The wild pear (Pyrus pyraster) is a small to medium-sized tree native to most countries in Europe. Trees occur in a scattered distribution pattern as single individuals or in small groups. The timber of wild pear is hard, fine-grained and highly suitable for woodwind instruments and fine furniture.
Wild pear is extremely light-demanding and has weak competitive abilities. As a result, the tree exists mostly at the edge of forests, in farmland hedges or on very extreme, marginal sites such as very dry or wet spots. Wild pear prefers fresh, calcareous soils but can grow on almost all soils, except the most acidic ones. Without competition by other tree species, wild pear would have a wide physiological range and optimum.
Malus sylvestris and Pyrus pyraster - Technical guidelines for genetic conservation and use for wild apple and pearPublication Year: 2003
The natural situation of these rare fruit tree species and their occurrence as single individuals or in small groups, restricts the possibilities for implementing in situ conservation strategies. For both species, the establishment of ex situ conservation seed orchards seems to be the most suitable and efficient conservation measure to undertake.
Natural regeneration should be supplemented by planting of seedlings originating from seed orchards. This method extends the genetic base of regeneration, which is important for future adaptability.
Grafting is not difficult and seed orchards can be relatively easily established. A minimum of 50 clones per seed orchard and region should be selected. New breeding populations can be restored when individual specimens, scattered over a large, but ecologically similar area, are collected and planted together in the seed orchard.
Genetic conservation of wild apple and wild pear
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