Author Topic: Create new Wild Pear Trees?  (Read 66 times)

reed

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Create new Wild Pear Trees?
« on: 2020-11-12, 09:52:31 AM »
I have a number of pear trees, Kiefer is the only variety name I remember right off.  I have seed grown trees as well from my trees and from store bought fruits but none old enough to even bloom much so far. None of my trees produce very well, in fact as often or not I don't get any pears at all except from a wild tree that grows a good hiking distance away in an abandoned pasture that's now part state owned hunting land.

Around my neighborhood there is also an abundance of pears gone wild, originating from the ornamental  variety Bradford that was supposed to be sterile but turned out to be anything but. So much so that they are considered invasive now. The offspring of those trees are beautiful and many have lost the growth habit of  Bradford, growing fast into large spreading trees that do not break apart in the wind like the original F1. They have been around long enough that they are at least in F3 maybe more from the original clones.

Even though they are considered invasive, I don't really care. They are so massively fruitful and the birds like them so much that they are here to stay anyway, whether anybody likes it or not. They turn beautiful red and hold there leaves way late so are easy to find right now. I'm considering digging some up to bring home and plant among my trees in hopes of something with the tenacity of these trees but larger fruits shows up later on.  The little fruits of the Bradford offspring are awful but who knows what might happen if crossed with one with large sweet fruits.

Any thought on this? Is it worth the effort?


Garrett Schantz

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Re: Create new Wild Pear Trees?
« Reply #1 on: 2020-11-12, 10:11:17 AM »
If there is more than one tree gone wild, you could sample fruit from a bunch, could possibly find one that tastes "ok". Being a segregating hybrid, there could be a diversity in flavor. Using the offspring as rootstock might be an option as well.

nathanp

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Re: Create new Wild Pear Trees?
« Reply #2 on: 2020-11-12, 06:37:02 PM »
I don't know how freely Pyrus communis hybridizes (or if it does) with Pyrus calleryana, but calleryana normally has some undesirable traits that usually make it a short lived tree.  Mainly, it is the narrow crotch/branch junctions. When it gets to about 25 years old, trees just fall apart under their own weight, and additional factors such as snow can hasten that.  You might find this paper interesting:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjClaa4r_7sAhV3GVkFHX1hBAgQFjANegQIBRAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fucanr.edu%2Fsites%2FUrbanHort%2Ffiles%2F119956.pdf&usg=AOvVaw07oUTPNI9Zb18rJm06T1dX

Also, the wood from P. calleryana is fairly interesting to split and I have burned it as firewood a few times.  It does tend to fly apart when enough pressure is put on it. 


reed

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Re: Create new Wild Pear Trees?
« Reply #3 on: 2020-11-12, 09:30:27 PM »
I wondered if there was more than one species. The calleryana sounds like what the Bradford ornamentals are as they fit that description very well. I wonder what was used to make that hybrid as the following generations appear to lose a lot of that issue with a less dense and more spreading growth habit. Lots of them are old enough that they should have broken apart by now.

nathanp

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Re: Create new Wild Pear Trees?
« Reply #4 on: 2020-11-12, 09:40:31 PM »
I wondered if there was more than one species. The calleryana sounds like what the Bradford ornamentals are as they fit that description very well. I wonder what was used to make that hybrid as the following generations appear to lose a lot of that issue with a less dense and more spreading growth habit. Lots of them are old enough that they should have broken apart by now.

Exactly.  Pyrus calleryana is the species of the invasive Callery Pear. 'Bradford', 'Chanticleer', and a bunch of others are cultivars of calleryana.  I do not believe they are hybrids, but are just different clones trees of the same species.  All are technically sterile when they are purely in isolation, with only a single cultivar, but two different cultivars, or seedlings can cross pollinate each other.