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 Pear/Quince C rootstock Struggling 
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Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:57 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Post Pear/Quince C rootstock Struggling
I have a Comice pear tree that was grafted to Quice C I believe about 3 years ago. The rootstock really seems to be struggling. The trunk of the rootstock is half the size of the grafted scion trunk above. Anyone know the problem? Bad rootstock? Poor soil? The growth on top isn't thriving as much as another pear planted 15 feet away at the same time. The graft looks okay, the rootstock is just small. This tree is in a row of fruit trees that I'm doing some espalier pruning on to make into a large pretty fence, so if this tree is going to die or always struggle I'd like to replace it soon. I could post a picture if that would help.


Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:01 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Pear/Quince C rootstock Struggling
I grafted one pear on quince and it didn't grow much because it was too shaded.
John S
PDX OR


Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:05 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:03 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Vancouver WA
Post Re: Pear/Quince C rootstock Struggling
I have grafted an asian pear and 'hardy' variety pear using quince C about 20 years ago which still do fine. Production is good even though the asian one has trunk overgrowth. Think about invigorating your comice by planting one of the OHxF333 or OHxF513 in the ground, graft it using an approach graft, and enjoy the pears you would have lost this summer had you replaced the tree.


Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:56 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:57 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Post Re: Pear/Quince C rootstock Struggling
The tree gets sun almost all day. The top growth if fine I think. It's just that the trunk under the graft is half the size it is above the graft. Just thought maybe this was a common thing someone could tell me about. If it's too vague a problem I may just try another tree.

Maybe I should start another tread for this, but here goes: If I got rid of this pear could I graft its variety onto my other (only) pear tree to make sure that one gets the pollination it needs? My main concern is the longevity of that tree. More grafts, more potential for problems in the future maybe??


Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:22 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1355
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Pear/Quince C rootstock Struggling
A healthy pear tree can last for much longer than a person, so I would worry about keeping it healthy through good soil and pruning rather than worry that a graft will make it short lived.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:57 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Pear/Quince C rootstock Struggling
Jerilee wrote:
Maybe I should start another tread for this, but here goes: If I got rid of this pear could I graft its variety onto my other (only) pear tree to make sure that one gets the pollination it needs? My main concern is the longevity of that tree. More grafts, more potential for problems in the future maybe??


Yes, I’d cut and store your pear scions now. And when you graft it to the established pear, be sure to ‘open up’ an area with enough sunlight to allow the graft to grow. Otherwise, it will likely live, but not acquire the vegetative growth necessary to become a producing limb.

…I don’t believe local pears are infected with any viruses that our apple trees are prone to..? So there should be no danger or harm by adding pear varieties. With apples, many have several diseases that, every time a new variety is grafted, have a chance of infecting the entire tree.

:arrow: As for your original over-growth question… I believe I’ve seen several pears in this condition. Though dwarfed, they were healthy and producing. I like Rooney’s suggestion of planting an OHxF333 or OHxF513 at the base of the pear and grafting it’s top into the pear trunk. Definitely a ‘conversation piece’ solution :P

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Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:49 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:57 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Post Re: Pear/Quince C rootstock Struggling
Any tips on doing the approach graft with a OHxF513 to the pear trunk? Do I have to do it differently/special since the trunk and the new rootstock won't be the same size?
Thanks guys


Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:13 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1155
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Pear/Quince C rootstock Struggling
Jerilee wrote:
Any tips on doing the approach graft with a OHxF513 to the pear trunk? Do I have to do it differently/special since the trunk and the new rootstock won't be the same size?


Yes… you’ll have to wait until the bark above the current graft union is ‘slipping.’ So you’ll need to procure the rootstock and likely pot it until the sap has begun to rise in the pear before connecting the two.

I’d have a nice hole dug near the base of the pear trunk (avoiding any ‘large’ existing roots) - on a side with some ‘smooth bark’ above the graft union. I’d have potted the rootstock and sat it along side the pear tree; remove it from the pot and mound some soil in the hole it will rest; place the top against the smooth portion of the pear trunk and make an ‘opening’ cut into the pears bark – matching the width of the new rootstock at ‘that height.’

Then make a one-sided (inch and a quarter) slanting cut on the rootstock where it will be inserted into the pear trunk; ‘pop’ open the bottom flap of the pear tree cut and carefully insert the rootstock’s cut surface up and beneath the bark (I’d try to run it up a bit beyond the top sides of the bark flap cut). With the ‘flap’ down, I’d hammer a small ‘headed nail’ through the bark flap – through the rootstock – and into the pear trunk … as the rootstock rested loosely below… I’d also smash a little ‘plumbers putty’ inside any ‘open gaps’ between the flap and the connection ... then paint grafting sealant over the wound (two coats), and begin to cover the scion roots with soil.

My main concern is attempting this too soon, thus tearing the bark on the pear trees trunk. You can leave several suckers on the pear tree (if you’ve not pruned yet), and ‘test them’ to find when the sap has risen by ‘snapping one over’ and seeing if the bark tears or ‘slips’ away from it’s wood…

You could also ‘pre-plant’ the rootstock at the base of the pear, then cut and ‘bend’ the rootstock into the bark cut… but you’d need/ want to have the ‘face cut’ on the rootstock at the ‘exact angle’ of the pear wood, otherwise it might be difficult to straighten ‘a twist.’ You’d also want to do the ‘slanting cut’ prior to the bark-flap cut on the pear trunk so you’d know exactly where to cut that flap… I think you’d have more time and room for error with the ‘open hole’ method above…

This is by no means the only way to accomplish this graft … but off the top of my head, it’s where I’d start 8)

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Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:45 pm
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