Making a pear stoolbed for propagating rootstocks

Today is a great day for me since I’ve finally been able to make the time to make a new rootstock stoolbed for cloning pear rootstocks. At the moment I’m using two tractor tires and some vey long rooted callery pears. It’s not that I think 50¢ or $1 is to much for rootstock stock to the contrary I think it’s to cheap. The reason why I’m making a stoolbed is so the rootstocks are there when I need them. The problem is this year the same as others no one will fall ship rootstocks and in the spring when they do ship rootstocks I’m busy grafting. This year I had to agree to the terms of allowing them to ship in the spring and chancing not getting some things done. Fortunately we found wild pear rootstock to use if they don’t ship on time


I do understand how easy and nice it is to bench graft pears and we do just not always. I’m also a strong believer in self sufficiency and as long as your depending on someone else for rootstocks it is never in your best interest. This year I wanted 100 BET rootstocks and everyone told me there were none. I finally found 100 that will be ready next year so i’m waiting two years because I did not grow my own. Lessons are learned the hard way sometimes.

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Looks good!

Question…where are you finding rootstocks that cheap? I’m planning to order some M26 and OHF87, cheapest I’ve found (for small orders, not commercial) is $2.50 each. Shipping will make it more like $3 each.

Burning Ridge has betufolia for spring shipping, or did you want it already and are waiting til next fall as a result?

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Ampersand,
I do order in larger quantities of typically 50-100 + . M26 is more expensive than some and comes in quantities of 100. See this link http://www.lawyernursery.com/productinfo.aspx?productSpecies=Malus-EMLA 26.&categoryid=75. It will cost you around $1.25 each. Anyone can call and get a bundle of 100. For someone like me Antanovka or 111 is fine because space is not limited http://www.lawyernursery.com/productinfo.aspx?productSpecies=Malus ‘Antanovka’.&categoryid=75. I need apple rootstock like that because of my heavy clay soil. I had to order Pyrus betulifolia from lawyers who only has them in 3/32 so I need to grow them out a year http://www.lawyernursery.com/productinfo.aspx?productSpecies=Pyrus betulifolia.&categoryid=111. If I was a large commercial grower instead of a farm, pear rootstocks and apples are around .25¢. Same way with your 87 rootstock is it’s a little more around $1.26 each in quantity of 100 http://copenhavenfarms.com/cherry-plum-and-pear-rootstock-price-list. You can always split an order as we do that frequently.

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Thanks, I’m just looking at 25.

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$2.50 each is a very good price for 25 from burntridge and I’ve always heard good things about them. http://www.burntridgenursery.com/Rootstock/products/98/.

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This is the stool bed once it was finished! I can’t wait to see what they will do in this good dirt this year

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Looks good.

You must not have much deer or rodent pressure as I didn’t see a fence or barrier around them.

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Steve333,
I have plenty of both deer and rabbits but they don’t like callery pears. If I tried that with apples I would be in big trouble. They prefer elm to wild pears.

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We have had snow on the ground over a week now so I finished this project just in time. Having my own rootstocks available when I need them will be a nice luxury I’ve never experienced. The nice thing about the growing fruit website is Scott encourages us to document projects like these for the benefit of others. I plan to take the follow up picture in July to update the losses and the wins. I’ve created in ground stool beds of a dozen or fewer trees but this is .my first shot at a large volume rootstock project.

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This is an example of how I formerly propagated pears. You can see I never had more than a dozen rootstocks ready at once in each small area I grew them in. That was fine for my early test crops to see if pears could be grown at all here. I’m now very serious about my long term pear crops so I need more rootstocks

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These are a few of my new Kieffer seedlings I’m growing from seed as possible rootstocks or for fruit. If they do well then it’s possible they may have their own stool bed someday. They have been exposed to Fireblight and drought already to ensure they have some resistance to both. You can see by this picture it has snowed on them once so they are preparing to drop their leaves.

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People say a lot of stuff so I want to reiterate what I said about rabbits not liking the flavor of wild callery pears. Fast forward to a snow covered day and as you can see there are lots of prints and snow but the rabbits do not look at wild callery rootstocks as food if they have anything else to eat. The front of the stool bed is open and sits on the outside of the fence on a fenced garden. I’m not concerned in the least with rabbit or deer pressure. They have tried adding the callery pear on the invasive species list in certain location because of this reason and many others. They do not get fireblight, they show no signifigant problems from fungul diseases, no animal pressure, etc. Graft callery high and your orchard will be untouched by most major orchard pests and problems. This will not work with other pear rootstocks such as ohxf.

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Thanks, I guess that explains why they grow in the wild from seeds and nothing bothers them. Now you have me wondering if deer would leave them alone. Just graft higher up. Bill

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The deer don’t bother mine for the most part. I would not bet my money on it. You never know what a buck feeling his oats is liable to do. He might start a fight with a black locust. They sure have taken those horns and battled a cherry and an apple of mine. The females nipped off a bunch of fruit buds some years. Deer are a little crazy at times and if you ever taste some old buck that’s living off Osage orange for the last 10 years with a corn and soy bean field 100 yards away you will know I’m right. You really can’t predict them.

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Looks like I have plenty of pear rootstocks now. I saved back some BET rootstocks as well so I have just about any type of pear rootstock anyone could want. I’m also finding lots of wild pears around the farm this year. I’m going to plant a few more pears this next year and then slow down planting pears.

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The pear stool bed is coming along slower than expected though it has been admittedly neglected. We had a good pear crop this year which kept me very busy. I have seldom even looked at the stool bed since when I made it last December. Apparently the pears were drought and disease tolerant or they would not have survived. Leaves and bark are perfect so I find myself wishing all fruit trees were as easy to care for as these wild pears.

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Some of my BET pear seedlings i grew out! Lets just say the deer look for something easier to eat! Grown without protection even rabbits wont touch them! Lots of callery seedlings available from the stool bed and wild as well so im very fortunate!

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