Grafting – Onto Bradford Pear

Q: Would it be possible to graft another fruit tree (some type of cherry preferably) to a freshly cut Bradford pear stump? I have three eighteen-year old Bradfords in my side yard that I would like to replace.


A: To answer your grafting question in a single word — no.

Grafting can only be accomplished between plants that are closely related. Pear and cherry are both members of the Rosaceae family. However, pear is a member of the Maloideae sub-family while cherry belongs to the Prunoideae sub-family. They are not closely enough related to graft their wood together.

In mammalian terms, consider that apes and humans are both members of the Hominidae family but we are not so closely related that we can readily exchange body organs.

I recommend that you cut down the pears, dig out the stumps and replace them with trees better suited for the site. Consider flowering cherry, crabapple, amelanchier, flowering dogwood, Kousa dogwood, etc.

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