can graft/practice with? I’d be happy to pay for postage, or trade!
Any help or advice would be much appreciated!
Yes , you can top work this tree.
Many ways to do this, I would suggest working with 2inch size branches , they heal better. But people use larger branches too.
Also , several varieties will help with pollination.
Several threads on here about using callery for rootstock.
Several videos on utube showing the process .
Some by …JSacadura
Can be as simple as this.
March or early April may be good timing ?
You can do it , good luck
Thanks so much!
So you have any concern about it being so close to the salt water bay? That’s my biggest concern
I have no experience with seaside pears, or the effects of salty water . So I don’t know ?
But it’s growing, the bay may help keep the frost of of the blooms.
What do you have to lose ,?
i think clarkinks has experience with Callery. he should chime in soon.
Something like this could be done,with cleft or whip & tongue.I grafted some European Pears to a Callery and most of them were successful.
Maybe pick some branches,on the outer parts of the tree.The red lines are cuts,where they could be grafted,if they are pointing outward and similar diameter as the scions.They can be lower or higher on the branches,as well.
If it were me I would bark graft in the spring after tree leafs out. Pears are very easy to graft. Should bark graft on no bigger than 3-4 inch limbs. If limbs are larger graft higher. 3-4 inches is limited due to limb rotting off before scions can overtake. I would graft at 6 feet or higher.
Thanks! There are some smaller twigs lower down, I think I’ll try those.
How big should the leaves be, smaller or fully leafed out?
Why 6 feet or higher? I worry that will be too high for my parents to get fruit safely. There are some smaller branches lower down, if the concern is branch diameter
I’m guessing the 3-4 inch branches are 6 feet or higher. You likely won’t have success grafting lower twigs if you don’t cut all the limbs above the graft. Search for apical dominance You will need to source dormant budwood and save in the refrigerator until the tree starts growing. Can’t say when that would be for New Jersey but it is February and April for Texas. You don’t have anything to lose by trying as for now you get inedible fruit. Supplies needed, sharp knife, grafting tape, aluminum foil. I cover the stumps myself with sheet parafilm. But parafilm is not strong enough for grafting so I use vinyl budding tape. Another trick is to graft more than one bark graft on a large stump. Sometimes half the stump will die if only one graft is done. You need to ask locally what variety of pears does well there. Pears are susceptible to fireblight which I don’t know wether is a concern for NJ, it is for Texas. Topworking - mrtexascitrus .
I can send you lots of Moonglow and Ayers for postage. They’re really tasty!
Thank you so much for the offer, but I’ve already set up trades for other scions! I’m planning to grow Harrow Sweet, Harrow Delight, and Potomac. Supposedly they are disease resistant and precocious. Fingers crossed they take!
Sounds great Pears are fun to graft. You’ll do great.
i have 6 varieties grafted on a mountain ash and growing well. if i can do that you shouldnt have a problem grafting over that tree. should fruit fairly quick for you as well.
Thanks! I’ve been watching tons of videos so I hope it goes well. I also have an aronia at my house that I’m planning to graft over to shipova, so we’ll see how it goes
Dana it sounds hard but this thread will have everything you need besides practice Top working Pears weather permitting . Here is more of the same Favor for a friend - Top working Pears!
i have one i bought from cricket hill nursery 2 years ago. it hasnt grown much. hopefully it takes off this year.
For anyone who might have been paying attention to this project, I grafted the callery today! I cut the whole thing off at about 4’ or 5’ high. I did bark grafts of Harrow sweet, Harrow delight, and Potomac. To protect the grafts, I did a layer of grafting tape, covered by a layer of electrical tape. And I cut a garbage bag to cover the tops of the big cuts and taped around it to keep rain and bugs out. Dabs of wood glue on the ends of the scions. The weather is 53 and sunny today, the forecast is highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s for the next week, it’s meant to rain tomorrow though. Now the tree looks like this:
The old callery will also be giving us a whole bunch of firewood!
OH ,! …
Quick get a gallon of wood glue…
Put it back together…!
? … wait … it’s April 2
I was thinking it was April 1st.
Good job , that should work !
Hahaha, you actually got me for a second!!! I was so confused
Fingers crossed some take!!!