[NAFEX] Asian Pear Runting
don.yellman at webformation.com
Wed Oct 7 21:39:53 EDT 2009
Runted out means permanently stunted, and yes, it is quite possible your tree on OHxF333 is permanently stunted, or runted if you prefer. 25 years ago, I planted 4 asian pear trees, only one of which, a Chojuro, was on the 333. The others were on semi-dwarfing rootstocks that grew larger trees. At full maturity, the Chojuro on 333 never exceeded 7 feet tall, while the others grew faster and required more pruning.
The Chojuro was healthy and produced very large fruit (heavily thinned, of course) for nearly ten years. After that it pretty much stopped growing and fruit size began to decline. Eventually, the tree became so unhealthy that I took it out in about year 12, but the other 3 soldier on and produce new growth every year with bumper crops of pears. Your tree suffered the additional indignity of being moved in what was probably year 4 of its chronological age, assuming it was a two year tree when you planted it. Trees sometimes recover from transplants, but not always, and the weaker rootstock surely did not help.
Whether to take the tree out is your call. It will probably bump along for a few more years and deliver moderate crops of pears, but it has no long-term future if it has stopped putting on new growth. Scions taken from the tree will be unaffected by the problem in the rootstock. If you want a pear tree that will last more than 20 years, avoid the 333, which I regard as a fully-dwarfing, not a semi-dwarf rootstock.
Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
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