In response to customer feedback, we have expanded our menu of rootstock options. Availabilty may vary from year to year, so please check with us for current choices.
STANDARD: 25 foot spacing
Domestic apple seedling - Most popular rootstock for full-size, long-lived trees
Antanovka apple seedling - Extra cold-hardiness for severe winter bio-regions. Because it may induce earlier budbreak, we do not recommend it for more temperate climates, especially where late frost is a concern.
SEMI-DWARF: 16 foot spacing
MM111 - This has proven itself the most widely adapted and reliable clonal apple rootstock. Too vigorous for some situations, it approaches the standard seedling types for health, longevity, and overall toughness. An excellent choice for benchgrafts.
BUD 118 (Budagowski) - We will stock a limited number of these; especially useful for colder winter climates, but also gaining in popularity on the West Coast. Comes into fruit earlier than MM111.
DWARF: 10 foot spacing
MARK - A very productive, early bearing rootstock clone that is more tolerant of heavier, wetter soils than most. MARK appreciates regular irrigation and may not thrive in sandy, droughty soil conditions. It may usually be grown without staking. Feedback from our customers indicates that trees on MARK are at risk where high fireblight conditions prevail. We have offered grafts on MARK for many years - but availability is becoming increasingly sporadic. Please check on supplies before ordering.
M26 - We propagate a limited number of trees on this rootstock to accomodate customers with light, sandy soil. It will require staking. M26 may not be the best choice under fireblight conditions.
BUD 9 (Budagowski) - Now considered one of the best of the "9" class. Cold -hardy, healthy, and adapted to a wide range of soils. Bud 9 is precocious, but may need staking. Trees are a bit more dwarf than MARK or M26.
Other rootstock choices may be available to our customers in multiples of 50 trees. For a more thorough discussion of rootstocks, please refer to The Handbook for Fruit Explorers by Ram Fishman . Though currently out-of-print, it can still be purchased from used book dealers for a reasonable price.
In Praise of Standards
In the past few decades there has been a radical shift in the way fruit trees are grown. The old-fashioned orchard of large spreading trees is rapidly being replaced by densely planted, intensively managed rows on dwarfing rootstock. Dwarf trees, once the reliance of the home orchardist are becoming the backbone of the commercial industy. Agribusiness has begun to treat fruit trees like row crops - short term investments that yield maximum profits. We foresee a time when the grand old standards will become isolated relics of a less cost-efficient past.
This, we feel, would be a shame, and not just on sentimental or aesthetic grounds. Our years of fruit exploring in old homestead orchards have taught us to respect these venerable giants for their ability to endure. They have stood up to drought and storm, deer and porcupine, grasshoppers and borers. Though no human may come to harvest their fruit, these old standards continue to produce crops against a multitude of odds. Grafted on seedling rootstock, they partake of a health and vigor inherent in sexual reproduction.
It is our contention that these standard-sized trees still deserve a place of honor in the future orchard. It is these magnificently inconvenient specimens that are most likely to bear fruit for our great-grandchildren's generation. So please, where space permits, consider the merits of planting at least a few old-fashioned standard-sized trees. We should remember that a chief beauty of fruit is that it grows on TREES - real trees that form the foundation of a permanent and sustainable agriculture, that will even tolerate the vagaries of the human condition.
(From The Greenmantle Catalog © 1983)
Roses: Master List
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