Other pear rootstocks info and experiments.


5 year old buck +
It comes up every so often that pears can be grafted onto other species for rootstocks. I got an message asking about some that I had tried and mentioned a few years ago. Unlike apples, there are not many dwarfing pear rootstock options. Among pear rootstocks, there are some in the OHxF series that are maybe 50% semi-dwarf but that is still a pretty big tree. Commercially, quince is pretty common for a semi-dwarfing pear rootstock but the variety needs to be compatible with quince. In the 1960s, there was university research on a bunch of alternatives that could be dwarfing. Some of that work can still be found on Oregon State U websites. These studies looked at compatibility of pear directly on the rootstock and with a piece of the pear variety Old Home as an interstem. Beyond quince, these studies looked at hawthorn, amelanchier, cotton easter, mountain ash. Grafting pear onto hawthorn is something a fair number of people have tried and documented. The main issue seems to be the pear growing faster than the hawthorn and eventually having a tree that will break. In recent university work, there has been groups looking for the Amelanchier alnifolia that can be cloned for consistent dwarfing, production, cold-hardiness, etc. Other have worked with aronia. I put a few links below for examples.

In 2018, I grafted some pears on alnifolia and aronia seedlings I got from Burnt Ridge. I bench grafted and planted out in what was a wet spring/summer where most of my grafts on OHxF 87 and 97 did poorly. The aronia was moldy when I got it. I think one aronia graft made it to year 2. Graft success on the Alnifolia was pretty good but they are still comically small. The biggest might have gotten about 12" of growth, some still about the size they were when grafted. They are certainly nothing like what is shown in the Einhorn presentation linked below. For me, it was a fun experiment that didn't cost much. Last spring I moved all the alnifolia moved from my nursery bed together into a few 5 gallon pots. I haven't decided what to do next. Maybe find a protected spot to plant or toss.



5 year old buck +
Thank you for the update and links! If my field grafted Amelanchier ever amount to anything worthwhile I'll report on this site. My wood lot is full of them and after logging many are now receiving full sun. I had visions of rapid growing pear trees and fruit in a few short years like I see with field grafted Callery/bradford pears. However, at the rate they're growing the fence will rust away before they're above browse height.


5 year old buck +
I have pears on Quince and mountain ash. Both are growing excruciatingly slowly. These are in Norway, so our growing season is a bit shorter than most of the US. Also, they were grafted on very small rootstock.