I am having problems rooting Pyrus hardwood cuttings

I am trying to root OHF333 and others using hardwood cuttings.

I have tried, different diameters, different times during winter taking cuttings, bottom heat, rooting gel.

But so far I have had zero take. Not even any callusing.

Any advice or guidance on what I need do, as the books say its so easy ???

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Hi, I root very successfully.


much more simplified than two links above and piecing together.


Pears are almost impossible to root, that is why most people use grafting on to seedling/root stock, or air layering. Air layering works better than rooting when it comes to pear trees, air layering is often used to reproduce root stock.

The way I understand it air layering pear cuttings has a lower rate of success than rooting the average fig cuttings.

I’ve rooted figs once at least 100%. That’s only a flat of 30 or another 1/2 a flat to that. I was rooting probably 4 or 5 varieties at the that time, I remember. I sent @fruitnut a message telling him. He responded something back, ‘you’re a very good propagator, not the ordinary league’ He was comparing his-self to me with respect to his personal life for the reason he propagates. Steve, what’s your rate? I guess I’m a little confused. I’m propagating more than 20-varieties (have). I had 1 of 2 cuttings not root a few times. The wood was fine when I started.

W/o a scar to wound on the sides of fig cuttings, you can watch them all one by one not root. I did it on purpose to learn and to confirm from past observations from autopsies of course . . . and what I noticed.

Thank you, Alan.


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Weirdly, I actually had a cutting of OHxF 333 start to root after I cut off a long wand from a rootstock that was growing out and jammed it in the back yard as part of an obstacle course for my daughter. I don’t know that it would have survived long term, but it definitely did start to form roots. Surprised the heck out of me, to be honest.


Most of what I wrote was about pear scion/cuttings, and the last part was to try and prove the point that rooting fig cuttings is easier, since not everyone has gotten good or great at rooting fig cuttings, and since not all cuttings have the same odds of rooting I did not want to make rooting cuttings seem easy, I myself had times in which I had very poor results with rooting cuttings, cuttings that are in poor condition, or I neglected the cuttings because I had so many other things going on. Strange changes in the climate can cause them to fail since I usually root outside. I had even forgotten some rooting tricks that I had discovered for a little while.

When I am rooting fig cuttings that are in good condition, when I put enough attention to rooting properly, when I root them in a good spot, and when I don’t forget to do something (which happens when I have too many things going on at once) then worst case scenario I have about 75% success rate, yet usually higher, I have had 90 something % many times, once even 100% success rate, yet that was just luck I think!

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One year I tried to root a lot of pomegranate cuttings, pear cuttings, and hazelnut cuttings, I used the same process on everything, all in the same cheapo greenhouse, all at the same time. None of the pears or the hazelnuts rooted successfully and I had a large variety of pear cuttings from different sources. Not even one root on any of them. I even tried to root a cutting from one of my pear root stocks at a later date and that failed. The pomegranate cuttings most of those rooted successfully. I have heard from many people that pear cuttings usually do not root. Maybe some varieties could root.

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I also have had no luck rooting pear cuttings ,even air layers have failed, on various rootstock.
There must be a way ?
Someone propagates them ?

Instead I have turned to digging Callary pear seedlings .
Also planted some Betulafolia seed for rootstock

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Quick update, not that anybody asked… Last fall, I transplanted the pear cutting that had appeared to form roots into a spot at the edge of our garden. I went out to check just now, and in spite of being heavily gnawed by bunnies, the green showing in the cambium suggests that it actually survived the winter! I don’t have any idea whether it will live or not, but the fact that it’s made it this far is a pleasant surprise.

So, it appears that pear cuttings can take root, but maybe only if you don’t intend for it to happen? (Kind of like the secret to flying in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - all you have to do is throw yourself at the ground and miss…)


Dirr / Heuser ‘The Reference Manual of Woody Plants Propagation’ says Pyrus communis is rooted as softwood under mist. There’s our reason. They say too that hardwood cuttings are possible but more difficult at 47% (mid-November) Califorinia, 8" by 1/4 to 5/16’s place in heated bin at 75F for 31 days with cool tops, and then plant in prepared outdoor beds. ‘Old Home’ softwoods, early June (California), hormone, mist, perlite:vermiculite (1:1, v/v), rooted 98% in 6 weeks. ‘Old Home’ hardwoods, mid- to late October, hormone, store 3 weeks in heated bin at 70F, plant out in early November.

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Here is a quote from Cummins Nursery “All the OHxF Series are propagated by cuttings or in tissue culture–with considerable difficulty, as all are reluctant rooters.”

Clearly different techniques are used by different people.

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The variable reports are why I decided to graft my OHxF tops to P. calleryana from a downed Bradford pear. No way to be sure rooting will have time to happen otherwise. The advice I got here is to leave them a couple years, but probably can only leave them a year.

I buy pear root stock from ‘Cummins Nursery’, the only problem with doing that is it takes a long wait until I can graft to it. Yet I know that if I buy pear root stock from them all of the root stock would become a tree that can be grafted to.

I did a similar with apple rootstocks. Kept a few apple rootstocks in a plastic bag. Cut the tops off and threw them away. Then heavily pruned the roots, but left the pruned roots in the plastic bag.

Only looked in (after 3 months), when clearing up after winter, and all the large and small root cuttings had rooted and sending out shoots.