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Author Topic: pear trees from cuttings - how  (Read 4006 times)

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Offline panman

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pear trees from cuttings - how
« on: March 25, 2010, 07:42:08 am »
There is an old pear tree, on a farm near me.
I was picking pears off of this tree 20+ years ago, I would like to start some of my own trees from this pear tree.
What would be the best way to go about it?
There are no suckers, so I would have to work with the limbs that are there.
Anybody have any ideas?
Jim

Offline Dana

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Re: pear trees from cuttings - how
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010, 08:05:26 am »
The only way I know is to graft them. Now is the time to cut get your grafting material. The new growth from last year is what you need to gather. Cut off a few more than you expect to use and store in the crisper part of your refrigerator to keep them dormant. Here in Northern Michigan, the grafts are put on the tree's at the end of May.

If you have wild pears, you may graft the scion's on them. If not root stock can be ordered to graft on. I don't know what species are related to pears but a search should tell you. Often you can graft onto related species.

I have a few photo's of some grafts I did on an old apple tree on the farm. They are in my gallery if you want to look.
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Offline panman

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Re: pear trees from cuttings - how
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 08:18:02 am »
Dana;
I have nothing to graft to.
Can't a guy just take some cuttings, use a rooting compound, and get the shoots to grow that way?
How big of a shoot should a guy be using?
I also read once about taking a little slice out of the shoot, leaving it on the tree, packing with a soil mix, and wrapping with gauze. Supposedly they would root themselves?
Jim

Offline Dana

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Re: pear trees from cuttings - how
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2010, 08:48:28 am »
All good questions that I don't have an answer to. :)

As I mentioned in my earlier post, you can purchase root stock to graft onto. The scion or grafted cutting from the old pear tree is cut from the latest growth on the tree. If you look closely at the end of each branch you will see the difference in "new growth" usually it will be 12 to 18 inches. In poor growing conditions, the new growth may be less. It will always be on the ends of the branch's.

There are a lot of good videos on grafting on youtube.

I just did a quick search of pear tree root stock. I found that Bartlet pear is the most coomon to use for grafting on. If you can't find any root stock, you could buy a fruit tree, cut off the top and graft onto that. It would be an expensive way to get root stock though. The Provence Quince is also used for root stock it produces a tree 2/3 or less in height.







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Offline pinesaw

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Re: pear trees from cuttings - how
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2010, 09:15:56 am »
You could try air layering, which is a process of removing about 1" outer bark of a stem all the way around, applying a rooting hormone, then enclosing a growing medium around the wound and waiting for roots to develop. The Europeans have made a little hinged plastic cup that makes this easier than it sounds. You fill the cup with potting soil, close the two halves together around the stem, keep it moist, and wait. Lee Valley in Ogdensburg, NY carries them on their website.

Offline Stan snider

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Re: pear trees from cuttings - how
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2010, 10:49:12 am »
Some trees grow root suckers and some do not, but you can make a graft on a root.  Find a root about 3/8 to 1/2 in. dia. and use a whip and tongue graft.  Keep everything extremely clean when grafting and use a very sharp knife.Put it in the refrigerator wrapped in newspaper,damp then plastic. The graft will callous over in 3 or 4 weeks.  Your success will not be as high as natural suckers but it worked for me. Stan

Offline Dana

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Re: pear trees from cuttings - how
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2010, 08:09:14 pm »
Stan that is interesting. Do you want to do all this when the root and scion are both dormant?
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Offline Stan snider

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Re: pear trees from cuttings - how
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2010, 10:42:25 am »
Right now is almost too late here in OK.  Hurrry and you can make it I think. Stan

Offline Tom

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Re: pear trees from cuttings - how
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2010, 02:51:39 pm »
Years ago, I had found the remnants of an old community on the St. Mary's River called Orange Bluff.  It was just west of King's Ferry about two or three bends and was a fairly large logging town with a post office and a school.  Ocean going sailing ships would come up the river and on-load lumber and logs at the docks there.  The town disappeared in the early years of the 1900's.

I used to metal detect the woods there and found two old blacksmith shops, some foundations and metal water pipe in long runs.  I also found some old-timers who remembered the remnants of the town and learned of a Sand Pear orchard near the docks that had pears purported to be  the sweetest on the east coast.

With the challenge in hand, my friend and I went on an adventure that lasted a couple of years, looking for those pears.  The land had been under paper mill ownership for many years and there had been a lot of disruption, but luckily the area around the docks had not been plowed.  I was walking next to the clearing on the west side of the docks, in a woods of oak and pine, when I noticed a snag about 8 feet tall with a fresh green sprout growing from its side at about eye level.  It was a pear and I had found its only leaf.  I stood at the snag and peered through the woods and, low and behold, about 50 feet away was another snag.  I walked to it and found another.  Before the day was over, I had a pretty good idea of the lay of the orchard.  It ran, in rows, almost parallel to the river in an area that would be surrounded by the docks on the east, one of the blacksmith shops on the west and a North-south row of houses on the south side that had been built behind a row of large oaks that lined the current dirt road leading to the river.

My first effort was to air-layer.  I didn't know if there would be many sprouts and didn't want to kill the orchard.  I cut through the bark of the sprout and applied some rooting hormone. Then I applied a double handful of wet peat moss, wrapped around the stem and squeezed it to stay.  I then wrapped this with some aluminum foil and squeezed it tightly around the top and bottom of the moss.  But the top part, I flared a bit to provide a place to put water that would eek its way into the peat moss.  Being the brilliant young, early-thirtyish fellow that I was, I made the flare large enough to catch rain or even maybe the dew that settled in the evenings in case I was remiss in attending it.

Examining them through the next few weeks, I was disappointed to find that they weren't generating roots.  I found some other sprouts and cut them off. I took them home and, adding root hormone to their cut end, stuck them in pots and put the pots under the edge of the trailer, out of the sun.

It took about six months, but I did notice that two or three were creating roots.  Anxious to be successful, I prepared good spots for them and planted them in the sun.  They died.  So did I lose the rest of the cuttings.

Exasperated, I returned to the orchard and looked into aluminum foil devices. I found that a few of them were rooting.  So, I cut them off and shared them with friends who had green thumbs. To my knowledge, none lived.

So, If I were to try this again, I think I would do the air-layer (there was less chance of losing the tree there) and then transplant a large bucket in a protected area and grow it there until it had reached a fairly large sustainable size.

I might try the cuttings again too.  But I would root the cuttings in a large bucket so that I wouldn't have to move them until they were well on the way to becoming a tree.

I have thought of this long and hard over the years because I really wanted those pears.  I've decided that I must have let the roots dry out or the cuttings dry and I am responsible for their demise. 

The Paper company turned the site over to a hunting club shortly after my adventure and they closed off the area, using it for a campground.  I found the gate open one day a few years ago and sneaked inside.  The area of the old pear orchard had been "cleaned up" and the orchard was gone.  It looked as if the other areas of habitation I had found were disrupted as well. I suppose I missed my chance resurrect that little piece of history.
extinct

Offline DanG

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Re: pear trees from cuttings - how
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2010, 12:22:25 am »
Some years ago, my Daddy had some pear trees in his yard, and decided to prune them one winter.  He piled the sticks he had cut off over by the garden fence.  A couple of months later, he was looking around for something to use for tomato stakes, and a lot of those pear shoots were just right for it, so he used them.  By the time the tomatoes bore any fruit, every one of those pear sticks had taken root and had leaves on them. :D :D  Unfortunately, he sold that place and moved on before we found out if they had the same kind of pears as the parent plants, but I'd say you have a pretty good chance of getting something to grow. ;)
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