Has anyone here grown a mature ungrafted M7 apple tree?

someguyinmaineMay 31, 2009

Has anyone here let an M7 rootstock grow into a tree of its own with nothing grafted onto it?

I've let branches grow and produce fruit below the graft union, but for some reason I've never actually let one grow to more than a few years old before grafting a cultivar onto it. Right now, I have a little less than 500 3-yr old M7's waiting to be budded, and I'm seriously considering leaving about 90 ungrafted. The fruit is pretty good, similar to Macintosh, and they're about as juicy, too, so I figure they'll make good cider. If not, they'll make good fodder for the cows, goats, and chickens. I write this for the naysayers, who might say that the fruit would have no commercial value. Well, apple cider, milk, eggs, and pastured meat definitely aren't worthless.

Anyway, if someone has grown an ungrafted M7 to maturity, what is your experience with it?

Our M7's are spaced at 9x15 ft. Will an ungrafted M7 spread 9 ft wide, or will there be a lot of wasted space between trees?

Is M7 a regular bearer, or does it have strong biennial tendencies? I'm thinking the latter, since it is a type 2 semispur.

Thanks for any replies.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alan haigh

There's something wrong here. I have read descriptions of the M7 tree and as I recall its fruit is reportedly worthless. I've learned not to lightly dismiss individual experiences but yours are a bit puzzling. When I have time I'll go to my book shelf and give you a description of fruit if someone else can't do that for you. Have you gotten the same fruit from more than one m7 rootstock?

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 10:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wouldn't be quick to write it off; We have a Bud. 9 tree that produces very nice sweet/tart red apples. The tree's redish leaves have the prettiest color in the fall, something we long for here in eternal green Southern California.

We have our M7 spaced at 8' and that's just about right for not having to summer prune.


    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 10:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Axel(12b/Sunset H2)

M7 (Merton 7) is actually an ancient French apple bred in 1688 called "reinette doucin", or "doucin vert". Contrary to what some us websites claim, M7 is not a descendant of this apple, it actually IS the doucin vert, at least the virus free version from the malling research station's de-virusing efforts (heat treatment.)

Doucin vert has been used as a rootstock for centuries, it's not exactly grown for its fruit. It's definitely NOT a McIntosh-like apple, that's really wishful thinking. See the picture below from the GRIN DB:

I recognize this apple from abandoned trees in some orchards around here. It's really just livestock fodder, not even cider grade because it's not very juicy. But then again, it was an abandoned tree, neglected and not watered, so the apples from the rootstock suckers were small and dry.

Now MM-111 is a bit closer to your description. It's a red McIntosh looking like apple, except that it's ribbed. And it's a pretty big apple too, looks juicy and tasty in the picture, but I've never tried it, it's most likely very close in taste to Northern Spy. MM-111 is derived from multiple crosses. The first one is Northern Spy X English Paradise, which was then crossed once more with Northern Spy.

See the image below:

So M7, forget it, graft them over to something decent unless you just want to feed your pigs, but MM-111, there you might have a better chance at a good cider and cooking apple.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 1:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alan haigh

Wow! Great work Axel. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 4:59AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Luisa plum
Hey guys I just ordered a luisa plum for next season...
apple and cherry tree bark peeling
Is this a concern? Thanks in advance. Dan
Dan Liptak
Table Grapes for the Southeast
It seems that most of my table grapes have not survived...
Growing Anything Under A Black Walnut Tree
Hi Gang.....maybe someone here has a solution or idea,...
Should i go ahead and put my newly grafted pear trees in the sun?
I did 4 cleft grafts last weekend and they have been...
Sponsored Products
Missoni Home | Oissel Pouf
Aviano Outdoor Chaise Lounge, Patio Furniture
Oxford Oval Vanity Mirror - Dark Oak
Signature Hardware
E22697 Edison 7-lt Pendant
LBC Lighting
Porto Satin Nickel One-Light Dome Pendant with Oak Glass
$301.50 | Bellacor
Nourison Area Rug: Modesto Cobblestone Beige 7' 10" x 10' 6"
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™