Wild callery pear rootstocks


What are the pears actually like? Like Seckel pears?


Seckel is in many of this forum members top 5 list. Think you will enjoy this post Top 5 european pears. They are a very small pear as you can see in photos on this post Seckel Pear. Most people have never even tried 10 of the thousands of pears available. The world has really been missing out. We’ve all grown up ignorant to the wonderful choices of pears available. You might be additionally interested in this post The pears you may not have heard of and should consider growing


I am starting to wonder if the pear I posted in the link was labeled incorrectly. The pear taste much like the Seckel but the remaining ones on the tree was much bigger than any Seckel I have seen. They were great tasting but more the size of my Ayers. Both are very sweet pears.


I’m highly suspicious there’s a lot of funny business going on with seckle pears. I’ve grown some called seckle that were so disease susceptible they could not be grown here. I think seedling sugar pears are being called seckle. In addition there is worden, early seckel etc. . I’m fairly confident I’m growing the real seckle now. Suspect yours is the real seckle also because I’ve read it can be larger when grown correctly. There is supposed to be a great deal of fruit size variation on the same tree. Seckle is not quince compatible so worse case scenario we drop a stick of yours on quince and find out if takes. I grafted 5 seckle to a callery I had that not one pear stick took but this seckle took right a way. That means there are pears out There called seckle that certainly are not. I think that’s why we are getting mixed results on fireblight resistance. Once my trees flower and make pears we will know more when we compare fruits. @hoosierquilt is growing seckel and may be able to help us out. Mine are blooming and in tight cluster now but we will see what the weather does here. The counterfeit seckle pears may be as good or even better but not seckle. Like kieffer it’s grown a lot. I’ve got 4 supposed kieffer pears and everyone was different. The pear We grew up calling kieffer was a counterfeit. These are my Seckel flowers


Just hearing the issues with the Callery roots that keep coming up I do not think I will use that rootstock nor buy anything on that rootstock. If I cut that tree out or it dies then I will constantly be battling those small trees coming up. I already have that issue with so many coming up around my pond. I have seen them on the sides of the pond I cannot get to now. That will be a mess alter on when they spread. They are very, very invasive.


They are not invasive here at this time. Hit the stump with Tordan and you won’t see them again that’s it’s purpose.


My Seckel is still closed pretty tight, just a hint of swell. Which I know sounds odd out here, but this side of my front yard gets some morning shade from my house, so the pears on this side of my driveway get a bit less sun than the pears planted on the north side of my driveway. My Seckel is from DWN, and it’s on FHx3333 for what that’s worth. Also, interestingly, it is the only pear in my collection that’s suffered a FB strike, and that was the first spring. I ruthlessly cut it out, and was afraid actually, I’d lose the whole young tree because it advanced very quickly, but it survived the brutal pruning (as you can see), and no further strikes. I think there was a discussion a while back on the forum about different Seckels, I’d have to search to see. My fruit on this tree are the typical small Seckel fruit, and visually appear to be the real thing to me, based on my pear books, and from Seckels I’ve bought either at the store, or gotten from somewhere like Harry & David. And yes, I know I need to prune some stuff out, just haven’t gotten out to my pears, yet.


I grafted in a few limbs of Seckel but I have only had the one last year that bloomed. This year I don’t have any Seckel flowers so I’m assuming that they are slow to fruit, even the ones on mature trees. I guess the mystery goes on.


The real Seckel fruits pretty quick on 333. Typically on 2-3 yr old rootstock.


Do you have any issues with the 333 rootstock? Some nurseries have stopped using it stating they are seeing issues with viability and other growing issues. I can’t seem to find out what they mean by those answers.


It lacks the vigor of callery but their are other alternatives which are among others ohxf87 and ohxf97 for European pears. 333 is working ok for me in general because getting fruit fast is always good but there is a cost. BET and Harbin rootstocks are fine for Asian pears but not necessarily the best choice unless your in the far north for European pears because of pear decline. I still think callery is the way to go Mike because you already have the rootstocks. They won’t be any harder to kill later than now but that’s just my 2 cents. Nurseries should hate 333 because it takes longer to get the same size tree so it costs them money. 5’ trees are worth more than 2’ trees. I’m ok with using whatever works and all rootstocks have a purpose. Rabbits don’t like callery much but 333 they love just like deer. The slower growth with the other problems turns lots of people off but they are great as a dwarf and FB resistant which quince is not. Some people have no fireblight problems so quince is better for them.


333 is a dog for me on the two trees Ive had experience with it. One of them died first winter. Both 87 and 97 are better growers in my yard but you got to watch them, especially 97 to keep them in check. They want to grow tall quickly.


Yes it’s like that you need to water it, fertilize it, mulch it and then callery will outperform it every time. The key is using the right rootstock for the right job. I like 333 but I’m not naive to its limitations. 87 and 97 is like callery for my purpose but costs more. I grow all of the aforementioned rootstocks besides quince and I grow at least a couple more. They are all ideal when you need them. Harbin is ideal in the north and you might think but it’s not dwarfing, it gets decline etc. but it really is the best. Bet is very likely the best Asian pear rootstock there is. The rest comes down to height, speed of growth, and disease resistance and take my word for it they all have advantages and limitations. Oxf rootstocks will sucker and are thorny just like callery given the right environment. BET can be invasive just like callery so it’s not a perfect world I just use what I know works to get fruit. Let’s face it many of the pears of old took 15 years to produce fruit and a few still do. Perry pear trees are real giants in Europe in many cases Perry Pears Cider. Check out the nearly 400 year old Endicott pear https://landscapenotes.com/2012/06/25/the-endicott-pear-americas-oldest-cultivated-tree/


