Gurney's Deluxe Rocket Root

cindythewackoMay 12, 2008

Is anyone familiar with the difference between Gurney's Rocket Root and Deluxe Rocket Root on their fruit trees?

I emailed the company for an explaination and wasn't given an adequate answer. Does anyone have experience with the two different types of root stock they offer?



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You were not given an adequate explanation because there is no adequate explantion. "Rocket Root" is pure marketing; a label dreamed up by the new owners of Gurney's, the Gardens Alive! Co. of Indiana. This enables the nursery to bump up the price by a few bucks, but has no meaning in the real world. Gurney's does not actually grow nursery stock any more, but purchases from contract growers and is more a shipping warehouse than a real nursery. They may try to maintain some quality standards, but in the final analysis they ship out whatever their contractors happen to supply them with.

However, there are some real rootstock issues you should focus on before ordering bareroot trees by mail. First, you should decide how large you want the final size of your trees to become, then select the full-dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstock that best fits your requirements. It would not hurt to do a little online research, punching in a term like "apple rootstocks" in your Googler so that you understand the difference between rootstocks such as M-9, M-27, M-7, and many others. Then you should order your trees from a nursery that is able to explain exactly which rootstock you will receive on your trees, with reliable advice on how it will behave. Gurney's does not normally supply this type of basic information.

It is possible that Stark Bros. will give you this type of info by phone or e-mail, but really professional nurseries such as Cummins in NY and Adams County in PA will always be able to do this.

Gurney's tries to create a difference in their "Rocket Roots" by suggesting that lots of roots is better than fewer in a bareroot tree. Fact is, many of the feeder roots on a bareroot tree are dead anyway and might as well be pruned off. A healthy tree will quickly grow in its own new roots if it is planted in a nicely worked-up hole.

Get right at it if you still want to plant this spring, since the window for shipping and planting bareroot trees is rapidly closing.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 12:20PM
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theaceofspades(7 Long Island)

Cindy, 'Rocket Root' is a larger root system than they typically supply on their bare root trees.(Yes, marketing talk)

With the Deluxe 'Rocket Root' you also get a small bag of organic fertilizer and a tree trunk guard.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 3:18PM
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Many people believe a big mop of roots is better in a bareroot tree, just as many also believe a tall, 6-foot tree is better than a 3-footer. Both of these impressions, as they relate to the vigor and future development of a bareroot tree, are wrong. A smaller tree with minimal, though adequate roots, will do just as well or better than a larger one.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 3:30PM
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Wacko Cindy:

I asked the same question regarding the "Deluxe Rocket Root" earlier this spring. The following is exactly what they sent me via email:

"Thank you for your email. The difference between a standard and
deluxe tree are as follows. The Deluxe tree will have the following
features, but the standard will not:

*Arrives ready to plant
*Proper planting instructions given on tag
*Root - pruned for your convenience
*Straight & Sturdy Trunks
*Comes with tree wrap
*Tape on trunk shows proper planting depth
*2 oz. of Quik-Cal Pelletized Calcium
*12 oz bag of Garden Solutions Fruit Tree Food Starter Formula
*Backyard Horticulture for Fun and Profit booklet

If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us.


Customer Service"

A side note: I got a bad feeling and ended up not ordering from them so I cannot comment on the actual product.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 2:31PM
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