asian pear ultra dwarf pacific grove from OSH

elschFebruary 15, 2010

I picked up a bagged 20th century asian pear on ultra dwarf rootstock grown by pacific grove at OSH and am wondering if this is a good choice for the SF Bay Area, in El Sobrante. The tag said self pollinating. I am not looking for heavy fruit production, medium to light would be just fine.

I am new to fruit trees, and do seem to remember reading somewhere about the insignificance of ultra dwarf rootstocks, that its more about pruning. I do want it to remain small. They also had one on semi dwarf rootstock. Which is the better choice, and am I likely to have luck with the quality of fruit tree from OSH.


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Dick_Sonia(Sunset 17)

I'm not really sure what you mean by "ultra dwarf." Every rootstock has its own name. Pacific Grove uses either seedling rootstock or one of four named rootstocks for grafting: Winter Nellis, Pyrus betulaefolia, OHF 97 and OHF 333. The name should be on the plastic tag that's around the stem.

As for the quality of OSH, they are just a pass-through retailer, a temporary handler. Personally, I'm not a fan of bagged fruit trees, but I don't see anything wrong with your decision. Rootstock choice is based partly on soil conditions and other liabilities of your particular site, e.g. wind exposure, fireblight susceptibility, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: PG rootstocks

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 12:05PM
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I have bought trees from OSH, and they have grown just fine. It is my experience that no "big box" store lists rootstock on the label, but below is the grower's website so you can make an educated guess what you have. As far as quality, it depends on the store's practices--stay away from the ones that have placed their trees for sale where the plastic bagged roots are in the sun, because they may have been cooked. And the longer they have sat there, the more likely the roots have dehydrated or rotted.

I have never had a problem with pollinization and asian pears, in fact just the opposite. I have had all of the flowers fruit and then not thinned enough, and had branches break off from too much fruit. Many say european pears will pollinize asian pears, and even the flowering pears lining the streets (Bradford pears) will work for asians.

I'm not sure what you mean by "small" when you refer to the size of a tree, even dwarf trees will grow to the top of a house. Your best bet is to prune in late summer to keep it the height you want. Check out Dave Wilson's website on summer pruning.

Carla in Sac

Here is a link that might be useful: Pacific Groves website

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 1:30PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

I have a 20th Century Asian Pear on some sort of dwarf root stock,(not sure what it is/was), and I'd agree that it doesn't stay all that small without considerable winter pruning each year. I've had mine in the ground for over 10 years, and it is at least 20 feet tall, and fruits reliably without another pear tree nearby. There are some other pear trees on the same block, however. Fruit set is way off when we don't get enough winter chilling, which does happen occasional years here in Berkeley.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 2:51PM
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I have never seen any bees on my asian pears, so hand pollinated them with an artists paint brush. Is what I am doing necessary? I have a Shinseki and a 20TH Century planted about 15 feet apart. They have hardly grown in the four or five years they have been in my yard, in fact the 20TH Century is smaller than when I planted it as the top died and I cut it off.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 3:11PM
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Thanks for your replies everyone. The tag said ultra dwarf, grows 5 - 8 feet.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 2:34PM
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