[quote=“clarkinks, post:64, topic:3490”]
Suspect yours is the real seckel also because I’ve read it can be larger when grown correctly. There is supposed to be a great deal of fruit size variation on the same tree.
[/quote]There is at least one variety of Seckel pear that can have large pears that I have done research on, regardless often bigger than regular seckel pears it’s called “Vermont Beauty” from grand isle Vermont

Vermont Beauty has strong, pleasant, and somewhat spicy flavor, almost as delicious, as mouthwatering, as appetizing, and as flavorful as a normal seckel pear. It’s pears are very bright, very sweet, very fine grained, melts in the mouth like butter if given a chance to fully ripen off the tree in cool enough weather. This variety of seckel pear has larger more attractive pears than the average seckel pear if they ripen in cool enough weather. It’s crop ripens a little later and keeps longer than the average seckel pear. Being from Grand Isle Vermont it’s clearly more cold hardy than the average seckel pear.

Production wise in numbers it does not fall much short of the average seckel pear, weight wise it’s crop is basically the same as that of the average seckel pear crop, that is due to the larger size of it’s pears making up for the smaller number of pears. The first seedling of Vermont Beauty was planted by Benjamin Macomber of Grand Isle, VT.

Fruit is small to medium in size, shape is that of the average European pear. Smooth skin is sharp lemon yellow with a slight greenish tone, has a bright deep rich red blush inclining to purple with pinkish-red dots that stand out a lot, very attractive, has a rich flavor, moderately juicy, nearly free of ugly markings. Firm but becoming somewhat buttery when fully ripe, can not be picked as unripe as a lot of other varieties can be.

Blooms as early as May 6

Harvests starts Sept or Oct

Merits: very hardy (to zone 3); naturally upright-spreading tree, tree is moderately vigorous and is sturdy.

Faults: fairly susceptible to scab and fireblight.

Note: UP Hedrick, in Pears of New York, thought it not improbable that Vermont Beauty was identical to Forelle (Trout) pear, but it has since been determined that they are not the same, it is an obviously distinct variety.

Supposed to have originated as a chance seedling in the nursery of Benjamin Macomber, Grand Isle, Vermont, about 1885

Vermont Beauty pear in Vermont are only good if September and October are cool enough. One of those unusually warm or hot Late summers early autumns by Vermont standards means lousy pears on the Vermont Beauty trees.

I am suspicious of the sensitivity to fireblight claim since it was used in Honeysweet hybrid to gain fireblight resistance.


I’m aware of that pear it’s frequently confused for other varieties so I’m really glad you brought it up. Take a look at this old post about forelle and you will see it come up Anybody grow Forelle Pears?.


Seems like there has been a lot of discussion about growing pears on the forum in the last 6 months or so with you Clark being the ringleader. All the discussion has motivated me to add more pears to my young backyard orchard. This spring I am adding Seckel, Korean Giant, and Kosui on 87, Drippin Honey on 513, and Shinko on BET. Also bought some 333 rootstock for grafting. I have done quite a bit of reading on pear rootstock performance trying to figure out the optimum spacing for these new trees.

Seems like there is a lot of contridictory info on the suggested spacing of asian pears on 87 and 333 ranging from anywhere from 5’ to 12 to 15’. Some articles say 87 will ultimately be larger than 333, some say the opposite. I understand some of this variance​ may be due to variety, I have read Korean Giant will typically be a larger tree than other asians.

I would appreciate hearing others experiences on this pear spacing​ issue, trying to cram as many fruit trees as possible inside my new orchard fence but don’t want to later regret planting them too closely, thanks, Chris.


I can tell you in my experience Drippin’ honey’ gets 12-15’ on that rootstock and as wide as 2 doorways after many years of growing and no attempt to keep it smaller. Tried my best to get it a large as possible. Korean Giant grows quick and looks like it could be a large tree. Seckel has been a very slow grower for me so I would not expect it to be real vigorous. My soil has a natural dwarfing ability to it so the same may not be true for everyone. My mm111 apple rootstocks don’t grow any larger trees than 513 rootstock in my soil. 87 and 97 make larger tree rootstocks than 333 hands down. In my soil I have 333 flowering at 5-6’ so I’m suspecting 333 is really dwarfed in my heavy clary loam but time will tell. Everything prior to the last couple of years I grew on callery and really love that rootstock with the exception of Drippin’ honey. Asian pears produce pears fast and runt out the tree. BET and Harbins are monsterous trees but Asian pears will even runt them out eventually but they are very vigorous rootstocks! Wish I could be of more help on size but many of these rootstocks are new to me. I would Never put Asian pears on 333 rootstocks and other than that everything should be fine.


Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it! I’m excited and daunted but thankful for YouTube. We’ve been away all weekend w/o internet service and I’ve had pear trees on my mind the whole time lol! I took a pic tonight when we got back of one that’d be easiest for me to experiment with as it’s not in our “wild” area- we actually mow around it. It’s already leafing out although we have had odd weather and supposedly a big snowstorm tomorrow night! Anyway, this is what I’m hoping to work with:

Any suggestions? I need to wait until it goes dormant next winter? It may have so many “trunks” as seen in the second pic bc it was probably mowed/ brush hogged a while back and I think this is what they do- stubborn things lol!


That tree will be perfect to experiment with.


Great tree to graft. I would remove those low competing trunks. I would graft onto the limbs that already have wide angles and top graft it about 6’ high. With a few limb grafts and top grafting this tree could be fruiting in a short period of time.