Grafted Pear Trees
There may not be any pear trees for deer out there that are more dependable, as easy to grow, or more attractive to a whitetail deer! Pear trees are one of the easiest trees to grow and virtually maintenance free. This led me on my search for late dropping deer pears that will drop when you want them to November/December, during hunting season!
These grafted pear trees, on either root stock, will be 4’ – 6’ in height and around ½’’ in diameter.
OHxF 97 Rootstock
This is a cloned “semi dwarf” rootstock that produces a tree about 75% to 95% the size of a standard with a mature height of 20′. OHxF 97 produces a tree that is vigorous, productive, and resistant to fireblight and pear decline. It is cold hardy from zones 4-8. It is widely preferred as a deer pear rootstock across the midwest. This rootstock is very adaptable to a range of soil fertility and pH. However, it does best in moist, well drained soil. It is less tolerant of very dry and very wet soils (for these locations try the standard rootstock).
Standard 100% Rootstock
A vigorous, standard-sized rootstock (20-30 feet high) that is adaptable to acidic soils, poor soil conditions and fertility. Produces a strong well anchored tree, that performs well in heavy soils and is very tolerant of dry and wetter soil. As a result, it will be good for more marginal areas like wooded food plots, reclaimed land, shale mountain soil, dryer uplands and ridges as well as tolerating more moist soils. I am only selecting the most vigorous standard rootstock to graft onto. Due to the increased vigor, the trees grafted onto this rootstock will run slightly bigger. This rootstock is cold hardy zones 5 – 8.
Click for full view chart
Most of these varieties offered for sale by Blue Hill Wildlife Nursery were found by myself when I began my search over 6 years ago for late dropping pears for hunting purposes. The vast majority of pears being planted for wildlife that are sold commercially today don’t carry fruit much past early November here in Pennsylvania. I wasn’t satisfied with just finding a “late dropping pear” ……I wanted a pear that attracted deer, had a great taste, was very productive and vigorous, showed strong resistance to fire blight, and had drop times when I wanted pears hitting the ground. To accomplish my goals for these pear trees, I found and observed several thousand wild pear trees from Central PA to Western NY during the last 6 years. I wanted pear trees that were from up North for several reasons. They would be cold hardy being from my local climate, chill hours are correct, my drop times would be spot on, and most importantly I could have the pears that the deer were most attracted to because I watched how they utilized each tree! Exhausting I know!
After watching these pear trees for years and observing how the deer utilized each of these trees, I began propagating the best ones that I wanted for my properties. My original plan was that these pears would be MY ADVANTAGE…..for the deer on my properties!! I never planned on making these trees for sale to the general public. When everyone else’s backyard orchards go bare in early November, I wanted to have an abundance of great tasting pears starting to hit the ground. The attraction is like having a standing corn or bean field in the middle of winter! This sounds like a sales pitch but it’s not it’s the truth I began planting food plots 20 some years ago and trees soon there after for none other that the purpose to attract and feed the deer I had on my properties.
As I have slowly brought all these pear varieties into a single location over the years on my hunting properties that are scattered from Central PA to Western NY, the results have been amazing when bringing such desirable pears from all over into one central location! These trees are all grafted to give you the exact description you see because these are genetically identical to all the original trees I have found. This is accomplished through grafting, accentually placing a cutting from the original tree onto the new rootstock. Doing this gives many advantages besides be able to tell you exactly when fruit will fall, what it will taste like, how heavy the tree will produce, disease tolerances and a big one early fruit production many of these trees are all fruiting on 1 year old wood and will be producing in as little as 2 to 4 years after planting. Depending on your growing condition and care. I have chosen various rootstock for specific reason and application. You will have the option of choosing which rootstock you would like as all pear trees will be around a ½’’ in diameter and 4’ to 6’ in height. Trees this size with a little care will producing in there 3rd leaf.