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Pear trees

Pear treesThe common pear of commerce is descended from the wild Pyrus communis of Europe and Asia. The trees of this species are usually pyramidal in shape. Von Mons, in Belgium, early in the nineteenth century, probably did more to improve the pear than any other person. He oribinated many of the standard kinds grown today. The Japanese or sand pear (Pyrus sinensis) is a, native of Asia. Its fruit is gritty, hard, austere, and of little importance commercially. However, it is very productive, healthy, and hardy to withstand wide extremes of temperature. The Kieffer, Le Conte, Garleer, and others have originated by combining the sand pear with the Pyrus communis.

Propagation: (a) Pears are propagated by crown grafting ira the field; (b) by root grafting in the house in winter on whole roots; (c) by budding in summer. The stocks commonly used for the pear are:
(a) Seedlings of the small, crabby pears, which are common in Europe and are known botanically as the Pyrus nivalis. These produce a large amount of, plump seed, and are vigorous and thrifty. Most of the stocks used in this country are imported from Europe, and trees worked on these gow into standard or large trees. The seedlings are not easily grown here, as they often blight in the seed bed.

(b) Quince roots (Cydonia vulgaris) are used as stocks for dwarf pear trees. These stocks are grown by mound layering the Angers quince , and are afterwards planted out and budded. The union formed is quite permanent, although it is often marked by a considerable swelling. Some varieties do poorly on the quince, while others are improved both in productiveness and in quality of fruit. If dwarf trees are planted deep they throw out roots above the union and become standards. Dwarf pears have the merit of fruiting very young and heavily, often when only three years from the bud. They require the new wood to be shortened each year if they are to be kept in compact form, otherwise they grow too rangy. About 12 feet is the proper planting distance.

(c) Thorns (Crataegus), mountain ash, and even shad bush (Amelanchier canadensis) have been used as stocks for the pear with fair results. It is quite common to use the mountain ash for this purpose in Sweden, where ordinary pear stalks are tender. The Japanese quince has also been tried, but does not form a permanent union.

(d) The Kieffer pear is sometimes used for pear stalks, and for this purpose it is generally grown from cuttings. Tts use is largely confined to the Southern States.

Pear soil - In the matter of soils the pear is recognized as a fruit which is not very discriminating. The ideal soil for dwarf and standard pears is a clay loam, with a porous clay subsoil. The dwarf pear requires a moister, stiffer soil than the standard to secure maximum results, although even dwarfs may be made to succeed on sandy soils by heavy manuring and high cultivation. Sandy soils with clay subsoil often prove very good for the standards. Many of the pear orchards on the eastern shore of Maryland and at least a portion of those in New Jersey are on this kind of soil.

For the Oriental pears the light, sandy peach soils may be considered the ideal ones. The Oriental pears will grow and thrive on almost any soil which is not too wet; but for the highest perfection in quality of fruit and smoothness and high color of the skin they should be grown on rather light, porous, well-drained soil, and on high or sloping locations, where the air drainage is good. In other words, the Oriental pears reach their greatest perfection in localities and sites where the peach succeeds well.