The wild European pear Pyrus communis is a vigorous, hardy tree that if left to its own devices will get very large and be unsuitable for ‘back-yard’ gardening. All European pears grown in New Zealand are a variety of Pyrus communis however most have been grafted on to another form of Pyrus (Pear) rootstock for better disease resistance or on Cydonia oblonga (Quince) rootstock to control the size. These rootstocks are usually represented on the plant label by a series of letter or numbers or a combination of both.
Rootstocks determine the eventual size of the tree and how the tree responds to growing conditions. The rootstock begins at the bottom of the tree with; you guessed it, the roots and then grows to form the lower part of the tree, forming about 20cm of the main trunk. The scion i.e. variety of pear is then grafted or budded on to the rootstock and forms the rest of the tree determining what type of pear (Conference, Red Bartlett, Williams bon Chretien etc) that you will harvesting in summer-autumn. There is usually quite a distinctive line where the 2 are joined together in growing harmony. It is very important when planting your pear tree that this join is visible above ground. Any growth that appears below the join should be rubbed or cut off as soon as it appears.
The choice of rootstocks for pear trees is more limited than for other fruits and currently there are no fully dwarfing rootstocks available.
Good for warmer climates, adapts well to both sandy and wet soils. Vigorous and productive, overall good disease resistance and compatible with both European and Asian Pears
Quince A From East Malling Fruit Research Centre Sometimes called ‘Angers’
High tolerance to woolly aphid root lesion nematode and crown gall. Controls vigour, encourages fruiting at an earlier age.
Quince C From East Malling Fruit Research Centre
Very similar to Quince A but the tree will be slightly smaller. The tree may loose some of its vigour when the crop is ripening so adhere to good cultural practice at this time.
Quince BA29 From Beaucouze-Angers Fruit Breeding Station France
Low susceptibility to virus, vigorous and tolerant.
Wairere Nursery 826 Gordonton Road, R D 1, Hamilton Ph: (07) 824 3430 Email: Open 7 days 8:30am-5pm