Southern Pears

I’ve not sprayed pears at all. I did spray dormant oil on some of my smaller apple trees, especially red fleshed and some I think may crop first time this year. Have not sprayed the old trees, and probably skip it.
Lost a Black Oxford apple on B-118 to fireblight last year…but most anything I lost
either too damp or too dry at some point.

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As bad as fireblight has been in Kansas i may have to grow strictly southern pears! How is everyone else doing with southern pears?

Well, I’m in 8A Georgia and selected several of my pears based on your lists. My pears are only on their third leaf, but so far, I have had zero fireblight issues (fingers crossed). I mean zero – not even a single strike, despite the fact that several have blossomed. (This is interesting, because I had to take out two nearby apple trees that got absolutely devastated by fireblight, so I know it’s out there in the orchard, biding its time.)

Most of my pears are on callery, but I have a couple on OHxF-87. I have Warren, Ayers, Potomac, Korean Giant, Shinko, Daisui Li and Shin Li. (Some of these, I have multiples of.)

I am annoyed that I got OHxF-87 (I asked for callery) on some of them because I want long-lived trees, and it is getting harder to find pears grafted on callery. I want to switch to BET, but I am concerned about its relative fireblight susceptibility to callery. It would be hard to find a better environment for fireblight here, given our lengthy, wet, room-temperature springs. Do any nurseries sell pear trees already grafted to BET?

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Some nurseries occasionally sell grafts on BET. It is susceptible to fireblight. Callery has many good things about it. Ohxf87 or ohxf97 are not supposed to be terribly short lived. They are not the perfect rootstock for me in most cases but i have some of both. Callery is hard to beat in the south or in locations like mine! Bet and callery work well when grafted over to a disease resistant pear. Have read about the hawkins pear from Georgia it might do very well for you Hawkins Pear – Bass Pecan

Some nurseries still use callery

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In 7b central Georgia, Ayers suffered terribly from blossom blast (or fireblight, i can’t tell for sure) and then some definite fireblight shoot strikes. I’m sure a late freeze during peak bloom didn’t help the blossoms, but I’ve never seen anything like it. Golden Boy only a couple of strikes but one of them ran down to a main scaffold before I could remove it. Harrow sweet, a very young tree, had a strike on the main leader. Warren and Magness, neither of which bloomed, were untouched.

A tough year overall for pears. Meanwhile, the usually susceptible apples have had few problems, but they received three streptomycin sprays while the pears got nothing, since the fruit was frozen out and I’ve previously had few fireblight problems on pears.

All of my pears but Ayers are on callery that pop up uninvited in my orchard, and Ayers is an unknown that I’d bet is callery. Pears grated to it have produced very quickly and the trees have grown vigorously. I can’t imagine anything using anything else as it’s only downside seems to be it produces large trees, though of course I’d never let a callery flower as because of their invasiveness.



They have declared war on callery in my area of Kansas because of what other states say. Callery has been a very good rootstock for most of us for a number of years. Wish they declared war on some true invasives like elm trees.

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An orchardist friend in Colorado gave me a tip that can sometimes prevent losing an entire tree to blight. He removes all twigs (not scaffolds) growing from the trunk., up to a certain height so his trees have a “clean trunk”. This prevents a blossom on the trunk getting infected and bam, down the leader and its gone.


Good advice in my opinion. Clean trunk.

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