Starting Pear Rootstock from Rootstock Suckers?

Has anyone done this? I went out yesterday, and found some suckers coming from my White Doyenne pear. Cut them out, but wondering if I can try to root them? It is OHxF333 rootstock, which I cannot find for sale anywhere.

Are the suckers sprouted from the below ground root or above ground?

I got some from Raintree this year, but I see they are out of stock now.

From below the ground.

I’d try to get them rooted before cutting off. Sounds easier than rooting cuttings.

Not sure what you mean, fruitnut. Do you mean by air layering?

With apple roostock that sprouts suckers from the ground, I following the sucker down into the ground to see what part of the root it is attached to. You can simply cut the root and dig them out for potting if the they are attached to a small root. They usually have small hair roots and recover quickly as long as you keep them well watered and out of direct sun. If the suckers are attached to the bigger root trunk, you might still be able to cut or break off the sucker with small hair roots already developed.

It’s the ones that are above surface or near surface that are hard because they don’t have any roots. In that case, air layer is probably best approach. I’ve tried rooting apple cutting before and only get 10% success rate. I’ve never done pear rootstocks before, so I don’t know how difficult it is.

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You can use an old barrel cut in half with bottom gone or tires. Fill the old barrel with dirt after pressing it into the ground around the rootstocks. In a year or so they develop roots and you cut those suckers off at the ground and repeat the steps again. Plant the new rooted suckers out in is an example

Well, I’ve already cut the suckers, so guess I’m going to just toss them. Next time, I’ll try to dig them out and take a part of the root. Clark, this video wouldn’t work for my purposes, as I have a tree that is very much alive and well. Just a few suckers coming up from the roots. I can’t leave the suckers growing at the base of the tree, as they take away too much energy from my young pear trees.

New suckers will likely sprout in the same spot . Just dig up some root with it next time . I use these for rootstock . Mine come from wild Callery pear that I grafted onto . They seem to send out suckers when grafted .

I’m late to the game and I don’t have any information to help the current situation. Root suckers might be a negative to most buyers but to me I see these as an opportunity to get another rootstock to add to my clone beds. For me the best time to collect root suckers is at planting time. If your careful most suckers have a small amount of roots attached. Another method is to prune a few root while planting and then plant the roots with about 1-2" of the top part stickin out. Good luck, Bill

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Well, it is I who is late to the game, Bill :slight_smile: Should have left the suckers in place, and asked on the forum, first! Oh well, don’t need any OHxF333 rootstock until next grafting season anyway, so I hope Raintree has it back in stock.

Yes. This is a common nursery practice.

Chances are they will grow back at the same location. Suckers are usually persistent once they get started. However, the grow back rate varies from tree to tree. Some grow back in a month. Some might take a year or more. Removing part of the tree root they originate from might stop them coming from that specific location, but they might start start up from another area.

Yes, AJ, I have some trees that send up persistent root suckers, others that never do, same rootstock. So, I’ll watch all my pear trees on OHxF333, and cut out some root with the sucker, next time I want to propagate rootstock.

Its that time of the year again so I thought I would see if the suckers are starting to come back yet? I was going to mention fireblight as a concern with sucker removal. If FB should ever enter a sucker that was trimmed off it goes right to the roots. Unfortunately I learned the hard way once. The moral of the story is remove your suckers in cold weather.


I like to sever the connecting root and then leave the sucker in place, undisturbed, for a few months to give it a chance to develop roots of its own.

Then, the following spring, I’d dig them up and transplant them.

I’ve done this with St. Julien plum with good results and will be transplanting some M26 apples soon. I think I’ll use at least one of them to inarch to an apple tree that was badly leaning because of no anchorage on one side.

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A real pear grower here used a PVC pipe contraption to air layer a pc. of pear tree sucker so that he could start a separate rooted plant for grafting purposes. It worked, and thus he was able to duplicate a unique r/s plant that was not easily acquired commercially.

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That’s actually pretty brilliant, Murky. I have noted this on my fruit spreadsheet. How simple and effective. And Clark, very wise advice.

Patty S.

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Don’t know.

Last year I put a home depot bucket with the bottom cut out over a clump of suckers and filled with wood chips I had lying around. Compost would be better. I’m pretty sure it will work, but I don’t know if this year or next. Guess it wouldn’t hurt to graft them this year and transplant the next.

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