Stark's misleading tree sizes & their rootstocks
I inquired a few days ago to Stark Bros about their rootstock choices. I bought from them YEARS ago, back in the early/mid 90s. Their stock was always good but it seemed that "dwarf" trees weren't always so dwarf, and sometimes they embellished their variety descriptions. Still, they seemed to have decent customer service & the stock itself was good.
I see they're one of the few suppliers left out there of "Superior" plum, so I figured I'd see what they're growing on.
The list of rootstocks was rather interesting to say the least - this was in the .pdf the emailed me:
MAIL ORDER ROOTSTOCK
This is a list of the Ã¢ÂÂmost likelyÃ¢ÂÂ rootstock for the trees we sell.
Peach and Nectarine
Dwarf - Peach Redleaf (seedling)
Standard -- Lovell
Dwarf - M26 or M9
Semi Dwarf - M7 or B118
Standard - B118 or Domestic Apple
Dwarf - Old Home Farmingdale 333 or 513
Standard - Old Home Farmingdale 97, Bartlett Seedling or Bradford x Redspire
Dwarf - Too many possibilities to list
Standard - Pyrus Beutifola or OHF 97
Dwarf - M x M14
Semi Dwarf - Ponteleb Mahaleb
Standard - Prunus mazzard or Prunus Mahaleb
Dwarf - Marianna or Peach Redleaf (seedling)
Standard - Myrobalan, Marianna or Lovell
Wow. This is why they're so elusive...
The "Peach Redleaf" is an OK rootstock from what I have found (similar to the one ACN uses called "Tenn Nat" or something) but I'm not convinced it's really "dwarfing" per se. Lovell - fine of course.
For apples...using B118 for both Semi and Standard...well that's misleading.
Euro Pears - IIRC that's not bad...but I'm not convinced that OHF 333/513 are all that dwarfing.
Asian Pears "too many to list?" Nice copout.
Cherries...what the heck is M X M14? I'm surprised they're not using Gisela rootstocks yet. They also use Mahaleb for both Semi and Standard.
Marianna & Myro for Standard plums is fine. Lovell is OK too...also using Marianna for dwarf?
Bottom line - I'd probably order anything labeled "standard" except apples & maybe Pears from Stark's unless you want total surprises as to size.