flowering crab suckers...?'s as rootstock

windfall_rob(vt4)November 12, 2012

There was a beautiful large flowering crab on the property when we moved in. Red flowers, small red fruit all winter, darkgreen leaves with a red/bronze cast....pretty "standard". we liked it , the birds loved it, I used it to park some scion from excellent feral trees that I had brought from another location.

the tree came down about 3-4 years ago in a windstorm. One rootsucker appeared the next spring about 15' away. same leaf color and "spiky" growth habit...lots of short thin almost thorn like growth. I grafted it over this spring and it seems to be doing well. Although it tried like crazy at first to sprout below the grafts until they finally got going...tons of small red adventitious buds. more so than any other work I have done.

Today I noticed another sucker has come up 15' in the other direction (30' from the first one), just a tiny 2' whip....again same leaf color. I suppose it could be a seedling. These are the only two sucker it tried to throw since coming down.

Anyway it has made me realize I know precious little about crabs. What rootstocks are used in their propagation or if they are commonly grown out from seed(seems unlikely for consistent nursery stock).

Assuming a rootstock...what gets used? Any insights into how it might effect culinary trees placed over it?

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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I'm not sure what rootstock gets used on crab, probably similar as in other apples.
Your previous tree looks like a seedling,.. there has to be allot of them come up from bird droppings, you can use them to graft any apples on you want, my apples in the orchard are most on crab seedlings.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:49PM
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Ornamental crabaples grown at nurseries usually are bud/graft onto MM111 rootstock. At least in my nursery experience for zone 5 areas.

For very cold areas, crabs are also propagated onto seed grown hardy crabapple rootstocks (seeds from dolgo, Red Splendor or any other zone 4 crab).

And finally, some are grafted to M. baccata, M. ranetka, M.
prunifolia or 'Antonovka' rootstock.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:10AM
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thanks guys,

I don't believe this to be MM111. As I believe that has normal colored foliage.
Given it's location I am sure it was not a feral seedling but a purchased tree. Which makes it seem likely that is was some type of seed grown crab for the rootstock.

A quick search of the other cultivars mentioned (baccata, ranetka, ect...) again seems to show trees with more "normal" coloration of green. These leaves are slightly more heart shaped/pointed than most apple, very dark green base color with a noticeable red/maroon cast. I have seen this leaf type on other red and pink flowering crabs.

It doesn't really matter of course. They are there and I will use them...just got me wondering.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:18PM
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