Wild callery pear rootstocks


I would like to see what apples do on Callery with a Winter Banana interstem


This was a small sample but I tried two WB directly onto Callery root and both failed within a year. It would certainly be worth trying out because my two failures could have been as a result of my errors. I do have a pear tree grafted onto the same variety of Callery that is about 7-8 years old. It now has about 7 varieties of pears and 10-15 different varieties of apples via different interstems with the oldest being about 5 years. A few has fruited and I expect several more to fruit this year.


What kind of apple interstems are working for you on Callery?


None of my apple Interstems are directly attached to the callery root. All my apple/pear intestems are on established limbs of Ayers, Orient, Moonglow, and an Unknown Asian pear. Below is a few of my combinations that might be of interest. I think you would have to grow these for a much longer time to establish what is truly compatible but it has been fun and great for conversation. The time periods are estimates. Although I experiment with several options the Winter Banana appears from the outside to give the smoothest union. Hope this helps. Bill

Moonglow/Mollie 5 years and fruited for the last 3.
Moonglow/Winter Banana/Several apple varieties
Ayers/Winter Banana/Several apple varieties
Orient/Winter Banana/Several apple varieties
Ayers/Yates apple/Jonagold 2 years and fruited 1 year

My five other dwarf pear trees
Calery/Unknown Dwarf pear interstem 14-16"/Orient or Kieffer or Ayers etc.


3 years ago- over on the other web site- I posted a simple question of whether I could graft a fruiting pear to a Bradford pear that had been planted by the previous owner of my house. Several of you, including Clark, were every helpful and encouraging and gave me the courage to try it. I grafted 3 different varieties of fruiting pears to my Bradford and they all 3 took. They have grown faster and larger than you would ever believe, and this year I think I’ll get my first fruit from all 3 limbs. So to anyone wanting to try it, take it from me…it can be done very easily and successfully!


I’ve been sticking an 8-10" piece of OHxF 513 on as an interstem between callery understock and fruiting pear varieties for several years. 513 is reputedly compatible with both Euro and Asian pear varieties, with no ‘pear decline’ issues on the Asians. It’s semi-dwarfing, making a tree about 75% of standard if it’s the understock… I’m not certain that I’m seeing any evidence of dwarfing from the 513 interstem… but wouldn’t anticipate much, anyway.

I had Mollie’s Delicious apple, accidentally grafted onto callery (a friend had given me the callery, which she received as ‘Sargent crab’ from Arbor Day Foundation, and I just grafted it, without really looking at the whip, or I’d have known it wasn’t an apple) … grew very vigorously for 2 years, and even fruited, but the graft union was big and ugly and it just catastrophically failed one day - I came home to find the ‘apple’ lying on the ground.
I have Callaway crab, intentionally grafted onto callery… just to see how long it’ll go… Probably 6-7 years out now, it’s not very vigorous, but has fruited heavily for the last 3 years or so. Graft union is big and ugly and I have to prune off a multitude of shoots from below the graft (about 3 ft above ground ) several times a year.


What height does using the Callary rootstock make the grafted pear tree? I was leery of using this rootstock here in my zone 5b but I see tonyOmahaz5 likes them. Also do they sucker? I have some rootstocks that sucker like crazy.


Mine do not sucker at all unless I try to dig them out in which case the roots all send up new growth. My trees typically don’t get over 20’ in clay/ loam but much of that depends on the scion you use. Duchess makes a small tree because it fruits quickly.


I’m not familiar with the callery rootstock. That is why I was curious as to height and suckering issues. I have an Orient and also a Kieffer pear coming on that rootstock. After seeing the pictures of the wild callery roots I was afraid they would sucker really badly.
Are the wild callery rootstocks thorny? I have some sort of small trees growing around my pond area. They look like Bradford pear trees ( they are small though) and have thorns on them. Plus they get that reddish color in the fall. They are prolific and I have to dig them out because if I just snip them at ground level it just makes them mad and they come back out like a hydra head. It may be callery.


Those sound like callery pears. The wild pears certainly are thorny, you likely have a gold mine in rootstocks you can use. The thorny things have different genetics from tree to tree but I don’t think you could find better rootstock. They are disease resistant, prolific, good fruit producers etc… You could have those problems turned into a pear orchard within a couple of years!


Callery is my preferred rootstock. As Clark said, no suckers unless the roots are cut.


For some reason they just showed up about three years ago. I have no idea why. They are definitely prolific. You can’t kill those things with sprays, clipping them, or even with a shovel digging them up. The area they are growing has never had any fruit trees in it at all. It is a sloping side of a hill going down to my pond and then into my front grass field. The landscaper I use to do a bit of work around my property says he has never noticed them around the area either except for the last few years as well. Really odd!!
I have a goldmine by my pond…


Then when they are cut they spread like wildfire? If I tear out a tree what the heck kind of mess will I have if I want to replace that tree with another variety?


If you are ok using roundup I’m sure the tender suckers can be killed with it if sprayed as they emerge. I have not tried to exterminate the Callery.


The average pear Is $10-$30 each so with a little work and a few grafting skills that pond might as well have gold nuggets laying on the ground. 100 rootstocks is worth $3000 in a hurry. Let us know how it goes for you I like to see a problem turned into a benefit. The only thing is you might need to think over what your going to do with all those pears! I would cut a few inches of that kieffer and orient and practice with those.


Great idea. I may have found a new ca$h making hobby. Selling pear trees. I’ve got plenty of rootstocks to practice with.


I’ll try that on a few stragglers I have in one area. I’ll spray them and see what happens. They are close enough to my pond I hate to spray too much liquid to go into my pond. It is my drinking water too.


Look on the bright side when you dig one up to sell it five more will show up in the spot you dug it out of.


I’ll start letting them get bigger now that I know what the heck they are. I’ve been cutting them, digging them up, every spring and fall. They are actually growing like weeds. They put up 2’ - 3’ of new rootstock from spring to fall. No wonder they are such good rootstocks. There is a farmer’s market close by. I could try selling them there. on perhaps on Seed Savers.
I have dug up a lot of money these last couple of years and thrown it away. Uggg.


I think it’s great that folks can use these volunteers as rootstock. Nice going getting the word out on the potential value of these ‘weeds’.