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Sorbus domestica  RSS feed

 
Philip Heinemeyer
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I am going to post a couple of pictures here to give people an idea of the potential of this little-known fruit tree.
It happens to be the largest member of the rose family (like apple, cherry and pear) and was already consumed ages ago by greek philosophers for example.
It can't live up to a nice juicy peach in terms of taste but once the fruit is bletted i find it tastes good.
It's a bit like the medlar in that respect. Trees grow up to about 60 feet and can live up to 400 years.
No other european fruit tree gives as much fruit in terms of quantity.
It is very good for bees and all wildlife love to eat the fruit.
you can make jam, pastry and excellent alcohol with the fruit or just eat it once it's ripe.
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Ken W Wilson
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Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Very interesting! I've never heard of it. Is it available in the US?
 
Deb Rebel
garden master
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Location: Zone 6b
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Sorbus domestica aka Service Tree aka Jerusalem Pear aka Whitty Pear aka Sorb Tree

Forestfarm.com in Oregon is supposed to have plants but their website answers with a 403 error no matter how you try to get to it. Will try calling them after the holiday (US Columbus, Canada Thanksgiving)

A few places sell seed. The seed is stratify and soak 24 hours before planting.

It is listed as a zone 6-10.

Bletting is the process of letting the fruit sit and over-ripen to the point of rotten. Otherwise it's rather bitter. Fruit are rather small.

There is another variety that is 'wild' so make sure of what you're ordering, go by the latin name.
 
Greg Martin
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Location: Maine, zone 5
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One Green World sells two selections, an "apple form" and a "pear form".
https://onegreenworld.com/product/apple-form-2/
https://onegreenworld.com/product/pear-form-2/
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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I interesting leaves, seems like they could make for some nice dappled shade.
Seems like a good choice for added value products, due to the uniqueness factor.
If it produces more than other fruits in the same family it might make great forage.
I wonder about disease resistance, and grafting compatibility.
Lots to think about, thanks for sharing!
 
Philip Heinemeyer
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For those of you who are interested i can send seeds of this tree. i just collected fruit of a large fruited variety, that makes yellow somewhat pear-shaped fruit.
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Philip Heinemeyer
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The fruit are the same in the fourth picture of my first post.
While there is no guarantee that trees grown from seed of these large fruits will equally produce large-fruited trees it seems logical to grow them if you are looking for large-fruited trees.

The large fruits of this variety (i only collected the big ones) mesure 4 cm (1.57 inch) in diameter and 4.5 cm (1.77 inch) in height
and weigh 32 grams (1.12 ounce) on average.  Once soft, they taste very good.

Detailed seeding instructions:
Get some sand and sieve it in order to obtain fine grained sand. Place some sand in an oven at a high temperature for fifteen minutes to sterilise and dry it.
Put 6 flat teaspoons of sand and 1 flat teaspoon of water into a sterilised jam jar and add the seeds into it. Then put the jam jar into a plastic bag squeeze out the air, tie a knot and put it into the fridge.
(Putting a plastic bag around the jam jar ensures additional safety to prevent moisture from leeking into the jar)
This works very well for any type of stratification of pretty much any type of seed,by the way.
Leave the seeds in the fridge for 100 days.
Towards the end of the 100 days you can check if seeds have already started to sprout. (if so take out and plant)
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.
Once the roots are starting to grow out of the jiffypots plant them into larger pots.
Ideally plant the Young trees the following winter into their final position protecting and fencing them well.
Depending on soil, light etc.. they will grow between 1 and 3 feet the first year.
 
Philip Heinemeyer
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Sorry maybe i wasn't very clear there.
Obviously you close the lid of the jam jar with the sand, water and seeds in it and then put a plastic bag (with no holes) around it and tie a knot.
Also once the roots grow out of the jiffypot you plant the seedling with the jiffypot into a larger pot.
 
Philip Heinemeyer
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Detailed planting instructions:
Dig a hole that is larger than the pot or the rootball.
Loosen the soil but try not to mix the earth layers too much.
Break a couple of glass bottles and put the glass shards into the planting hole as you fill up the hole and plant the tree.
This is a cheap, effective way to ensure that no moles or underground rodents will eat the roots. (only necessary in certain areas- optional)
Put four small stakes into the ground at about a foot and a half from the tree and attach chicken wire to them (the finer the mesh the better)
This protects against rabbits and mice.
You can paint the lower part of the trunk with tar, also. (optional)
Put four large 5 feet poles at 3 feet or more from the trunk into the ground and install sheep fencing to protect against deer, cows etc...
Mulch heavily with straw, leaves, hay or any other suitable biodegradable material (fresh grass clippings not too thick!!!)
Put a stake in the main Wind direction and tie the tree to the stake.
Plant comfrey around the tree (optional)

The true service tree (sorbus domestica) will grow in almost any soil but it absolutely needs LIGHT!!!
It is very heliophile (sun-loving) and benefits from as much sunlight as possible.
It makes a very pretty, majestic solitary tree in fields for example.
 
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