by Nik Magnus | © 2021 Woodbridge Fruit Trees |

Old espaliered pear tree

Old espaliered pear tree

Pears on dwarfing roostocks grow to small trees (up to 2-3m in height) and can be grown free standing or espaliered - making them easier to harvest, spray (eg. for cherry slug), prune, harvest and protect from birds attacks.

Unlike traditional pear roostocks which end up making huge trees (pears for their Heirs!), the humble dwarfing quince rootstock has allowed propagation of dwarf pears because of a common genetic history of the pear and quince.

Grafting a pear onto a quince is like any other type of grafting. However, there is a list of those that are compatible and a list of those that are not. For those that are not compatible, the solution is to graft a pear scion (usually Beurre Hardy or Doyene du Comice) in between the quince and the variety grafted. The result is an "interstem" - 20cm of quince rootstock, 3cm of Beurre Hardy and then the pear variety eg. Beurre Bosc. growing on top in to the final tree.  So when you look at a dwarfing pear tree, you will often see two grafts. An interstem can also be called "interstock" or "double working".

Compatible Pears (ie graft directly on quince)
Bonne De Malines, Buerre D’anjou, Buerre Diel, Buerre Easter, Buerre Hardy, Buerre Superfin, Durondeau, Doyenne Du Comice, Duchess De Angoulême, Flemish Beauty, Glou Morceau, Packhams Triumph, Williams Compat.

Incompatible Pears (ie need a Beurre Hardy interstem)
Baptiste Violette, Bergamotte Lucrativ, Buerre Bosc, Buerre Lucrativ, Buerre Piquery, Buerre Speng, Conference, Corella,  De La Chine, De La Ville Aine, Dearbourne Seeling, Dr Thiele, Eparge Jargonelle, Florelle, Fondant Du Boris, Gin, Greenhorn, Grosse Louise, Josephine, Martin Clavier, Moorcroft, Napoleon, New Norfolk, Red Williams, Rosney, Senateur Vaisse, Siegneur, Souvinir De Gaete, St Michael Archangel, Williams, Williams Russet, Winter Cole, Winter Nellis, Yellow Hufcap

This is by no means an exhaustive list - an internet search will yield more information. Also, it depends on the cultivar - for example, Williams is not compatible, while Williams Compat is compatible - its considered pretty well the same pear by all account. Others say that Conference is compatible, but I find my grafts are a lot more successful using an interstem. If in doubt use an interstem.


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Dwarfing PearTrees

Dwarfing PearTrees

We grow pears in dwarfing forms for the same reasons we grow other types of dwarfed trees: small trees are much more precocious in starting to bear fruit in about their third year. This is very important as pears on normal pear stock live a very long time, grow into large trees and can take many years to come into fruit.