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Apple Rootstocks

The roots and lower part of the stem of the tree, below the graft union,

are called the rootstock. Each rootstock has its own distinct

characteristics, including:

• degree of dwarfing
• precocity

• productivity
• hardiness
• anchorage
• disease resistance
• site and soil adaptability

There are a large number of rootstocks available. Depending on the characteristics for which they were chosen, there can be a wide variation in performance. Rootstocks have therefore been classified according to their potential vigour. In North America, the classification system has five categories:

• subdwarf
• dwarf
• semidwarf
• semivigorous
• vigorous

Some of the common rootstocks that are commercially used in this area are:


• M.26 - 10'-14' tall. Must be supported on a trellis or post system. Trees crop in 3 to 4 years. Susceptible to fireblight.

• M.9 - 8'-10' tall. Trees tend to lean and require support. Crops in three years. Moderately susceptible to fireblight.

• MM.111 - 16'-20' tall. Does not require support. Resistant to most diseases. Relatively slow to crop (5-7 years). Produces moderate amounts of root suckers and burrknots.
• MM.106 - 14'-16' tall. Unsupported, but will lean a little. Produces crop at 4-5 years. Susceptible to collar rot. Not recommended on poorly drained soil.
• M.7 - 16' - 18' tall. Must be supported with many varieties. Trees produce a crop in 4-6 years. Produces numerous root suckers.

• Seedling - 18'-22' tall. Unsupported. Slow to crop (7-8 years). Resistant to most diseases.

Other rootstocks are attracting attention, but these are still under evaluation. Some of the promising rootstocks include:
• Ottawa 3
• Budagovsky 9
• CG series (including CG.30)

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