What i found out about BET rootstock last year

I have several callery seedlings in the weeds behind my house. I tagged 20 or so of them last fall so I know where to set grafts this spring. I’m not inclined to mess with alternatives. One of my projects is to cross this callery with something really good like Bell hoping for a flame red tree in the fall along with some edible fruit. It will probably take 2 or 3 backcrosses to get there. https://www.selectedplants.com/miscan/peartree.jpg

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Fond of hairy vetch…bees love it…and honey is almost clear from it.

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Hairy vetch has several pests that wipe it out after a few years. Seed still get spread enough to make it invasive.

No, that’s where fireblight came from

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By the same token, turnips are invasive, then. And so are many cherry tomatoes.

Now that is funny. I planted an acre of black walnuts in 1998 and had a huge problem with turnips. I planted hairy vetch as a cover crop and it totally smothered out the turnips. :smiley:

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Our goat farm neighbor grows turnip and sunchoke as graze plants. He pulled Hairy vetch fast…

Many of us still are searching for a better option than callery. I will keep you posted on what i do and how we make things work. An interstem of some type might be the right answer. We definately dont want callery taking over entire fields and we dont want fireblight. I wish in this case we could use a callery that was sterile or something like it rabbits and other animals dont like. In the meantime im still using BET but lowering my expectations of the rootstock while increasing my fireblight resistant scions. Nothing in this world is perfect though i find it worth it to try to improve all the time.

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What about Bartlett? Seems just as invasive as Callery in these parts.

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Bartlett is not even in the ballpark. Bartlett at it’s best produces a few thousand seed per year. A similar size callery pear will produce 20 to 30 times as many seed because it makes more but much smaller fruit. In addition, Callery fruit are highly attractive to birds - which spread the seed far and wide. Bartlett is a food source to some extent, but birds will preferentially feed on callery fruit. If that is not enough, callery spreads by root sprouts just as easily as by seed. Cut a callery down and a few hundred root sprouts will emerge to replace it.

My “across the road” neighbor had a callery pear tree about 30 years old in his front yard. I have hundreds of callery seedlings all over my yard. Anywhere within a mile, there are hundreds of callery seedlings.

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Why would callery be a problem if something else was grafted on top of it? The seedlings all come from people’s stupid Bradfords–and if you graft on them, they’ll no longer make the seeds that birds spread far and wide.

Bummer about the beta rootstock, though. It’s certainly vigorous. What about using pyrus communis seedlings?

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@cottonwood

You’re right as long as they are grafted, they no longer pose a risk. The problem is if you sell an orchard to a naive orchardist 30 years down the road fireblight might kill the top and thrn there is the trouble people have now. I have hundreds of trees on callery but they are the fireblight resistant types.

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My point exactly. Barlett is the lesser invasive like Bradford. So for rootstock they are a better alternative then a Callery risk.

I really do not think we are ever getting rid of any of them. Even with Callery; folk’s have treasured versions that are sweet and quite edible. People are protective of their little sweet sand pears in these parts.

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Sand pears? Harbin pear? I am using it as a cold hardy rootstock. I have some zone 3b property but live in zone 5b.

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