Wild callery pear rootstocks


Most of us know callery pear can be problematic is certain areas for the same reasons I like them. They grow where other trees will not, they can survive both drought and heavy rains. Digging up the wild rootstocks is a bit of a pain but if your like me and have an area you have problems growing pears and they are not invasive in your state you might try them. These a friend and I dug up the other day are going into wet heavy clay that a domestic pear will not grow in. Fortunately I had my friend with me because I think he dug 2 pears to my every 1 so we wound up with 150+ rootstocks. I will graft them over later as time permits in the spring or next year depending on how many scions I have. You can see it was a full day digging them so I brought them home and healed them into my good dirt pile. The nice thing is they don’t get fireblight, rabbits don’t bother them and that list goes on which as I mentioned is why they are invasive in favorable climates. In the picture below you can see what I do with all my trees the second I get them I put them in a pile of dirt asap and bury the roots and get water on them.

Then I need to sort and grade them and get them in the correct sized bucket to get them good and wet prior to planting them
Did I mention the price is free and everyone wants to get rid of them? If you are looking for perfect pears where you know the height, vigor, that are easy to plant etc. perhaps look these over. If you want something that will survive the worse ground your place has to offer you have found the perfect trees! There is nothing worse that a non productive spot on your property. I also like them for those spots I check seldom because as mentioned the rodents won’t like the flavor of this rootstock. Notice I left the bottom 4-6 inches of wild calleryana to graft to in case they eat my scion I will graft it back over.

Seedling trees to graft next year- don't forget to mark them
Grafting on Bradford Pear
Harrow pears - my observations
Is there a downside to Betulaefolia pear rootstock?

I have looked for callery pear seedlings here but they are pretty rare except right around town where everyone has their ornamental pears.


They do typically grow where there are two varieties of calleryana but the birds do carry them as well. Many people love their flowering pears. Sometimes I stumble on a patch in the middle of nowhere. These were like you mentioned on the outskirts of a city and my friend got permission for us to dig some. This is the picture my friend sent me asking if I would like to dig some wild pears


Wow, they were really thick there. I was going to dig some out of a fence row this fall but the power company came through and sprayed them.


To bad you didn’t get them dug. I dig them non dormant as well and they usually live. Yes we dug a few but there are 10 times more there. I try and raise awareness because once everyone realizes the value of the wild callery these trash trees will become treasure. I still wound up buying hundreds of rootstocks this year. It just takes time to work with these wild ones but they are the best rootstocks you can get.


I believe you have talked about some pears not being compatible with wild callery pear. What verities seem to do best on callery in your experience?


Douglas, Clara frijs, duchess, Kieffer etc all do fine on callery but the ones I had problems with are Asian pears. Keep in mind every wild callery in genetically different so some may not work in which case you use something easy like one of the above as an interstem. Graft them the next year or later that year to the pear you want. Kind of double grafting. Every pear and every rootstock have something they are incompatible with even if it’s quince, hawthorne, mountain ash, calleryana etc.You can look back on this thread for additional details on interstem grafts Interstem aka interstock Pear Grafting


I never considered transplanting them when they weren’t dormant. That is good information to know. I know were a couple are that are too big to transplant. They are young healthy trees and I bet they would really make a graft shoot up.


Sounds like a great plan. If you want just graft them with an interstem something like old home x farmingdale and then you know it’s compatible with 80% of what’s out there. I know this article is out of date but what it advises in the second paragraph is not http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/18062/17PropagatingGradingPearTrees.pdf
This short article explains more http://www.actahort.org/books/800/800_86.htm. Based on this study done interstems can affect fruiting ability whereas other articles contradict this article.


I had not thought of using some ohxf for an interstem. I should have some that will need to be pruned off in about a year if all goes as planned. Great info and ideas, thanks.

Interstem aka interstock Pear Grafting

Here is a visual of the concept http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Horticulture/Geneve/teaching/plantpropwebpages/grafts/graftingtermsinterstem.pdf
Here is another article that discusses using OHxF on OHxF http://www.ishs.org/ishs-article/658_41. Remember derekcs2005@aol.com posted on here that he’s selling scions such as old home. This is another good article worth reading about pear decline http://horticulture.oregonstate.edu/system/files/ond060101.pdf which can be a big issue with certain pears such as harbin with European pear scions.


I’m bouncing around a bit here.
I’ve done interstems of OHxF513 on callery… I put the scion and interstem together with W&T in the comfort and well-lit setting of my dining room table, then went out to the orchard and stuck the interstem/scion unit on top of callery seedlings. All took and grew just fine. No waiting. Just do it all at one time.


I loved callery pear for rootstocks.
So far I have no problem grafting Asian pears on callery rootstocks.



I’ve not had the best luck with Asian pears and my local callery. Hopefully these new ones graft a little better. Chojuro was one that would not graft on wild callery. I tried 5 callery rootstocks with chojuro and all 5 failed after they leafed out. Since they are all genetically unique I never know for sure what I will get.



I hope this time the new callery rootstocks will work out for you. If not, down the road I can send you some seeds of my Cleveland pear crossed with multiple Asian pear pollens.



Thanks Tony I appreciate that but should be ok on rootstock. I ordered some oxh 97 rootstocks that should work for my Asian pears this year. I found some small betulifolia rootstocks that will be ready next year. I will work on some interstems this year as well. I also have some 333 coming for European rootstocks. I will have these callery to work with. Scions will be my problem. The chojuro scions and several others I had last year I wasted unknowingly on incompatible rootstocks. The rain and cold weather are hitting now and fortunately all my newly found wild pear rootstocks are in the ground. I also managed to plant a bunch of other apples and pears.


Some of these new callery rootstocks took grafts fairly well of Korean giant and others. These rootstocks look promising.


This year I will do some more experimenting with interstems for callery. I’m about 95% sure I’ve found a pear interstem that will work with all varieties but this year will tell me for sure. If I did find what I think I did it could make grafting all wild callery possible the first time so all wild pear trees could be used for growing fruiting varieties. There are a lot of areas plagued with wild callery or hawthorn that do not graft well so for those areas an interstem that made all pears compatible could possibly feed a lot of people. Many of you are aware I’ve been experimenting with interstems for years.


My dwarf callery/pear interstems are doing well but I have no idea what variety it is. I planted a small sprout from it so it would be available when I want it. If you ever need or want another test option let me know and I can send you a few small scions of it.


That sounds really tempting. Thank you for the offer.