[nafex] Ayers pear on apple

Lucky Pittman Lucky.Pittman at murraystate.edu
Mon Nov 12 09:57:21 EST 2001


 From time to time, we've discussed graft compatibility of various pear and 
apple varieties, with some apple varieties, such as 'Winter Banana' having 
the reputation of being graft compatible with a number of pear varieties.

I was out in the orchard yesterday evening, doing some end-of-the-season 
clean-up around young trees, and had a look at some of the last pears I 
grafted - two years ago, now, I think(or was it three?).
They were on the last batch of standard pear rootstocks I bought from the 
now-defunct Bear Creek Nursery.
I'd had one of the 5 or so that I attempted to graft to 'Pineapple'  2 or 3 
times that first year - I just couldn't get a take.  Once I gave up on it 
and let it leaf out and grow, I realized why - it was an apple!

Well, one of the successful grafts that spring was "Ayers" - it took, and 
grew quite vigorously.  It hasn't really done anything much the last two 
seasons - but then again, it hasn't been fertilized, and weed/grass control 
hasn't been accomplished very well, so...it's kind of been left to fend for 
itself.
Anyway, when I had a look at it yesterday, I noticed some shoots coming up 
from the rootstock, and after closer examination of the leaves & bark, I 
realize that it too, is an apple - looks rather like a seedling crab.  The 
Ayers is calipering faster than the seedling rootstock, and although it's 
only about 4 ft tall, it looks like it's got some pretty decent fruiting 
spurs established.

The other three trees(Magness, Warren, Luscious) grafted onto the same 
group of rootstocks at that time have not grown very well, but upon 
examination, I'm pretty sure they are on pear, and  their poor performance 
is probably due to lack of care and low rainfall over the past 3 growing 
seasons.

I'll keep the Ayers on apple to see how it does over the long haul, but 
guess I'd better foster some off onto an established pear until I get some 
more pear rootstocks going, in the event that it's not a long-lasting 
compatibility.  I'll try to remember to keep the group apprised on the 
long-term performance.

(Travis, if you can use this little note for the Southern Pear Interest 
Group newsletter, feel free to do so.  I'm also hoping to get time in the 
next day or so to bash together a little article on a visit I made this 
past summer to an old orchard back home in AL.)

Lucky Pittman
USDA Zone 6
Hopkinsville, KY


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