Gardeners are often faced with the need to plant a pear. In some cases, this method of vegetative propagation can become a full-fledged replacement for the traditional planting of seedlings. In addition, grafting is often the only way to save a tree in case of death or damage.
Why are fruit trees grafted?
Vaccination is not a mandatory activity in the year-round pear care cycle. However, knowledge of the goals and objectives of this procedure, as well as the basics and methods of its implementation, can significantly expand the horizons of the gardener, improve his understanding of metabolic and restorative processes taking place inside the tree.
In addition, vaccination allows the following:
- Propagate the variety you like.
- To improve the characteristics of the plant, its winter hardiness, resistance to unfavorable natural factors.
- Diversify the species composition of the garden without resorting to planting new trees.
- Stretch or change the harvest time by grafting varieties with different ripening periods.
- Save space in the garden.
- Transform a wild game into a varietal tree.
- Change the taste characteristics of the fruit.
- Save the variety in case of death or damage to the tree.
Trees are also grafted for research purposes to develop new varieties.
When can a pear be grafted
Theoretically, you can graft a pear at any time, since the life processes of a tree proceed all year round. However, practice shows that this procedure may not always be successful. In autumn and winter, the tree's recovery processes are very weak, so the probability that the scion will take root is practically zero. Therefore, a more favorable time is chosen for vaccination, namely spring and summer.
Pear grafting in spring
Spring grafting of pears is usually the most successful. Subject to the terms and rules, it guarantees the survival rate close to 100%. The best time for pear grafting is the period before bud break, that is, before the start of active sap flow. And also an important condition is the absence of return frosts and night temperature drops to negative values. In the southern regions, this time occurs in March, and in more northern regions - in early or mid-April.
Pear grafting in spring for beginners - on video:
Summer pear grafting
In addition to springtime, you can plant a pear in summer. The most suitable time for this is July. To protect the scion from direct sunlight, the grafting site must be shaded, otherwise the cutting may simply dry out. Pear grafting can be carried out at a later time, for example, in August, but the likelihood of successful survival in this case is much lower.
Instructions for beginners about pear grafting in summer:
Autumn pear grafting
In autumn, the processes in the trunk and branches of trees are greatly slowed down. The main part of the nutrients remains in the roots and is not directed to the growth of the crown, as the plant prepares for winter. It is impractical to vaccinate pears in the fall at any time, since it is most likely to be unsuccessful. The rapidly changing weather conditions at this time of the year do not contribute to the survival rate of the scion.
Winter pear grafting
Winter grafting can be successful only in those regions where the calendar winter does not last long and is rarely accompanied by severe frosts. Suitable conditions for carrying out vaccinations in such an area may already come at the end of February. However, in most of our country, winter vaccinations are not carried out. The only exceptions are trees grown indoors. They can be vaccinated in January-February.
What tree can a pear be grafted on
As a rule, most vaccinations are done within one species, for example, a varietal pear is grafted on a wild game. Less commonly, interspecific grafting is used, when one seed crop is grafted onto another, for example, a pear on an apple tree. The resulting plants, as a rule, differ significantly in their performance from both the rootstock and the scion. However, not all species can be inoculated with each other, and a positive result is not always guaranteed.
Intergeneric vaccinations are the least frequent because they are the most difficult. Even if such grafting is successful and fusion has occurred, the further development of the tree may turn out to be unpredictable due to the different growth rates of the rootstock and scion. However, experiments in this area are carried out constantly and the statistics of the results are regularly updated.
From all of the above, we can conclude that another pear will be the best stock for a pear. However, there are a few more crops that can be used as a rootstock. The following trees can be used for grafting pears:
- chokeberry (chokeberry);
- apple tree;
- mountain ash.
What happens if you plant a pear on an apple tree
Both species are seed crops, so an attempt to plant a pear on an apple tree in spring may well be successful. However, the rootstock and the scion are not always fully compatible. In this case, even with the initial accretion, the cutting may be later rejected. In some cases, the vaccination site can grow larger. They solve this problem in several ways. For example, re-grafting of an already spliced cutting in a year. The shoot grown on the rootstock during this time will have much greater compatibility.
You can also increase the likelihood of successful vaccination by using the so-called intercalary insert. In this case, another link is added between the rootstock and the scion - a cutting that has good rates of adhesion with both the first and the second tree.
