Top working Pears weather permitting


Looks like it’s growing like a weed! You will be eating those pears in 2 years I bet. Storms broke off a lot of grafts this year but the difficult to graft pears are still growing vigourously. I continue to cut the grafts back so they can heal better. Made a lot of advancements in pear growing this year. Many varieties I grow for compatability proved themselves again and again this year.


Good thing I hedged my bets and added extra grafts on those difficult pears. I lost enough grafts to the storms I might have lost a years worth of work had I not done the extra work.


Did Worden make it?


It did Matt but it has never taken off like I wanted it to. It grew a couple of inches this year. Hopefully next year I can move a piece of it to another tree. I want to make a worden tree or two since I already have two seckels. Would like to compare them in a few years.


Many times people post a picture of a hard to graft pear or some other tree and i never see the follow up. Like watching 1/2 a movie i always wonder what happened! So the storms broke half of my grafts off as expected. 1/2 of the grafts failed. Some years stuff eats them and a wide variety of other things can happen. I just do twice as many grafts to hedge my bets knowing stuff happens. This is one of my new Douglas pear trees that was the difficult to graft callery pear variety! This tree gave me years of problems! I left one back up limb but mostly it’s pruned to one main trunk.


Two or three years from now I would not be surprised to eat pears from these trees. Very good feeling to get these turned into productive trees.


Went out and checked the trees today as they are starting to lose their leaves and it looks like they are all doing excellent. All those older difficult trees have now been grafted successfully and soon will be producing a couple of bushels of fruit instead of thorny branches. Douglas like Kieffer and other similar pears lose their leaves last.


I don’t like taking pears out of production that are in production but I feel there are several types I have to many of and some I don’t have enough of. I will likely top work a few this year to more desirable fruiting varieties. Top working typically takes them out of production for 2 years. There are a few that should come into production this year or next so I’ve been waiting for that before top working the others.



Do you have a comprehensive list of the pears you grow?


@clarkinks @Matt_in_Maryland When I first got into fruit trees I did the normal moron thing and bought a few trees from a box store having NO clue what I was doing. One was a Cleveland/bradford pear, ya know cuz they give off some great fruit to eat…

Nice job! Is there a variety I could graft this thing over to, not knowing the stock it stands on, its put on decent growth since 2014. I have a flemish beauty growing not to far from it now but as far as ‘pears’ go thats its only partner. My yard is to small for more pears. Rest of my pears are at a different location. What variety should I graft it over too if indeed there is an option.


Most any pear variety will work. I think European pears eg. Bartlett etc. do better on callery rootstocks than other types.


I don’t have a list but I grow around 50 and adding more all the time. Things are moving quickly here so I may not be able to build a list yet due to time constraints.


I have a few new pear trees I did not get a chance to graft last year and they are real monsters now. Callery pears grow like weeds. I’ve also decided I’m going to top work a few older trees over because I’ve simply got to much of some fruits. These large tree’s I’m talking about are not fruiting yet and I plan to use the variety as an interstem before they start to fruit. My plan is to graft a few very high quality fruit to those older trees. Last year was an excellent year for growth due to the rainy weather and cold spring. Normally wet weather would be concerning but last year the temperatures were simply to low for fireblight to be a concern. The storms broke off many grafts but overall it was a good year to increase pear trees.


This tree I grafted over to Douglas will mostly likely set fruit not next year but the following year. It may get 1 or 2 pears next year. That will make 4 Douglas pear trees which seems like a lot to me. I top worked a mature improved kieffer about 10-12 feet off the ground early this year with many risky varieties such as forelle. Douglas will produce on two of my trees this year and give me an idea how good they are at my farm. Three of the Douglas bloomed this year so this one I top worked will be producing before I know it. The three douglas I believe would have set a very heavy crop were it not for the weather damaging the flowers this spring.


Figured someone might want to know how this Douglas is turning out from the first picture.


Here is an update on this pear i top worked. It’s about 12-15’ and clefts are nearly healed over now! Next year would be awfully soon for it to fruit but it could happen. I’ve given it very little care since time did not allow for any time for this pear. Smaller pears that were fighting weeds, insect or disease attacked , rabbits and deer attacked etc. took precedence.


Thought I would post an update of those cleft grafts in the first picture since they are nearly healed over. Made a lot of grafts on that tree to get a couple to stay on there. Between wind and incompatibility I didn’t like my odds much as you can see from the first picture. At least it’s a Douglas pear now. In another year it will be hard to see the graft. Who knows I may be picking pears next year.


If anyone is not familiar with Douglas pear like the one I grafted over a year ago in this thread you may want to look at this link Douglas Pear.


Nice work there. We have a few acres in the front that are left to nature and the birds have been busy planting bradfords on them. So far, the ones I have done look great 2 years on with a scion we took from a neighbor’s favorite pear.
I’m wondering if they will help with fireblight? I wanted to try Shipova on bradford too.I put it on a Bartlett tree 2 years ago and it never came back the next spring, even though it grew a good foot in 1 year.
Blight seems more likely than winter kill.
and I do Wish those birds would learn to poop in a row.


Thank you! I would use fireblight resistant stock only if I were you to graft to your wild callery but I don’t always take my own advise Having a wild patch like that is incredibly useful because you could grow a pear like harrow delight and be eating pears in 2 years! Fireblight problems would end and you would have more fruit than you could imagine!