Pear trees on their own roots are tested in comparison to grafted trees in growth and yield\ud characteristics and with special regard to the tolerance to diseases, above all fire blight\ud (Erwinia amylovora). In spring 2004 15 randomized trees of the cultivar 'Williams' from\ud three variants (self rooted in vitro, self rooted long cuttings, grafted on Quince A) were\ud planted in a pear orchard, which was heavily infected with fire blight (Erwinia amylovora)\ud the previous years. The trees were left untreated. Growth and yield characteristics, plant\ud diseases and tree losses were observed. After four years the in vitro self rooted trees were\ud significantly more vigorous in growth than those grafted on quince A. The self rooted long\ud cuttings were comparable in growth with grafts on quince, but showed high tree losses\ud probably due to frost damages in the first winter one year after planting. However no\ud infections with Erwinia amylovora could be observed so far. In a field trial with more\ud cultivars and rootstock variants planted in 2006 at two organically managed sites more\ud significant effects are expected in the next years
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