How to plant a pear on a mountain ash
Grafting a pear on an ordinary mountain ash allows you to grow an orchard even in places that are not intended for this, for example, in swampy areas. The pear will not grow there, but the mountain ash feels quite good in such conditions. Such an inoculation is done in the spring, and it is very important that the scion stalk is in a dormant state, and the growing season has already begun on the rootstock. To achieve this difference, you need to keep the pear cuttings in the refrigerator for a while. In the same way, you can graft a pear on chokeberry - chokeberry.
It must be remembered that the rate of growth of the trunk of a mountain ash is less than that of a pear. Therefore, after 5-6 years, the tree may simply break under its own weight due to the too thin trunk at the base. The problem is solved by tying the seedling to a reliable support or by ablating - lateral splicing of several (usually 3) rowan seedlings used as a rootstock.
How to plant a dwarf pear on a tall one
Dwarf pear species do not exist in their pure form. To reduce the height of the future tree, low-growing rootstocks are used: in the south it is a quince, in the northern regions - a cotoneaster much more resistant to frost. Vigorous rootstocks are usually obtained from wild pear seedlings. They are grafted with cultivars. Such trees are up to 15 m high and actively bear fruit for up to 100 years.
How to plant a pear on an irga
Pear grafting on irga is possible. The resulting trees are distinguished by compact crown sizes (3-3.5 m) and amicable fruiting. It is also important that their frost resistance significantly increases. Pears grafted on irga enter fruiting very early. Already in the second year after grafting, the ripening of the first crop can be expected.
Pear grafting on irgu has its own characteristics. The stem of the stock cannot be cut directly at the site of inoculation; it is imperative to leave a stump with 2-3 branches. These shoots, developing in parallel with the scion, will provide normal forward and reverse flow of nutrients along the tree trunk. In this case, scion rejection and death, as a rule, does not occur. After 3-4 years, when the process is normalized, the left stumps can be removed.
Irga trunks live for about 25 years. In addition, over time, the difference in the thickness of the rootstock and the scion reaches a significant value. Therefore, for normal growth and development, it is recommended to re-graft the pear onto new trunks at least after 15 years.
What is the columnar pear grafted on?
Columnar trees are gaining in popularity due to their compact size and decorative shape. As a rootstock for a columnar pear, you can use quince, irga or wild pear. Quince is considered the most suitable stock for dwarf plants, but its winter hardiness leaves much to be desired. And such a plant will grow well only on light fertile soils, which are quite rare in ordinary gardens.
When used as a wild pear rootstock, the plants are more powerful and unpretentious, with a good margin of frost resistance. However, pears on such a rootstock begin to bear fruit much later, 5-7 years after planting, while those grafted onto quince give the first harvest 2-3 years after grafting.
A feature of the columnar pears grafted into the wild is the tendency to thicken the crown. Such trees must be regularly thinned out, as well as the lateral shoots should be cut, otherwise very soon the pear will cease to be columnar and turn into a dense lump of intertwined shoots.
Pear grafting on hawthorn
Hawthorn is a very common rootstock for grafting many fruit crops. It is winter-hardy and unpretentious. It is possible to graft a pear on a hawthorn, and with a high degree of probability the vaccination will be successful. Such a tree will quickly begin to bear fruit, and the harvest will be plentiful, larger and tastier.
However, such vaccinations are short-lived and usually live no more than 8 years. Therefore, it is recommended to vaccinate 2-3 new shoots annually in order to constantly replace dying shoots.
Wild pear grafting
Grafting of wild pears with varietal cuttings is very widely used. This symbiosis is ideal for compatibility. Wild pear seedlings have good frost resistance, they are unpretentious, develop a powerful root system. However, it must be remembered that a pear gives a powerful taproot, which can be buried 2 m or more into the ground. Therefore, the groundwater level at the site of the future planting should be no higher than 2-2.5 m.
You can plant an old wild pear directly into the crown. If it has a significant size, then it is recommended to inoculate the cultivar in this way. With the help of this procedure, over time, all skeletal branches can be replaced with varietal ones, and all of them may well be of different varieties.
