Planting out pear rootstock on a large scale

Wanted to post a couple of pictures discussing how much easier it is to plant trees on a larger scale. Typically nurseries that ship commercially grow trees of equal height, trim roots, scale by size etc. you get good quality trees. The trees below came from lawyer nursery. These beautifolia pear rootstocks are ideal for Asian pears

This is one bundle of a hundred and there are a still a couple of more bundles of a hundred each in the refrigerator. I wont worry about grafting these anytime soon as they will need the first year or two to get good growth. When you plant large quantities like this you can see how uniform the roots are so you simply dig a very small hole or rock the shovel back and forth in the ground and stick the tree in and plant the next. Planting a hundred trees in a few hours is possible under the right conditions. As we all know we have at some time or another got that expensive tree from a nursery before that took 3 hours to dig the hole, trim the tree, and get it planted. Sometimes rootstocks make more sense. I’m not suggesting planting 300 trees unless you live in a place like Kansas but what you might do is order one large order for a garden club etc in the area and split it among members.


Boy Clark, your certainly are the pear guy. Between these and all of the callery rootstock you harvested how many trees do you have? And what percentage of them as pears?

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Don’t know how many hundred trees I have but pears are not my main crop yet. Would like for pears to be my main crop but there are no pear orchards here. I have several acres of aronia and a couple acres of blackberries. I’m going to get mostly out of stone fruit so I dropped back to 40 or so stone fruit trees and removed around 70 this year. I’m far from what i consider a commercial grower just a farm at this point but maybe in a couple of years that will change. I need to do more tests and was hoping to get the scions from corvalis this year to do them but then there was a virus outbreak. May never be possible to grow the kind of pear orchard in Kansas I would like to but I have some ideas on ways to do it. Think I will cut my weakest aronia planting back and replant with pears. The soil is very poor in that location but pears are typically somewhat adaptable. At this time I’m testing all the pear rootstocks and many varieties of pears. If I have any hopes to ever grow them commercially I must learn bloom times and frost tolerance, ripening times, soil needs, drought and standing water tolerance, taste, and vigor etc. Each rootstock will also have it’s own influence on fruit size , mineral uptake which can pertain to storage, taste of fruit, years to produce etc. These 300 beautifolia will be for Asian pear and I got 100 callery , 100 ohxf333, 20-30 ohxf97, 10 or so ussuriensis on the way. Once Corvallis reopens in a year or two after they eradicate the virus the 1/8 inch BET trees will be huge and I can get some test scions and try to grow some commercially. I will graft them higher than normal. If I have any good pears from the test crops I will graft those scions to a commercial planting. This heavy clay soil may even runt beautifolia trees but time will tell. A good pear crop will be 10-15 years away in our soil. Pear rootstocks such as calleryana , ussuriensis, beautifolia are much cheaper in volume typically 50¢ - $1.00 depending on size. OHxF rootstocks are about twice the price so we pay for dwarfing and compatibility advantages which are worth it for the trees that need that long term. Once I find what works I will duplicate it and plant 25 acres of it.


How do deal with rabbits and deer? Deer can be fenced out, but seems like rabbits would find their way in. Or do they not like this rootstock?

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Don’t let those wild rabbits get a hold of those newly planted pear rootstocks. Liquid fence works well for me. Real stinky.


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Yes rabbits are a big challenge and sometimes they kill some of my stuff. I do everything I can in terms of painting trunks with pruning seal, paint etc. the ones in the field are typically not a big problem because coyotes etc eat the rabbits when they are in the open. I will try the liquid fence. I lose a tree or two a year to rabbits and deer but I plant hundreds.

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Thanks Tony I will try it ! I may need to use the concentrate so they get the message.

Wow! That is better stats than I would have expected.

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When I first started out many years ago with field plantings they wiped out my entire plantings a couple of times. I learned the hard way and through many years of frustration and tears I got better at dealing with them.

There is always one smart Rabbit. When I come home he takes off on a dead run for the neighbors property and does not come back until after I leave. He sank teeth in just about everything but I don’t think he killed anything. It was not for lack of trying. I tricked him into girdling elm trees which I may need to post pictures of later.

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Thinking of next years rootstocks.

I have found it’s easy enough to grow out seedling rootstock myself. The harder part of the learning curve has been how to protect them from weeds and rabbits and mice. I just had a few hundred Jujube seedlings I planted in the nursery mowed to the ground by Rabbits who have moved on to a fresh row of persimmon seedlings. I will be field testing some new pre emergents and will wait till spring to plant out seedlings from now on.

No tree tubes/weedmat or cages?

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Sorry to hear that Mike I would not think of mice messing with jujube because of the thorns n seedlings.

Yes I use corrugated drain tube, fencing , repellent and even electric wire when I need to. Guess that is more this post Living with the cottontail and growing fruit

@clarkinks do you know of a source of Pyrus calleryana X betulifolia seeds? Or, a strain of betulifolia more resistant to firelight? And, a good source of calleryana seeds?

I plan on trying latex paint for rabbit protection. They seem to like my pears. No losses, but plenty of damage. I have too many trees for physical barriers. I trap and shine, but can’t get em all.

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I’ve got around 75 trees and they all get 3’x15" aluminum window screen around the bases for rabbit/rodent protection.

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As I mentioned in another thread Drain pipe is quick and worth the effort. image image


I see those being used down here all the time. It’s a great idea. I just wish they had those pipes in white–it gets so hot. Plus, my smaller trees would require staking to keep from being pushed over from the heavy pipe. I will probably use something like that for the larger stuff. It’s hard to beat a gallon of latex for $6 (wrong color-I have a very light blue), which then again I’m not sure how well it works. I’ve heard some good reports. The rabbits down here are somewhat picky so I imagine the paint would turn the majority of them away.

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