Search for a more dwarfing rootstock for 'Conference'
For most fruit growers, the ideal tree is a tree that does not grow too vigorously, demands little labour and delivers yearly a qualitative and consistently high yield. In order to achieve this, cultivars are grafted onto a rootstock. For Belgian pear culture, this is mostly Quince C or Quince Adams, two rootstocks with moderate vigour. These two rootstocks are satisfactory in most cases, particularly where trees with less vigour are needed. In autumn 2000, 'Conference' on Pyrodwarf was planted and in spring 2005 on Pigwa and S1. The most important disadvantage of these rootstocks is the excessive vigour, making them achieve production 1 to 2 years later than Quince C or Quince Adams. In spring 2006, a new trial was planted with Quince H and C132. So far, the vigour of both rootstocks has been similar to Quince C. Moreover, they showed less frost damage in winter 2009. As far as production is concerned, Quince H remained inferior in the first years. C132, on the other hand, obtained a comparable yield as Quince Adams after 8 production years. In most years, fruit size of Quince H and C132 was better than on Quince C or Quince Adams. The first experiences with Quince Eline are positive, as a smoother skin (less russeting) was achieved for 'Conference'. Moreover, the trees on Quince C were more affected by the winter frost of 2012. However, in recent years, we have observed a greater variation in yield and vigour on the Quince Eline grafted trees. After 7 production years, yield was 22 kg tree-1 less on Quince Eline. In summary, more experience with this rootstock is needed before it can be proposed as an alternative to Quince C or Quince Adams.
Vercammen, J., Gomand, A., Siongers, V. and Bylemans, D. (2018). Search for a more dwarfing rootstock for 'Conference'. Acta Hortic. 1228, 215-222
Pyrodwarf, Pigwa, S1, Quince Eline, frost damage