Pyrus xerophilia as Asian pear rootstock

@clarkinks @tonyOmahaz5
I’m this year trying some pyrus xerophilia as an asian pear rootstock because its reported to be very cold hardy and drought tolerant. I saw an old research article on the net that suggested it’s used for that some in northwest china. It’s quite early in the game, but so far, I think all but one or two of my topwork grafts took. I think i did around 12 grafts, 12 different varieties. Any graft that didn’t take was operator error :slight_smile: A Ya Li scion seems especially happy so far. The downside is that I’ve trimmed off a couple fire blights strikes…and one was on a ground level shoot :frowning: Hopefully it doesn’t kill the entire thing. Oikos suggests no fire blight issues for xerophilia but that may not be the case.

@snowflake
I have grown them in my area and did not find them to be worth what they cost. Every area is different and they do seem cold tolerant (-35 F) but thats typically not a factor here. The rootstock came from the only source i know of https://oikostreecrops.com/products/organic-fruit-trees-shrubs-plants/zero-water-pear/ .
In Kansas i grew them because i was interested in their extreme drought tolerance.

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@clarkinks
Irrespective of cost, how did they perform for you? Any issues? Like you, we can be quite dry…not uncommon for the rain to get mostly lost for a month or two in the summer (or the entire summer). I was a little bummed to see fire blight strikes so my hopes have been tempered a bit.

We can get colder than you, but it hasn’t been -20 in many years…not that it couldn’t happen, but our winters are much warmer than in my youth (not that I’m complaining about that). But, nice to have some cold insurance just in case (as long as the variety on top isn’t totally killed by the cold first).

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They grew very slowly but they are tough trees.

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Thanks. Slow, if dependable, is ok with me :slight_smile:

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I ran across a couple of articles that mention the benefit of xerophila in avoiding chlorosis in highly alkaline locations (up to ph 8). So far xerophila has done well for me as a rootstock, but the trees are still young. I have seen some fire blight strikes on shoots but nothing that moved into the main leader.

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jjshs1/81/1/81_1_1/_pdf

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jjshs/75/3/75_3_219/_article/-char/en

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Very valuable information! Thanks for posting that.

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