anyone ever successfully grafted pear scion onto an apple tree

lycheeluva(6/7)March 28, 2011

I have heard this is best done with winter banana apple tree which I dont have. Has anyone ever successfully gotten a pear scion to fruit on an apple tree?

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Hi lychee- I was interested in this possibility before I got my pear tree, and the best I could come up with was that you can graft in an interstem of winter banana to your apple tree and the following year or so you should be able to graft your pear on. I suspect Scottsmith can give the benefit of his experience; it may be his advice I think I am recalling.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 7:53PM
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I have it on good faith, from a noted fruit 'expert' in the PNW that WSU had a planting of Winter Banana trees on M-27, with WB forming the scaffolding of the tree, with branches grafted over to a number of Asian pear varieties that fruited for a number of years before they were removed to make room for some other endeavor.
Is it worth doing? I dunno.

I purchased a bundle of row-run P.communis seedlings one year for use as rootstocks. Grafted one three times - unsuccessfully - in one year; when I finally gave up on it and allowed it to leaf out on its own, it was an apple. Another tree in that same lot of 'pear' seedlings, grafted to Ayers pear, grew vigorously the first year, then declined over the next 2-3, continually throwing out shoots from below the graft - apple branches. Never did fruit before it finally died out.

I've not tried pear on apple again - accidentally or purposefully - but do have a couple of pears on cockspur hawthorn for 10+ year(shy fruiting), and have an easy-to-root seedling quince selection that works OK as a dwarfing rootstock for pear.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 8:49PM
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I have a pear on apple now that looks ok. Since WB is a big yellow apple I tried grafting to some of the old wild apples that had big yellow fruit and this has taken. If it continues to look good I will completely top work it to pear varieties.
For a number of years I have been putting Seckle on the local hawthorn and I get weak grafts for about 3 years. After that the grafts look good and growth appears normal. I had the first fruiting on one of these last summer. The fruit was small but that may be a symptom of being the first year.
I think it is great fun to do these experiments and there is always something to be learned but for those who want fruit without extra problems there is no substitute for good rootstock.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 9:27PM
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Lucky- is "cockspur hawthorne" the shrubby stuff that grows wild and has thorns? If so, we have a lot of it around here. It seems to attract some kinds of diseases, but it's always there.

Is the hawthorne dwarfing? Just curious- I don't have space to experiment. (Might be fun to go out in the hills and stick a pear onto a hawthorne somewhere just cause you can, though!)


    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 9:36PM
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Cockspur hawthorn(no 'e' in the plant name) is Crataegus crus-galli; a very thorny(though I've seen a few 'thornless' plants on neighboring properties.
Dwarfing, yes - in in my limited experience(2 or 3 plants), it has produced a columnar-like plant with minimal branching.
Surviving 10-yr old pear-on-hawthorn graft is only about 7 ft tall. The other one fell to the bulldozer three years ago when my wife put in a tennis court, but was only about 5 ft tall at that time - I had some concerns about it surviving much longer without staking - the pear top was easily twice the diameter of the hawthorn understock.

Yeah, I'm tempted to try grafting some pear scions into some of the larger hawthorns growing wild around the farm - as a wildlife food source.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 11:09PM
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I've eaten pear fruits grown on my apple tree.

Fertility pear is purported to be compatible with a number of apple varieties. I put Fertility on a tree that is an overgrown unknown apple rootstock that I have topworked with a number of apple varieties.

I originally intended to use Fertility only as an interstem to other pears, but I got lazy in the second round of grafting and left a couple of limbs fertility. It was very precocious, I believe it fruited the very next year. I thought the pears weren't bad at all considering I hadn't heard anything positive about Fertility for eating.

On the same tree I also have Winter Banana and I think I Golden Russett Bosc and Hosui grafted to either the Fertility or Winter Banana.

