Scionwood from ARS Geneva

bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)January 31, 2014

I've just received scionwood from Geneva for the first time. I'm really blown away by how nice it looks, how much they sent and that they shipped it to me for free. They sent two sticks of most of the 11 varieties, each 12-15" long. Most are decently thick, with some just over 3/8". One of the types had only smaller twigs, but it looks like they included a few extras of that one. I was happy enough with the Maple Valley scionwood this spring, but this is even nicer.

It is enough scionwood that I'm considering getting a few more rootstocks. I'll also see which ones my father may want to try grafting. If anyone in the area (Harvestman?) wants to try any of them, let me know.

4 from last summer's high-brix list
Peau d'Ane- 21.6 brix, french russet.
KAZ 96 08-13 (4049 .c)- 13.8-19, yellow early-mid apple. Grown from a seed brought back from Kazakhstan.
Wellington Bloomless- 18.2, no petals on flowers should look interesting.
Blahova Ruzena- 18.2, hard, from Czech

2 recommended by Stephen Hayes
Winston (Winter King)- 10.1, An apple SH has been planting more of, due to demand. Per his YouTube videos, it is a great keeper with good flavor and a strong crunch. A strong pollinator, it sets too many apples and needs lots of thinning. The low brix listed in ARS is interesting. I can't imagine a 10 brix apple being as tasty as SH describes it. I wonder if the tree sampled wasn't thinned enough.
Adams's Pearmain- 15.1-16.3, Another of Stephen Hayes' favorites, which he likes for its disease resistance.

5 interesting ones
Scugog- 12.7-15.3, dark red flesh. Maybe I'll try breeding this with a large sweet apple...
KAZ 96 03-11 (613954)- 11.2, very early, probably in late July or early Aug. Nice aromatic flavor. Scionwood collected in Kaz.
KAZ 96 07-07 (613958)- 10.1, another very early apple. This one is supposed to have the strangest flavor of any of the Kaz apples: hazelnut-banana.
Court Pendu Rose- 16.9, I'm not sure if it is any different from the Court Pendu Plat (which I planted this past spring), but I'll give it a try. "flavor sweet, rich, perfumed; harvest season very late; late flowering"
Reinette Jamin- 16.8, very large (4" wide) bright green apple. There was no comment about the apple, other than the data set listing it as "acid".

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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Wow, they look amazing. Very green and very thick. Let us know how they all take. How fun.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 2:50PM
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mes111(5b -Purling NY & 7b -Nassau County NY)

Very nice and good luck ....

How does one go about obtaining scion wood from Geneva?.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2014 at 3:20PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

If you go to the ARS site, you can search for cultivars you want. On the page which describes it, there will be a link which says "Request this germplasm", which adds it to your cart. Once you are done with your list, complete your order by providing shipping info and why you want it.

From other posts, I gather that they don't look kindly on home growers asking for commonly available varieties. So, it's probably not a good idea to ask for something like Gala, or even Ashmead's Kernel. As far as I know, none of the ones I asked for are commercially available, at least on this side of the Atlantic- I've seen several on UK sites.

In addition to the apple request (which went to Geneva), I also requested 5 types of pear from Corvallis (through the same site- it seems to auto-direct based on the request). I haven't received the pear scions yet, but there is still plenty of time.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 1:30AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

What pears did you order? Sounds like a great program to get some of these rare varieties out to the public.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 9:29AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I definitely agree Frank- it's one program I'm glad to have my taxes pay for.

I started out with one Scott has spoken highly of, Josephine de Malines. Other than that one, it was a bit harder to pick the pears than the apples. They don't list brix/soluble solids for pears and size. Instead, I had to depend more heavily on "Quality". I picked all 7's and 8's (except for Josephine, which gets a 5) and tried to spread out the ripening time.

I also picked ones which seemed to have some disease resistance and tried to avoid those which tested positive for virus. I noticed that some virus were pretty widespread, so I wasn't able to avoid "Positive on Passe Crassane virsus test"- I'll just segregate it on its own tree (and keep it away from my Passe Crassane...).

I also tried to find ones which are quince compatible, as I have some rootstocks from last spring, which are now established and I want to graft to. Regrettably, most didn't say, so I'll have to hedge my bets and graft to an established tree, as well as the rootstocks.

