Jef Vercammen

‘Q-Eline may have added value’

Jef Vercammen, Managing-director of the Proeftuin Pit- en Steenfruit (experimental garden for hard fruit/stone fruit), Sint-Truiden (Belgium)

“In the spring of 2007 we planted Conference trees grafted on Q-Eline in our experimental garden in order to compare them with Conference trees grafted on C quinces. The Q-Eline rootstock’s greater frost tolerance and better skin quality proved to be major advantages. In 2013, 80% of the Conference pears obtained on Q-Eline had smooth skins as opposed to only 30% of those produced on C quinces. The growth was also better: after the severe winter of 2012, 45% of the trees grafted on C quinces showed retarded growth whereas this was only 15% in the case of Q-Eline. On top of this the mineral composition of the pears from trees grafted on Q-Eline is on the whole better. The on average larger fruits are the result of lower production. This lower production and the associated greater vigour are two important aspects calling for attention. Providing a production level comparable with that of C quinces can ultimately be obtained, Q-Eline may absolutely have added value.”