I also have Winter Banana grafted to my sister's European pear tree of unknown variety and it has produced fruit the last couple of years.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2011 at 10:34PM
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Sunrise Vineyards(6 (Western NY))

I am looking at grafting a "Sunrise' pear onto my apple tree using Winter Banana as an interstem. Sunrise is a new Bartlett type disease resistant variety. Does anyone see a problem with this or would I be better off using a different pear variety?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 4:20AM
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pokeberry(z7 GA)

I grafted a apple to pear accidentally when I was learning how to graft. it was my 2nd year of grafting and I was grafting pear seedlings that come up all in my pasture. I had a old apple that was starting to rot so i took a limb off the tree and grafted it to a sucker that was coming up from the root. the limb that I cut from the rootstock must have feel in my bag of pear cutting that I got from a friend house. I grafted a pear seeding next to the house and I was wanting the tree to have diffrent kind of pears on it. I remember I had a real dark red wood with some yellow wood so I grafted the diffrent scions to the seedling. well when it leaf out it had strange leaves on it. that is when i realize what I have done... It has grown great and last year i grafted a red spy and a chestnut crab on it. did real good this summer. also I grafted the red spy to some more pears and they LOOK REAL GOOD.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 4:29PM
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Have had a couple of seedling callery pears that were recently (within the last 2-3 years) given to me by someone who'd gotten them from ADF as 'Sargent crab'; I didn't bother looking all that closely, or I'd have known they were pears - but I didn't, and grafted apples onto them. They grew vigorously for a year or two, but then the pear understock started vigorously pushing lots of growth below the graft, and they essentially 'threw off' (literally, not figuratively) the apple graft.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:56AM
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I've been told by people who seem to be experts... that an apple, a peach, a pear, a plum, a prune, a cherry, an almond and amazingly... a rose, will all grow on the same root. I don't personally know if that is true, but I believe it anyway; maybe like something your Grandfather told you.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 5:52PM
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I would be suspect of these "experts"

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:37PM
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I have cleft grafted pear and asin pear on to loquat but never apple. The loquat gratfs lived for 2 years and then died of what may have been fireblight I don't know. But the process should be similar.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 7:02AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

John, that is definitely wrong. They are of the same family, rosascea, but are not all compatible. No prunus is compatible with any pyrus or malus for example.

I have grafted pear onto apple and it grew in a super-stunted and very confused way (flowering in fall for example). It did stay alive several seasons but I got sick of looking at the ugly thing and took it out.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 10:04AM
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Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Still, I am a storyteller by nature and practice; so I will probably keep telling that story to my grandchildren... the story is more interesting than the reality IMHO.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 1:27PM
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Sunrise Vineyards(6 (Western NY))

In the spring of 2012, I attempted to graft a Pear scion onto my apple tree using Winter Banana Apple as an inter stem.
(All of he grafting i do is "Whip and Tongue" grafts wrapped in grafting tape. I then coat the wrapped union with grafting wax)

The parent branch was a Winesap Apple branch with a grafted Winter Banana Apple scion from a few years before.
(I actually have two of these paired branches.)
I then attempted to graft two "Kieffer" Pear scions onto my two Winter Banana Apple inter stems. The "Kieffer" Pear scions started to grow, but died a few weeks later.

This spring (2014) I attempted to graft this Apple / Pear union again using the same Winter Banana Apple inter stems. I had just enough branch on my Winter Banana branches to try this experiment one more time. This time around, I used "Sunrise Pear" scionwood.
The grafting was a screaming success! (I had enough "Sunrise Pear" scionwood to graft two branches onto my apple tree, and two more onto an ornamental pear. All four pear grafts were a success!)

I have no idea why this experiment failed in 2012 and was a success in 2014. I do not know if it had to do with the pear variety used, or if it had to do with environmental circumstances. I will re-post in 2015 with an update.

There are a few different treads on this subject so I will be re-posting on those threats also.

Below are pictures taken on 07/27/2014.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:50PM
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Sunrise Vineyards(6 (Western NY))

Picture #2

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 10:53PM
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Kevin: What is hanging from the plastic zip ties in the photo? Are the labels?

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:43AM
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