Pear grafting on quince
Planting a pear on a quince is quite simple. Most dwarf pear varieties have just such a rootstock. The tree grows short and compact, so it is very convenient to work with its crown. The yield of pear grafted on quince is quite high. Its biggest drawback is poor frost resistance. A pear on a quince rootstock cannot withstand a drop in temperature below -7 ° C, therefore it is planted only in the southern regions of the country.
Selection and preparation of rootstock and scion
Autumn is the best time to harvest cuttings. Quite often they are cut during pear pruning, saving time. Harvesting is done with a margin, taking into account the fact that some of the grafting material may not survive the winter.
The choice and preparation of the stock depends on its thickness and the method of the operation. The most commonly used pear grafting methods are:
- budding (inoculation with a sleeping or awakening eye);
- copulation (simple and improved);
- into cleavage;
- in the side cut;
- for the bark.
What material to prepare for grafting pears
After leaf fall, annual shoots are cut, cutting them into pieces 10-15 cm long. Their thickness should be within 5-6 mm. Each stalk should contain 3-4 healthy, well-developed buds, with the top cut going directly over the bud.
Important! For cutting cuttings, do not use the tip of the shoot and its lower part.
Chopped cuttings are tied into bunches. Store them in a container with wet sand or sawdust at a temperature of about + 2 ° C. If there is no cellar that maintains such a temperature, you can store the cuttings in the refrigerator by wrapping them in a damp cloth and packing them in a plastic bag.
How to plant a pear correctly
Vaccination is a rather complicated procedure, and it must be carried out as carefully as possible. To get vaccinated, you will need the following tools and supplies:
- copulating knife;
- budding knife;
- gardening scissors;
- strapping material;
- garden var.
The entire cutting tool needs to be sharpened perfectly, as smooth cuts heal much faster and better. In order not to infect, the knives must be sterilized or disinfected with any alcohol-containing liquid.
Pear grafting with kidney (budding)
Budding is a very common method of vaccination. Only one bud, a peephole, as gardeners often call it, serves as a grafting material (scion). Hence the name of the method - budding (from the Latin oculus - eyes). If the grafting is done with a kidney taken from an autumn cuttings of last year, then it will start to grow and sprout in the same year. This method is called bud budding. If the pear is grafted in the summer, then the kidney is taken from fresh cuttings of the current year. It will overwinter and germinate only the next year, therefore this method is called sleeping eye budding.
Budding can be done in two ways:
- into a T-shaped cut.
When budding in the butt, a rectangular section of the bark is cut out on the rootstock - a shield, which is replaced by a shield of exactly the same size with a scion bud. Having achieved the maximum alignment of the cambium layers, the shield is fixed with a special tape.
Important! When fixing the shield, the kidney must remain open.
The second method of budding is done as follows. A T-shaped bark incision is made on the bark of the stock. The lateral sides of the bark are folded back, bringing the scion shield with the bud behind them. Then tape is wrapped around the graft site, while the kidney remains open.
As a rule, the results of the vaccination become clear after 2 weeks. If the kidney starts growing confidently, then everything is done correctly. If germination is not observed, and the bud itself has turned black and withered, it means that invaluable experience has been obtained and next time everything will definitely work out.
Pear grafting into cleavage
Splitting grafting is used if the thickness of the rootstock significantly exceeds the thickness of the scion cuttings. This situation can arise, for example, when the crown of a tree is badly damaged, but the root system is in good condition. In this case, the damaged tree is cut down, and several cuttings are grafted onto the stump (usually 2 or 4, depending on the thickness of the stump).
Before grafting, the stock is split in half or cross. Scion cuttings are inserted into the split, the lower part of which is sharpened with a sharp wedge. Having achieved the connection of the outer layers of the cambium, the cuttings are fixed with tape, and the open cut is covered with garden varnish or oil paint on a natural basis.
The pear grafting for the bark can be used in the same cases as the split grafting. It is done in the following way. A stump or even cut of the stock is cleaned with a knife, removing all surface irregularities. On its bark, even cuts are made about 4 cm long.The lower part of the cutting is cut with an oblique cut so that its length is 3-4 cm.
The graft is inserted behind the bark at the cut points in such a way that the cut is directed inside the tree and protrudes 1-2 mm beyond the cut surface. The vaccination site is fixed with tape, and the open areas are smeared.
