callery rootstock for z5 MI?

cousinfloydAugust 12, 2013

My mother-in-law lives in Michigan, and a neighbor of hers has a pair tree of which she'd like a clone. If I graft a scion from that tree onto the callery seedlings that grow wild here in North Caroilna, can I plant one of those seedlings in zone 5 Michigan just a little north of Lansing (in the middle of the lower peninsula) and will it be a good rootstock there? Is there a better rootstock to use there?

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alan haigh

From the book, I'd say not worth it. Betufolia would be risky enough.

She could bury the root stock as New England growers used to do with quince centuries ago. Add an airy mulch and it would probably work.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 6:06AM
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HM, when you say "bury the root stock," do you mean to go ahead and use a root stock not so suited to z5 but bury the graft so the root stock remains more protected underground? Would the scion grow its own roots in that case? Would those roots eventually form most of the roots of the tree? Could the tree be buried a little deeper or should dirt be mounded up above grade to cover the rootstock? Thanks!

What would I use for root stock if I wanted to just go by the book? Could I grow such root stocks inexpensively from seed? What would be the most economical way to buy such root stocks already big enough to graft?

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 12:43PM
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alan haigh

You could grow suitable rootstocks from pear seeds or purchase rootstocks from a reliable nursery- I don't know much about this part of it as I don't do my own bench grafts- In my nursery I start with grafted trees and add second varieties usually when I graft trees for sale.

In Tukey's classic book about dwarf fruit trees he mentions that quince was used by some growers in New England as early as the 16th century, I believe. They would bury the trees a few inches below the graft union- presumably trees would eventually root, but would have the precocity of a quince rooted pear. Once a tree starts fruiting- that in itself can be quite dwarfing.

I believe burying the rootstock could be stressful to a young tree, especially in heavy soils and I don't know the math of how deep it would need to be buried to get how much protection.

Yes, it is also helpful to mound up soil to pull back during the growing season. I protect roses that way and used to do the same with Betufolia rootstock here in the northeast until finding that I wasn't loosing trees with an exposed union.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 1:52PM
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