Top working Pears weather permitting


Thank you for the advice but I’m afraid not. I’m pretty much in the center of an area full of subdivisions that were built on land that used to be a large christmas tree farm up until the early 1980s. Because of that there were evergreens of every type planted around most of the houses when they were built. So the house behind me and the house right next to them have cedars that are older than me. Being that it is a subdivision, brandford pears and crab apples are planted in most of the front yards around me as well. Cedars and callery pears also grow as weed trees along the roads all over the place here. I am well experienced with cedar apple rust, to the point that I am top working my first two apple trees this year because they are such susceptible varieties. This was just the first year that I saw cedar quince rust.


I think you’re right, cedar quince rust. In my case, I plan to remove the cedars from my yard. I think it will help but I don’t think it will solve it completely. I live in a thick patch of overmature forest where probably every 5th or 6th tree is an eastern red cedar. Some of them are 60’ tall and too big to wrap your arms around.
The good thing in my case is that it’s really only been bad one year out of the four I’ve been here. But then, I only have 2 pear trees at the moment.


For the new users who are following this its important to know rusts have became a big thing now. Pear rust come in many forms. Before we go to far off topic in this category where i top worked pears i want to point out we have an entire thread on rust and its treatments Pear Rust . Highly recommend pictures and descriptions are reposted there.


This post on top working pears is likely being used in most cases for grafting over wild pears to tame pears. The thread where i did a friend a favor Favor for a friend - Top working Pears! is similar to this one. This year i need to graft a bunch of BET rootstock to pears i got from tbe USDA so i will post seperately on that. Would love to see someone post that they grafted over a field of wild seedling callery or bet trees .


Just an update Douglas pear grafted to wild callery rootstock has buds this year so grafted in spring of 2016 with pears by spring of 2019. Had i used harrow delight pears etc. the wait time for pears would be cut in half! People say pears for your heirs but harrow sweet, harrow delight, douglas, Duchess D’ Angoulme, Dana Hovey, and many Asian pears seem to all be pears for the here and now and not the heirs! Those pears top worked to an existing tree will produce some pears in 1-3 years! The production of the tree will continue to go up over the next 5 years.


Very nice all these top worked pears are now producing! Accomplishments like this always feel good!


I do Gorrilla grafting of domestic pears on the invasive species of Bradford Pears growing in our city park. I’ve been calling them for two years about the problem. Theu quit selling Bradford pears in the city but are now selling and planting Cleveland Pear not knowing they’re going to just pollenate the Bradford Pear and perpetuating the problem. I contact the invasive species board and found it wasn’t illegal to kill them. So started cutting small ones mostly down and grated some Asain pears. Later when the grafts get well established I will cut all the other limbs off. I talk to Earl May about it and was in awe how ignorant they are. Contacted Earl May corporate and got no answer. Contacted the Des Moines Register newspaper as Earl May head quarters is there and got no response. The numbers of these trees is growing faster all the time. I’ve gone through 2 quarts of Tordon using an eye dropper to poison suckers I cut off. I’m not even making much of a dent in it. One thing is certain when people see real pears they will notice these trees. Anybody got suggestions on varieties and technics for grafting on Cullenary Pear. I’ve had some success but any improvement would be desierable.


Thanks for this thread! Very informative. I despise bradford pear trees, but this thread may have given me hope! I never realized you could graft other pear varieties on the bradford pear stock! Here is my question. I just moved into a new house that has a very large established Bradford pear tree. Similar in size to this one

I originally was thinking about cutting down the tree completely, but now I am wondering if it is possible to top work this bradford pear? Can I top off this large of a tree and graft pear scion on each of the large branches?

Thanks for any info. I am in zone 7a. Any recommended varieties I should try grafting? Where is a good resource for scion wood?


Sure grafting over a big one is not a problem. I would leave some of the branch structure. Take a,look at this thread the tree was very large Favor for a friend - Top working Pears!


Thanks for the quick reply! I will check out that thread.


I started grafting onto the wild invasive species of the Bradford. Best luck I had was picking a young tree. I cut most of the trunk off with 6-10 small limbs that grew last year. Graft on them. Had good luck with bark grafts on the top of the limb and that way it grows up later cut the limb off and coat the cut just passed the graft.


Anyone top working large trees this year?


I tried topworking root suckers from a flowering pear with some Asian Pear. The tree is laden with fireblight strikes but I had nothing to lose. Well the graft grew some but eventually got FB and died. What variety can I try that might resist FB?


I would use ledbetter and later graft it over. Its completely resistant to fireblight. Im going to check if my graft took from last year What Pears will you grow this year?. I view it as lead tastes better but its great for the purpose you want it for.


Warren has good fireblight resistance. In my experience, good sun exposure is important for preventing fireblight. If your grafts on root suckers are shaded by the tree they are more likely to get fireblight even if the variety is resistant.


Depends on what you call a large tree :blush: I will hopefully be topworking 2 callery pears in my front section of my land :+1:


Most of the southern varieties have pretty good fireblight resistance. Here’s a list of the ones I have. Winnie, Granny Durden, southern Bartlett, Baldwin, LeConte, Goldenboy, Acre’s Home, Southern King, Tennosui, Tennessee, Scarlet, Orient, Moonglow, Savannah, Korean Giant, Shinko.


This thread was started on March 16th and it reminds me just how close to that time of the year it is again. These pears i grafted over back then all produced a good amount last year but some more than others. Been truly blessed to have such an abundance. It’s been a tough year for my family due to my roomate Sheri passing away, my mother having occasional health issues, and i developed health issues. When i walk out the door everyday im still reminded how fortunate and blessed i am.



Is it too late to ask for some scion wood from your small yellow pear.

Of course I’ll cover all costs



Michael i’ve been trying to keep things managable this year since ive had a tough year across the board. I have the scions but it will be hard for me to find time this year to get them to you. I wonder if @Barkslip or one of the other people who grow them would mind sending you a stick. If all else fails let me know and i will see what i can do. Ive given out hundreds of scions of the little yellow pear in past years so there are a bunch out there.