Copulation is a fairly common grafting method used in the case of a slight difference in rootstock and scion in thickness. In this case, the upper part of the rootstock and the lower part of the cutting are cut with an oblique cut, the length of which should be approximately 3 times its diameter. After that, they are combined with each other, achieving the maximum coincidence of the cambium layers. Then the pear grafting site is fixed with tape.
The improved copulation method can increase the likelihood of a positive result. In this case, the oblique cut is not made straight, but zigzag. This fixes the shoot much more densely, and also increases the contact boundaries of the cambium layers.
Currently, there are tools to achieve almost perfect contact of the cambium layers. This is the so-called grafting secateurs. With its help, the cutting and rootstock are cut, while the shape of the cut perfectly matches.
However, such tools have a number of significant drawbacks. They are applicable only on shoots of a certain thickness; moreover, the rootstock and the scion should be practically the same in diameter. An important factor is their high price.
Ablactation, or rapprochement grafting, is rarely used for pears. It is most often used to create hedges or to inoculate poorly rooted grape varieties. However, this method will work for a pear as well. Its essence lies in the fact that two shoots growing in constant direct contact with each other grow together over time into one.
This process can be accelerated by cutting off the shields of the same shape from both shoots and fixing them. After about 2-3 months, the shoots will grow together at the point of contact.
By the bridge
The bridge is one of the types of inoculation used in an emergency, for example, in case of annular lesions of the bark by rodents. In this case, it is necessary to use pre-prepared cuttings, which will be a kind of bridge between the root system and the crown of the tree. Make a bridge as follows. Above and below the damaged area, mirror T-shaped incisions are made on the bark. In them, obliquely cut cuttings are started, as much as possible, achieving the most accurate alignment of the cambium layers. Their length should be slightly more than the distance between the cuts, the stalk after installation should be slightly curved.
The number of bridges depends on the thickness of the damaged tree. For a young seedling, one is enough, for an adult tree, you can put both 6 and 8 bridges. After installation, they need to be fixed with tape or nailed down with thin nails. All damaged areas must be covered with garden pitch or other material.
Important! All bridging cuttings should be in the direction of natural growth.
General rules for the performance of work
Vaccination is akin to a surgical operation, so its result directly depends on accuracy. All cuts must be done evenly and clearly. The tool must be perfectly sharpened and sterilized. It must be remembered that there are no exact established dates for vaccinations, all work must be carried out based on weather conditions and your experience.
2 weeks after the vaccination, you can evaluate its success. If the vaccination site did not turn black, the kidneys swelled and started to grow, then all the efforts were not in vain. If the result is negative, the vaccine can be repeated in another way at another suitable time. It is also worth checking if the rootstock and scion are compatible.
After a successful vaccination, it is necessary to observe the growth of the shoot. Too rapid growth is useless, it is advisable to slow it down by pinching the top. In this case, the tree will spend more energy on healing the graft site, and not on forcing the shoot. All overgrowth below the vaccination site must be removed for the same purpose.
After about 3 months, the bandages can be loosened. They can be completely removed in a year, when the tree overwinters and it will be possible to admit with full confidence that the graft has taken root.
Experienced gardening tips
To avoid unnecessary mistakes, it is recommended to follow the following rules when carrying out vaccination:
- Before grafting, make sure that the rootstock and the scion are compatible, including the timing of fruit ripening. Grafting a late pear for a summer one can lead to the fact that the harvest simply will not have time to ripen due to the early departure of the tree into hibernation.
- All work should be performed only on time, with high-quality and clean tools.
- The rootstock and scion must be completely healthy so that the plant does not waste energy on recovery.
- If you plan to use a newly planted tree as a rootstock, you must first give it the opportunity to grow its own full-fledged root system. Therefore, it is possible to inoculate something on it only after 2-3 years.
- Do not plant several different varieties at once. The tree gets used to one faster.
- At least one branch of its own must remain on the grafted pear. If it is not varietal, then its growth can be slowed down by a constriction.
- It is better to use trees older than 3 and younger than 10 years old as a rootstock. It will be much more difficult to plant something on an old pear.
The success of the vaccination is highly dependent on experience. Therefore, it is better for novice gardeners to carry out this operation for the first time under the guidance of a more experienced friend.
It is not difficult to plant a pear if all recommendations are followed. This tree has a good survival rate and does well on many rootstocks. Therefore, this opportunity must be used for the species diversity of the garden.