Apple Rootstocks in Zone 5

RadioMichaelFebruary 19, 2013

Hi all,

Was hoping you could help me out again. I'm going to be planting eight apple trees in my yard this year, and am confused about which rootstock to get. I'd like to see some fruiting in the second or third year, and want the final height to be no greater than 12'. I've read a lot about M9, M26, and Bud9, but wasn't sure about issues with fireblight, etc. What's everyone growing on in my neck of the woods (Connecticut) that might fit the bill?


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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I love M9 but it and M26 are not resistant to fire blight. In your area I'd be looking at the Geneva material linked below. I've grown the G16 but would like to try G41. It appears to have everything I'd need and would give a nice 8-12ft tree. But like I say M9 still works here despite severe woolly aphids.

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

This post was edited by fruitnut on Tue, Feb 19, 13 at 20:08

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 8:02PM
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Thanks for the info - where did you get your apples on the Geneva rootstocks? I've been looking at Grandpa's ... but it looks like they mostly have the M series.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:11PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Cummins has more than any other place I've checked. But many of these rootstocks like G41 are new and still in short supply.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cummins apples

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 10:43PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I haven't seen a big difference yet between G11 and G16. After 2 years, the largest are just over 9 feet. B9 has been a bit smaller, but still decent sized. I haven't gotten any G41 (I didn't see any until this year), but I did get a couple G65 last spring. They seem to be somewhere in between G16 and M27 (which is toy-sized). The interstems (G11/MM111), haven't seemed that different from G11/G16/B9, at least in the early going.

This winter, when I've had the choice, I've been tending to get B9, though I've gotten all of the above, in order to get the varieties I wanted.

CumminsNursery has the best selection of Geneva rootstocks.

I liked the trees Grandpa sent last fall and it looks like they have some B9's left.

ACN sometimes has Geneva rootstocks, but it looks like those are mostly gone at this point.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:07PM
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Thanks, I'm glad I asked before I bought all those M9s. Sadly, looks like I've already missed the boat for Geneva stock at Cummins and ACN. Hopefully upon googling, I'll be able to turn something up. Of course, suggestions are welcome. ;)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:54PM
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alan haigh

M26 would be my choice if Cornell varieties are unavailable. I've managed trees on this rootstock for years and in my somewhat warmer and more fireblight prone SE NY haven't been affected by fireblight with it more than any other malling rootstocks. Never lost a tree.

FB is probably a much bigger deal in commercial orchards where trees are pushed to the max and closely planted in huge numbers. Once FB gets going it can become epidemic in this setting.

I've never lost a single apple tree to fireblight of the thousands I manage in many many, small plantings. The one site I manage where it's become a problem is a small commercial orchard where some effort will have to be made this year to help control it- still no dead trees and the trees on M26 are no worse off than those on 111 or 7.

The orchard is planted too close with vigorous varieties and has required aggressive pruning to keep trees in bounds which may be contributing to the problem.

M9 is such a puny tree and so weak I wouldn't want to grow it at all if I wasn't severely short on space. Trees have to be coddled and can't get adequate water for themselves during even short periods of drought. But then, I don't prefer 26 either as I like fruit trees and not bushes. However trees on 26 are easier to manage than those on more vigorous rootstocks outside of the issue of irrigation. And heavy crops come quite early.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:05AM
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