Pear rootstocks revisited in 2022

Many ask and I continue to say I very much favor callery and BET rootstocks in my location in 2022 over any others. Yes that includes ohxf 333 , 87 , 97, pyro, etc. This article describes what others have working for them in their location eg Washington State. Pear Rootstock Research Project | Chelan & Douglas Counties | Washington State University. Its all about location!

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I’ve always had amazing results grafting volunteer Callery pear’s as well. In fact, I’d say my highest success rates for all grafts in the 10 years I’ve been grafting are when I put a fruiting pear on a Callery. I think I could probably just lay the scionwood on the ground near the rootstock and they would come together and grow! haHA. They also have good longevity in my orchard.

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@thecityman

Fruit yields are very heavy as well. Many now brag that the new rootstocks cause reduced fruiting. That sounds good 1 large pear instead of 3 small pears which increases the size of pears. We have wind, freezes, storms, insects to help out with thinning at my location in Kansas. My goal is not to produce less blooms and less fruit. This is back to the question of cherry tomatoes or full sized? I prefer cherry tomatoes if a swarm of grasshoppers comes and there are 300 and 600 tomatoes I’m OK but if their are 100 tomatoes and 300 grasshoppers I’m in trouble. We grow large beef steaks as well but it’s not all we grow. The same is true of pears 1 big pear is a very big target.

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Never thought a lot about that, but now that you mention it, I actually do think I get more fruit (by number of fruit) from my callery than those I bought that were already grafted onto oh x whatever.

Also, in my orchard my callery grafted seem less likely to get into the “every other year” fruiting pattern than those grafted onto other oh’s. But then again that may be solely due to the variety. I don’t really have any of the same varieties grafted onto callery and OH x rootstocks. That would be a more fair comparison. Still, I can’t help but wonder if callery rootstocks make bi-annual fruiting less common since I have no Callery rootstock trees that do that and a few OH x XYZ that do do that.

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@thecityman

It gets better let’s talk about anchoring aka roots. None of my neighbors withing a couple of miles single pears or pear orchards produced a single pear during the worst drought and yet my pear trees on callery produced. This article is very good ohxf are good rootstocks but i prefer callery for my property Rootstocks for Pear | WSU Tree Fruit | Washington State University . That does not mean callery is better for them. Some people may benefit from growing Harbin rootstock in a cold environment. Ohxf may be best in a non marginal area.

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True, this is a 10 year study from California Proving pear density | Good Fruit Grower

Also why don’t you just post directly to the Research forum? were going to be referring to this for years to come.

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I’ve got all asians on callery and some euro on it. Not really a fan for euro because of fruiting time. I like the 97, 87, and 333 for euro.

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@Robert

Yes ohxf333 fruits much faster than most callery but not all callery. The fruits on 333 are small and taste undesirable though until the tree matures on my property. It kind of is pointless for me to get fruit faster from 333. In addition 333 is not really very dwarfing it just grows slower.

I only have one 333. Many are 87, 97, and unknown. None of them are really dwarfing. I have several on quince that are over 15 foot and still going. They just don’t get as wide.

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Won’t a huge point of OHxF 87 increased fruit yield? I read that and that is the main reason I bought my pears on OHxF 87. I think OHxF 87 grows about 75% of standard rootstock with the benefits of reduced decline.

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All depends on your zone too. Callery does not survive my USDA 3b winters.

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All three of my Asian Pears on OHxF333 I planted last season perished or had significant trunk death during the winter. In the fall they seemed alive and well, but in the winter the trunks turned dark (almost black). I’m not quite sure whether the trees died because they were planted in heavy clay soil or because deer completely defoliated them last June. It could be combination of both.

For replacement, I planted new Asian pears trees on Betulifolia root stock. Based on helpful suggestions from folks here, Betulifolia is said to be more vigorous, and better in heavy clay soil. I also added some 3D electric fencing to keep the deer out. Crossing my fingers for a better season.

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@sockworth

BET will do fine in heavy clay if my property is any example. BET loves it here in this soil.

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I hope so. Betulifolia and Callery (random volunteers are on my property) are my last hope.

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I’m buying callery and something smaller next year. Who sells the largest rootstock?

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@Robert

I’m sure williamette will have what you need. They are commercial so their minimums start at around 50or 100 trees FRUIT TREE SEEDLINGS | Willamette Nurseries rootstock clonal seedling fruit tree ornamental seedlings

@sockworth

They are the best option they will work great.

Hi @clarkinks ,

How long does it take for your pears on betulifolia and callery to fruit in your experience?

How much more difficult is it to graft on callery vs others? Are asian or euros more difficult? Do you know fairly right away (~month) that the graft failed or is it a more latent discovery?

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Asians can flower the first year. They generally flower way before the tree can even support the fruit.

Euros I would not expect anything for a while. Clarkinks will know more.

@sockworth

Callery and BET work with most pears but occasionally I get an oddball pear and it seems everything I try to graft it to doesn’t work. Turnbull Giant does not like 1/2 of my rootstocks it seems so this year I will try it on ohxf. It can take awhile before you know if a graft failed or succeeded. In my experience plant 1 year and graft the next your odds of success are greatly improved. Harrow sweet takes 2-3 years to fruit whereas some as @scottfsmith mentioned earlier can take 20 years to fruit. Most pears fruit in 4-10 years. If you take good care of them take a year off. Harrow sweet fruited for me the next year after planting it on a 2 year old callery rootstock.