[NAFEX] hardy pear r/s for zone 3

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Sun Jan 18 21:47:06 EST 2009

I recently talked by phone to Jim Coutts of Unity, Saskatchewan, the son 
of the late Art Coutts, a NAFEX member who was Dr. Patterson's 
technician at the University of Saskatchewan and who carried on his own 
fruit breeding after his retirement. Jim is carrying on his father's work.

Jim told me that the Coutts' prefer to use for rootstock, seedlings of 
the hardy Russian crosses between Pyrus ussuriensis and P. communis, 
such as Michurin and Fedorovsk. My guess is that seedlings of Olia and 
Tioma might suit. He mentioned that one could also use seedlings of John 
and its siblings, but I gather that he prefers the seedlings of the 
earlier-made and hardier crosses. Unity is in Ag Can zone 2a, colder 
than Sasakatoon in 2b.

My guess is that Canadian prairie nurseries like Aubin and Jeffries
*might* sell bundles of liners of such seedlings. They are now wholesale
only and their websites are limited-access.

I recall from an old report of the Agriculture Canada station at Harrow,
Ontario that they found that Moe seedlings made good rootstocks. This
was one of a series of selections made at Ottawa between commercial
North American pears and hardy Russian pears if I recall rightly (my
copy of Brooks and Olmo is buried in a cupboard at the moment).

I unearthed a file card recording from a gentleman near Manotick,
Ontario (near Ottawa) who had them in the 1970s that "Enie, Menie, 
Minie, Moe and Phileson ripen in succession from mid-August to early 
September. Pick before colour changes to yellow or birds will attack 
causing rot. O-291 is late, will keep till Christmas." Of course, I 
expect that Moe seedlings would only suit zone 5 or maybe 4.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario

Sarah Kehler Ewing wrote:
> Hi Derry,
> I use Siberian Pear seedlings for rootstock.  I have had some trouble when grafting some of the pear varieties I got from Canada's Clonal Genebank and I'm hoping that was a timing issue with the budwood being shipped from the East.  I have had nearly 100% success grafting on some super hardy pears from Russian which have Siberian Pear in their parentage.  But maybe Siberian Pear rootstock has the same compatibility issues that I've heard about (and experienced) when grafting regular apples, without Siberian Crab in their background, onto Siberian Crab rootstock.
> Sarah 
> Zone 3b
> Edmonton, AB
> --- On Sun, 1/18/09, derry&bill <wchase at interchange.ubc.ca> wrote:
>> From: derry&bill <wchase at interchange.ubc.ca>
>> Subject: [NAFEX] hardy pear r/s
>> To: "nafex" <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Date: Sunday, January 18, 2009, 5:10 PM
>> What are people using as a hardy pear r/s? For zones 2-3-4
>> for example.
>> Derry Walsh
>> South coastal B.C. where we routinely use Quince r/s

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