What to do with Bartlett Pear Cuttings

herb_08161947(8)May 25, 2007

This winter - after pruning my 2 Bartlett pear trees I made about 200 cuttings from the prunings, then buried them in a plastic bag upside down in the earth. This spring I dug them up wounded them and dipped in IBA and placed them`in a vermiculite/perlite mix at 80F.... well lo and behold I now have about 150 cuttings with little green leaves all over them. My question is what should I do with them now... Pot them? Or go ahead and put them out in the pear orchard??? And if into the pear orchard what should be the distance apart? Or maybe I should harden them off on the outside first.


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I'd keep them wherever they are now - just because you've got leaves, doesn't mean you've got roots - they may have just pushed leaves, and once they've depleted the stored reserves in the wood, they'll collapse.
Even if they are rooted, it's unlikely that their root systems are well developed, and you'll be better off not disturbing them to re-pot or transplant until they go dormant this fall.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 9:38PM
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hamey(Z9 FLA Pasco County)

Your'e in NC? I am interested in another pear tree as it's partner died.. Shipping I will pay.. I am in Shady Hills, Fl 34610.. will want at least 2 or 3 to make sure they make it lemme know Karen

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 12:28AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Good advice from lucky. I would be willing to bet(a small sum)that you have no roots on your cuttings. When I save scion wood from dormant fruit trees and refrigerate it for a month or two, when I remove the scions from refrigeration they will often grow leaves, no roots. Of course these are being thrown out. The energy stored in the wood will grow leaves usually easier than roots. Al

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 10:28AM
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Very interesting comments. I propagate a lot of dormant wood grape vine cuttings and am delighted to get a 60% success rate. Right now all these leafed out cuttings are in a perlite/peat moss mixture and are setting on a heat mat at 80 F -- If I leave them till the fall when they go Dormant I am wondering what chance they have of serving on this Perl/Peat mixture. Should I take them from the barn and place them in the shade and maybe feed them some type of fertilizer solution?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2007 at 10:55AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Yes I would take them from the barn and watch for wilting if you are moving into a more dry air. Keep them in the shade and out of the wind for a while. You mix is going to require frequent added moisture and I would make it a weak soluble fertilizer which will be taken in by the foliage if indeed you do not have roots. The added humidity should also help prevent wilting. Al

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 10:04AM
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Dormant-collected grape cuttings should root in high percentages with little or no care - I usually just stick 'em in the ground - no rooting hormone or anything.
Pears are another matter.

Bartlett pears in NC? How long have you had them?
I would expect that fireblight would demolish that exquisitely susceptible variety in a NY minute.
Perhaps they were purchased labeled as 'Bartlett', but are really something else?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 12:17AM
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The pears have been growing here for 23 years - they produce a very very firm canning pear, I was actually hoping to make a pear wine this fall - but the big Freeze of April seems to have gotten them - They were indeed labeled Bartlett - now I am really curious.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2007 at 10:51AM
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I find it unusual, if not downright unlikely, that Bartlett could survive and do well for 23 years in NC. They're a fireblight wimp.

I'm strongly suspicious that you've got something other than Bartlett - maybe even Keiffer; especially since you say it's a very very firm canning pear - that'd NOT be what I'd expect of Bartlett.
It's a very common practice for the big box stores, and even some nurseries, to buy overruns, seconds, etc., from the big propagators and apply their own labels(usually Bartlett, for pears, as it's a well-recognized variety name), regardless of the true variety - they figure the bulk of the public either won't know, won't care, won't care for the trees(and they'll die) or they won't bother doing anything with the fruit if/when they do finally begin fruiting.

Have a look at the NCGR Pyrus collection, linked below. Most of the varieties have photos or paintings that illustrate what the fruit looks like. Compare your pears to Bartlett and Keiffer. I'm betting on Keiffer; while many folks denigrate it as being barely edible and only good for making pear preserves, it is iron-clad in being able to withstand the ravages of fireblight and still rock along, producing good crops of fruit - and to me, having grown up in south AL, where it's one of the few pears that can withstand the yearly FB onslaught, it's what a pear is supposed to be - firm, juicy, tasty, and gritty. I love 'em.

Here is a link that might be useful: NCGR Pyrus collection

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 12:22PM
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:Yes - I am quite certain you are correct - I have just looked at the Pyrus collection and at least the leaves look exactly like Kieffer. My wife says they were both bought from one of the large "Stores" and no doubt they label everything Bartlett.

I also enjoy these firm, gritty pears, which may be why I've paid it so much attention - the leafed out cuttings are slowly fading away - but there are a few candidates that show signs of making it - but fall is a long time away.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 12:50PM
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