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Grafting Pears onto Hawthorn, compatibility issues on the long term  RSS feed

 
hans muster
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Hi all!

I am currently working in a project in temperate drylands, home to some Crataegus sp. (Hawthorn), which are one of the rare species barely surviving the goat and sheep pressure.

I was thinking about grafting edibles onto them, like quince and pears, as the rootstock is well adapted to the local soil conditions. And because it would allow food production together with spiny fodder on the lower part of the trees.

Quince should work well, but pears have, depending on the varieties, compatibility issues, which are said to kick in after 4 to 5 years.

https://tomtheappleman.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/438/

Anyone has long term experience (more than 5 or 10 years) with pears onto hawthorn, and can tell me which varieties work well?
Or has a good source for knowlege (also other languages...)

Best
Hans
 
Henry Jabel
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No idea but here is my educated guess: Not every variety of pear likes being grafted on to quince (like a lot of the perry pears we have round here) , therefore I would guess the ones that don't like hawthorn would also not be compatible with quince. So if you need some pear variety suggestions look at local nursery catalogue and note which ones are available on dwarf quince rootstocks like quince A and quince C. That way way you will get varieties suitable for your climate too.
 
R Ranson
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My grandfather did this.  The tree did quite well... except... the trunk above the graft grew much faster than the one below so that the base was thinner than the rest of the tree.  Or so I'm told.  This is before my time.  According to him, the tree had no problems and was a great producer.  The tree was cut down about 12 years after grafting for a housing development, so I don't know what longer-term results would be.  But family lore has this as being successful between the wars in the UK.  Then again, hawthorns are such an important food crop during war time, that the family thought it a waste to graft a single purpose plant like pears onto it.  Hawthorn shoots are a vital hunger gap crop called "bread and cheese", have very strong wood and good for fuel, as well as being an excellent medicinal and fruit plant. 

The best thing to do is try and see.  What didn't work in one location might work just fine for you.  Grafting success varies depending on person, variety and location.  The only way you can know if it will work in your situation, is to try.   
 
David Livingston
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My plan with pears is to graft them on to Hawthorne ( which I have by the thousand ) then when the grafts take the next year replant them so that the graft is below the ground , thus the plants can cope with the pear outgrowing the hawthorn by producing it's own roots .
As for pears another idea may be to get hold of some wild pears and graft on to those . They are pretty tough and I think have thorns too
Medlar grafts on to Hawthorne very well and is very easy to do no problems unlike pears

David
 
hans muster
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Thanks for your replies.

R Ranson, do you know / can ask which variety of pear was living for 12 years on the hawthorn?
 
R Ranson
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He never said what type.  It was one of the kinds available in the early 1960s.

It could be the ones you read about that had problems, maybe the problems were due to environmental factors more than rejecting the graft.  It's worth experimenting for yourself to see what can grow in your conditions. 

I really like the idea of grafting then burying below the graft.  I wonder what the roots look like a few years in, do the hawthorn roots still stick around or do they die off, or do they send up shoots? 
 
hans muster
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Ok.
One interesting thing I'm experimenting with are root grafts, which was commonly used before the named dwarfing rootstocks came up. Some failed for sure, will see in autumn if some survived...
Has the same effects as grafting, digging up, then burying the graft point, but done all in one step = less work.

https://elizapples.com/tag/root-graft/
 
David Livingston
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Firstly thanks for sharing that it was an interesting report.
I am not so sure about the less work depends on what your sucsess rate is
I dont intend to dig up the hawthorn until I am sure my graft has taken
Plus the graft will have sealed up by then less chance of soil organisms getting into the wound .

David
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