Here are the 5 I chose, from the notes I took during the selection process:

PI 392323 Ubileen gift- Ubileen Gift (PI 392323).-A large-fruited, early ripening pear from Bulgaria. Originated Institute for Fruit Growing, Kustendil, Bulgaria, by Vasil Georgiev in 1957. Released in 1984, introduced into the U.S. in 1974 (PI 392323). Clapp Favorite x Klementinka. Fruit: large to very large (about 230 g), pyriform, ripening in late July; skin yellow with red blush; flesh yellow, fine-textured, buttery, sweet, juicy, subacid, and aromatic; can be stored for 4 to 6 days at room temperature. Similar to Butirra Precoce Morettini in appearance and ripening season. Tree: large, vigorous, resistant to scab. -- Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties.

Quality 8. Virus- Ambiguous to Bosc, negative to 4 others. 1-3 fruitscab, 1 for leafscab, 1-3 mildew, 1-3 psuedomona, 1 for rust, 5 blistermites. Aromatic/sweet and buttery. 3 medium grit. First bloom 87-101. First ripe: 206-220, July 25- Aug 8.

PI 337445 Rous. of Stuttgart x Dr. Jules Guyot V- Scions received at the U.S. Plant Introduction Station from the All-Union Institute of Plant Industry, Leningrad in September, 1968.

Quality- 8. Seems pretty disease resistant (1 for leaf scab, fruit scab, rust, and pseudoma, 3 for blistermites). Few (2) small stone cells with fine (3) texture. Neg on all virus (5 tests). Aromatic, sweet, juicy and crisp. First bloom 83-97 (~90). Ripe 241-245 (late Aug, early Sep).

PI 541143 Beurre Fouqueray- Originated in France prior to 1885. Fruit medium to large size, obtuse pyriform, quite regular in shape and size. Skin smooth, quite free of blemishes, greenish-yellow in color, fairly attractive. Flesh somewhat coarse in texture, buttery, very juicy. Rich acidulous flavor but not equal to the best dessert quality. Midseason. Tree of average vigor, good orchard habits, clean dark-green foliage, productive. Moderately susceptible to fire blight. Semi-dwarf on quince. -- H. Hartman, Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station, 1957.

Quality 7. Positive on Passe Crassane virsus test. Negative on 3 others. Disease- 2 fruitscab, 5 pseudoma, 1 rust, 5 blistermites. No stone cells, sweet and juicy/buttery/crisp. Bloom 87-101, avg 93. Ripe 247-297 (Sep 4-Oct 24).

PI 541345 Mericourt- Mericourt (PI 541345). Originated in Clarksville, Tennessee, by Tennessee Agriculture Experiment Station. Introduced in 1966. Seckel x Late Faulkner. Late Faulkner is a chance seedling with fruit characteristics similar to those of Keiffer. Cross made in 1938; first fruited in 1947; tested as Tenn, 38S63. Fruit: 2 3/4 x 2 3/8 inches in diam.; short pyriform, necked; skin green or greenish-yellow, occasionally blushed with dark red, dull, waxy in texture, smooth; dots small and brownish; fles creamy-white, buttery, almost completely lacking in stone cells, abundantly juicy, flavor sprightly subacid, sweet, quality excellent; stem short, 3/4 inch long, moderately thick, well attached in deep, abrupt basin; basin cavity shallow, acute and medium-broad; core very small; calyx open and medium; ripens 25 Aug.-9 Sept. at Highland Rim Experiment Station., Springfield, Tennessee; recommended for fresh dessert and canning; when canned tends to soften at edges of slices. Tree: vigorous; hardy, withstanding temperatures from a low of -23F to 70s during month of January and -7F to above 75F during February; tolerant to fire blight and leaf spot. -- Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties.

A Seckel-Late Faulkner cross made in 1938 at the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station. A short, pyriform pear of medium size, green to greenish yellow skin blushed with dark red. the flesh is reported to be creamy white, buttery, with an excellent sweet, subacid, sprightly flavor. -- Robert Nitschke, Southmeadow Fruit Gardens Catalog, 1976.

Quality 7. Pretty good on disease (1 for fruitscab, leafscab, and rust, with 5 psuedomona and 1-3 blistermites. Aromatic/sweet and crisp/juicy. First bloom 87-100. Ripe 254-297, Sep 11- Oct 24 (at Corvalis). Low yield. All 3 virus tests negative.

