This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Having a group of Pyrus japonica seedlings which I noticed to be unusually fruitful, some five or six years ago, I have kept the stock since that time, for the purpose of raising seedlings for hedge plants. The habit and vigor of growth of these plants suggested the idea of using them as stocks for budding with the Pear. I reasoned as follows: - This P. japonica is quite as nearly allied to the common Pear as is the Quince; indeed, it is rather classed as Pyrus than Cydonia. It is a more hardy variety than the Quince, being never injured in root or branch by the winter. It is vigorous and adapts itself to a great variety of soil, and is in this respect quite in contrast with the Quince stock. Lastly, it will be likely to dwarf the Pear, and induce fruitfulness quite as much as does the Quince. Reasoning thus, I made trial upon a few stocks during the last summer, which were planted with no reference to this purpose. The result was that the buds"took" with great readiness, and we now have young pears with luxuriant growth upon this stock.
My partner and I are so well pleased with the appearance and promise of this stock that we have planted out our whole crop of last year's seedlings, about 15,000, for the purpose of budding, this August.
We find the habit of growth of the seedlings to be clean and upright, quite the contrast with the plants usually propagated by root cuttings. The average height of the plants in the seed bed the first season was a foot and a half, although many attained to a height of nearly three feet, and would have taken a bud, the first year, from seed. Possibly this particular variety and its descendents may be more vigorous than the common type. However this may be, it is clear that such seedlings will"work" well. To my mind the prospect is decidedly encouraging that a new and valuable stock for dwarfing the Pear is here promised. But I am fully aware that the experiment is not yet tested to a conclusion. Yet it can be but a question of a comparatively short time before definite results will be obtained.