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Sorbus domestica - Service Tree - Jerusalem Pear - Whitty Pear - Sorb Tree - Cormier

 
pollinator
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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Sheffields has them , from Holland. I ordered some, and I hope to have a couple other sources. I am planting them in tree tubes and they will germinate when they feel like it. I am planting 30, so I may have extra I can send bare root in the US.
 
Posts: 40
Location: central brittany, france
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Hello,
for those of you interested in getting seeds i will try and get some in october/november.
Depending on how many i get and how many people want some quantities may be quite small.
If you follow the germination instructions and if the seeds are fresh you should have 80 percent germination at least.
GRIN sent me 10 seeds two years ago and all 10 grew so i had 100 percent germination.
The quality of their seeds was very good.
The seeds I (and Arnould sometimes) try to get are from large-fruited mother trees only.

A word of advice:
Only plant this tree if you have at least 2 acres of land for otherwise standard fruit trees are much better.
Plant it far enough away from your house because when they start to fruit they give so much fruit (when they are bigger) that you will probably never manage to collect all or use all and that will attract lots of wasps,hornets,butterflies and all sorts of other animals that you don't necessarily want right next to your house.
Also this tree is not invasive at all, so it doesn't cause any problems in that sense.
 
pollinator
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Philip Heinemeyer wrote:


Plant it far enough away from your house because when they start to fruit they give so much fruit (when they are bigger) that you will probably never manage to collect all or use all and that will attract lots of wasps,hornets,butterflies and all sorts of other animals that you don't necessarily want right next to your house.
Also this tree is not invasive at all, so it doesn't cause any problems in that sense.




So, plant it near the pig pen?
 
Philip Heinemeyer
Posts: 40
Location: central brittany, france
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Yes, why not? The pigs will be happy if they get some fruit.
 
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Last year, 2018, was an exceptionnal year for fruits in Western Europe, including for sorbus domestica, eg see the video in this link about a huge tree in Marmoutier, Alsace, France, which lost a branch due to the heavy weight of the fruits :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRgheRUZL9U

At 27 seconds into the video the girl explains that the fruits are not edible, if you try them in this state, your mouth will remember them for at least 1/4 of an hour. At 35 seconds you can see fruits that look like they are rotten. In fact they are "blet" ie overripe. They are soft with a beautiful yellow color inside and full of sugar with an incredible taste (incredible because new for us, modern population). I eat them like the girl at 38s without the skin, but I think the skin could be eaten as well. And yes, in this village people know the value of those big trees and the tree with the broken branch was healed as well as possible. At 1mn Antoine shows some eau-de-vie de cormes, he seems to regret the old times when this had at least 52 degrees of alcohol vs now 45 degrees only...

Now the good news is that there are fruits again this year, in 2019, so there will be enough seeds !
 
Posts: 556
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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I have had good luck starting seeds directly onto humus filled pots. Like most seeds of fruiting trees or shrubs, I never dry them out. I take a paste of the smashed fruit and spread it around.  Half an inch of potting soil on top. Each fruit only has one or two seeds in my experience.
 
pollinator
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I am very interested in getting some of these seeds when they are available. I have seen service before, but never with such large fruit. We have medlars here, and blet them each year. They are great, but nearing the end of their lives.
 
Posts: 151
Location: the mountains of western nc
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we seem to have missed the october/november window, but i'm very interested in getting seed for this tree. anyone still here who has some to share?
 
Philip Heinemeyer
Posts: 40
Location: central brittany, france
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I managed to ground layer a grafted sorbus domestica. I bought a grafted tree. I planted it horizontally along the ground and heaped earth on the roots and all over the rest just letting the tip show out.
It took three years but now finally it started to make roots close to the top where it was buried. I cut it off and planted it in a pot.
This enables me to grow the superior variety (sossenheimer riese in this case) on its own roots. Older true service trees often send out root suckers that you can quite easily dig out and in this case they would be of the same variety. Also growing trees on their own roots can have other advantages (healthier tree, longer lifespan etc.)
But this is not necessarily always the case.
I reckon this can probably be done with all plants in the rose family, so most of our fruit trees (in temperate regions)
I know for a fact that this works with apples and now i did it with a true service tree.
I tried it with a medlar but i got impatient and transplanted it after 2 years thinking this doesn't work.
The true servive tree i was actually digging it up to give it to a friend when i noticed it had rooted.
I had checked the 2 previous years and thought this doesn't work either.
It might well happen a lot quicker if you deliberately cut the top half way through, sort of snap it upwards without tearing it off so half of the bark is still attached and then maybe use rooting powder or water with willow bark/leaf soup but this is speculation for it may cause the upper part to abort or be an entry point for disease.
It's a lot of work but if there's a fruit variety you really like and you'd like to have it growing on its own roots, it can be done.
IMG_20191230_101631.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20191230_101631.jpg]
grafted tree after three years growing along the ground
IMG_20191230_101651.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20191230_101651.jpg]
detail of roots emerging
 
Tj Jefferson
pollinator
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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Very nice. It was a struggle getting seeds here so I planted what I could get but the selection there seems superior. Well done.
 
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if anyone out there is interested in sorbus but want better tasting fruit, Sorbopyrus auricularis (shipova) is a sorb/pear hybrid that tastes good but grows very slow

Also Sorbus latifolia is a french sorb with superior tasting fruit and is more cold hardy
 
Tj Jefferson
pollinator
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How does one get it in the US? I’m into anything.
 
Posts: 7487
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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After the 100 days of stratification take out the seeds and sow them in weed free soil in abox or so.
3 to 4 weeks later you will see the small trees starting to grow.
Plant each seedling into a jiffypot made of turf or coconut (this is important!) and water regularly, but not too much.  



Philip, I am at this stage...100 days of stratification is up tomorrow.  I have a flat of weed free potting soil ready.  My question is do I keep them in the house where it is above freezing or outdoors (we have 13F due on friday morning) or in my hoop house that will freeze at night but warms nicely in the daytime?  I don't see any that have sprouted yet but have not removed from the jar to look more closely.  

Thanks!
 
Philip Heinemeyer
Posts: 40
Location: central brittany, france
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Keep them in the house cause the warmth will be good.
If the 100 days are over they should be ready to be sown.
If you check them and none have sprouted maybe sow half of them and leave the other half in the fridge for another week or so.
Good luck.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 7487
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Thank you Philip!

After checking the date on the jars I see that I put them in the refrigerator November 7 and 8th so it is only just over 90 days...will give them another week and in the meantime I've brought the flat in for the soil to warm to room temperature.  

 
Judith Browning
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Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Philip, My seeds are sprouting!!!

...just a few, but enough early ones to have hope for all
They've been out of the refrigerator and in soil for a couple weeks now I think.

I'll get them in a sunny window today.

Do I wait until we are frost free to put them outdoors? ...I have a hoop house that will keep them above freezing most nights and I suppose if it drops into the twenties I could bring them back in?
 
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