best dwarf root stock for grafting in zone 7a?

BHMCLANEFebruary 22, 2013


I am new and trying to get off on the right foot before starting some ambitious plans here. I intend to plant 9-12 dwarf fruit trees and bushes as that is all i can fit

step one was identifying what will grow easiest in my zone. (lets leave lemons for later ;) If I accept Mr Smiths opinion, he gives in "ScottâÂÂs Guide To Easy Tree Fruits for Baltimore " .pdf then I will be looking for :

Asian persimmon
Paw Paw
Asian Pear
Euro Pear

he lists others but is what I am interested in.

Outside of the easier stuff is apples/quince/medlar family and the peach/plum family.

My questions begin at step 2 here...

Dont we need to get the variety we choose on a rootstock appropriate for our zone (in this case zone 7a)? Unfortunately he does not mention what stock is preferred for ANY variety. Nor is the author a fan of multigrafting...

So then once we have found our hardy dwarfing roots stocks we would want to pick the one that will accept the most varieties via grafting. that is my current mission to find if anyone can tell me.

The spawing question is:

If i am able to find an apple root stock that is dwarfing, pest and disease resistant, and able to accept a few varieties as grafted scion then I would have a tree with 4 diff apples, lets say...So even tho the root stock is not compatable with any more than the 4 we found, can we continue to graft other compatable varieties on the 4 original grafted branches.?

I will begin year one by planting my choice variety on this prefered root stock and will spend years achiving my goals, but I hope starting right with some science will avoid the disappointment other may have experinced.

Thanks for opinions both positive and negative!

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I think figs and pomegranates are normally rooted (not grafted), so there wouldn't be any separate rootstock with them. Pawpaws and jujubes would normally be grafted, but I don't think there are any rootstock choices for them either (just their respective seedlings). There are rootstock options with persimmons, but I've never heard of any of them having any more of a dwarfing effect than another. Some varieties of persimmons are smaller than others, though. The majority of the Asian persimmon varieties available in the US would be dwarf size no matter what the rootstock. Apples and pears would be the only things you mentioned where dwarfing rootstocks would come into play. You may, however, want to choose better anchored more disease-resistant rootstocks and rely on more aggressive (esp. summer) pruning to keep your trees to a size your space will allow. I know very little about pear and apple rootstock differences, so I can't make any particular recommendations for you.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 3:24PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

You can graft as many apples as you want on one tree. I've heard of 50 or 100. But be aware that there can be a downside, virus infection. This might not ever hit you but could. If one scion has a virus then you have infected everything on that tree.

Why not just buy trees on dwarf rootstocks and forget making your own multigrafts? With summer pruning apples can be kept pretty small on the M9 and smaller roots. Making your own multigrafts will delay fruiting by years.

Here is a link that might be useful: Comparison chart Geneva apple roots

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 3:28PM
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