PI 200378 Josephine de Malines- A famous very late winter pear. Small to medium, almost cone-shaped, pale green with juicy, buttery, tender, sweet flesh. A good cropper every year, this variety should not be picked until the leaves fall and must be brought to ripeness carefully or its flesh will remain granular and tasteless. Not ready to eat until after Christmas. Bunyard praised this pear almost too highly, saying, 'If one winter pear only can be grown this should be selected.' Of Belgian origin about 1830. -- Robert Nitschke, Southmeadow Fruit Gardens Catalog, 1976.

Raised about 1830 by Major Esperen at Malines, Belgium, and named after his wife. Fruit small, bergamot to short conical; skin smooth or slightly rough; flesh white tinged green, fine melting, sweet and moderately juicy. A good winter pear. Tree weak to moderate. Good resistance to pear scab. -- Jim Arbury, Pears, 1997.

Quality 5. Virus- positive Passe Crassane and Pyronia veitchii , with ambiguous for Malus micromalus. Fine/Course (5) and lots of "medium" stones (6). Sweet/Aromatic and Cruncy/Buttery/Crisp. First bloom 87-98. Ripe 295 (Oct 22).

Scottfsmith- Josephine des Malines - a great pear as usual, super juicy aromatic and best of all, reliable!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 12:57PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I've received the pear scionwood. It looks just as nice as the apple scions. The largest is over 3/8" caliper at one end and just over 2' long. The Beurre Fouqueray is the only one which looks a bit small- maybe it is just a weak grower.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 10:30PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Last year I ordered and received:

Calville Blanc d'Hiver
King of The Pippins
Belle de Boskoop

This year I ordered and received:

Montmorency Cherry
Pomme Grise Apple

They are awesome.
Within the next couple of years, I will be donating to their experimentation station.
A thankless job they do with this distributing work, but its much appreciated by those that have no other way of obtaining these genetics.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2014 at 11:55PM
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Bradybb WA-Zone8

I looked at these sites before and when reading that they are unable to send material to home gardeners,which is basically what I am,it turned me off to it.
But now I see people getting some things.I don't really want to lie about what the purpose is,but I guess I could tell them something along the lines of testing to see if or how well a cultivar grows in my particular area may suffice.How does that sound?What were your reasons? Thanks,Brady

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 2:15AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I told them that I was interested in grafting unusual varieties which are not offered by nurseries (the reason they don't offer it to home gardeners). Some of the varieties which Megamav ordered are a bit common, so they were pretty nice to send it anyway. I wholeheartedly agree that it is a worthy cause.

I remember reading a requirement that the results be shared (though I can't find the link now). So, one of the other things I mentioned is that I report on each cultivar in online forums (here...I even gave the URL of an example thread) and that I would be happy to send them the info as well.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2014 at 8:55AM
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megamav(5a - NY)

"For private grafting and observation"

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:15PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Do they send budwood? I think i read in the past that you can get it ...haven't looked lately.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:36PM
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alan haigh

I look forward to reports on the quality of the fruit- particularly apples. That will be worth the taxes I've contributed, for sure. I believe, however, that they really should charge a service fee to help cover expenses, if only to make sure the users value the service and don't order more than they are willing to pay for and take the time to stick to a tree. It's a lot easier to acquire wood than use it up.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 6:52AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

It's a lot easier to acquire wood than use it up.

They do ask that the receiver pay the shipping. I ordered strawberries last year and they sent the most beautiful plants, but the shipping was $75.00. They send next-day or second-day. I understand what you are saying but I sure hope they don't start charging. It's one of those things that I really appreciate about our government.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 11:31AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Maybe I should have made a special note to request only 1 stick instead of their standard 2. After the scions came in, I ordered an extra 10 rootstocks (G65, so I can fit them in a small area). That, along with 6 rootstocks from last spring (already planted) and top-working several existing trees ensures that I can use some of each variety. I'll shoot for having at least 2 grafts of each, as my success rate last year was just over 50% (hopefully I can beat that this year). But unless I have very bad luck with my grafts and do lots of re-grafts, I doubt that I'll finish both sticks of each type.

I wouldn't have a problem paying, as long as the price is similar to other scion sources ($2-3 per stick). It is certainly cheaper than buying more trees...

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 12:18PM
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