It’s grafting season! We spent Saturday converting Bradford pear trees to fruiting pears with the help of our friend Randall.
We ended up doing grafts on six different trees. The most outrageous specimen was this one:
15 varieties on one tree!
It’s going to be work trying to keep all the suckers from taking it over, but it’s totally worth it.
We recorded some video of our own but are waiting for the grafts to start growing in order to give a “before and after” look at how this worked.
In the woods on the other side of the pond were four different Bradford pear seedlings which we over-grafted with better varieties.
Bradford pear is reportedly a great rootstock for improved pear, among its other benefits.
Why not turn an invasive into food?
Randall believes that due to the size of the trees we cut down and top-worked, we should start getting fruit next year.
That’s much faster than if we went out and bought potted pear trees and planted them in the yard – and it really doesn’t take long to graft. Six trees in one Saturday, at a leisurely pace, while filming – no big deal!
If we were being more deliberate and less artistic about it, we could have easily done 20 or more trees.
Stay tuned to see how this all works out. I am really excited.
Can’t wait to see the results in a couple of weeks.
Labeling the grafts is very important, otherwise you wind up like me, with an apple tree full of mystery grafts that I had to wait until the grafts put out apples before I could figure out what survived.
After that adventure, I started using Aluminum tags
Such a cool idea–never thought about turning Bradfords into fruiting trees. Grafting for the win!
Question: why do my fruit trees keep dying and coming back from the roots? My moringa, Suriname cherries, pears, apples, most all die off in winter and come back from the roots in spring. I have 30ft tops to cut off my moringa every spring (that’s average growth per season). How do I get them to grow from the hardwood/trunk/existing branches? I’m zone 8b, North Florida. I’m growing varieties for my area. Feels like every spring it’s starting over with bareroot trees except the roots are several years old.
Part of the problem is that you are growing tropical plants in a freezing climate – they are not properly adapted to anything north of about zone 10. As for the pears and apples, that may be because the weather is going up and down. I had problems as well. If they are leafing out and a bad frost hits, they can really get trashed. It will take some time to learn which plants really like your climate.