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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Characteristics of Apple Rootstock
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Information provided by Paul Domoto, Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University and Dr. Jim Cummins, Cornell University (retired).
Rootstock
Size (1)
Fruiting
Anchorage
Hardiness
Soil Adaptability
Crown Rot
Fire Blight
Remarks
P.18 +100% Slow bearing, moderate productivity Well anchored Considered hardy, more testing needed Widely adapted Very resistant Moderately resistant Very little suckering, very few burrknots (2). May be susceptible to late winter freezes.
Seedling 100% Slow bearing, yield variable Well anchored Hardy Widely adapted Variable Tolerant 65-85% size control with spur-type Red Delicious strains; some size control with other spur-type strains. Suckering may be a problem: very few burrknots (2).
Antonovka 313 100% Slow bearing, moderate productivity Well anchored, but subject to leaning Moderate Widely adapted Resistant Moderately susceptible Some suckering; few burrknots (2). Maybe susceptible to late winter freezes.
M.4 80 - 85 % Moderately early bearing, good productivity Well anchored but, subject to leaning Moderate Widely adapted Resistant Tolerant Most productive vigorous rootstock in regional testing. Moderate to heavy suckering; few burrknots (2).
MM.111 80 - 85 % Moderately slow bearing, medium prodctivity Well anchored Moderate Adapted to most soils; drought tolerant, but does not tolerate wet feet Tolerant on well drained soils Tolerant Tree form is more up-right. Little suckering; prone to burrknots (2). Semi-dwarf with spur-type Delicious strains. Moderately susceptible to tomato ringspot virus (3).
MM.106 70 - 75 % Early bearing, productive Good on most soils Very susceptible early, hardy late winter Beast in loam and sandy loam soils. Avoid poorly drained soils Very susceptible Moderately susceptible Very little suckering; prone to burrknots (2). Very susceptible to tomato virus ringspot (3).
B.490 70 - 75 % Early bearing, moderate productivity Well anchored Considered hardy; more testing needed Well adapted to most soils Moderately resistant Tolerant May be a replacement for MM.106. May be susceptible to late winter freezes. Almost no suckering; few burrknots (2)
Cornell - Geneva 210 60 - 65 % Early bearing, productive Anchored questionable Needs testing Needs testing Resistant Resistant Suckering may be a problem. May be released soon.
M.7a, EMLA 7 60 - 65 % Early bearing, moderate productivity Free-standing but leans with some cultivars Moderate; roots tender, snow cover for best protection Well adapted on most soils except heavy clay Slightly susceptible on poorly drained soils Tolerant Suckers heavily; somewhat prone to burrknots (2). Most widely adapted clonally propagated rootstock.
Geneva 30 60 - 65 % Earlier bearing and more productive than M.7a Usually well anchored Testing required Well adapted to most soils Tolerant Resistant Promising new rootstock. Much less prone to suckering than M.7a; burrknots (2) rare. Susceptible to common latent viruses (4). Available
M.26, EMLA 26 55 - 60 % Very early bearing, productive May need support in early years Hardiest M. or MM. series rootstock; somewhat slow to harden-off Well drained soils Moderately susceptible on poorly drained soils Very susceptible Very little suckering; very prone to burrknots (2). Susceptible to tomato ringspot virus (3). Compatibility problems have been identified with some cultivars
Geneva 11 55 - 60 % Very early bearing, very productive May need support in early years Testing required Well adapted on most soils Moderately resistant Moderately resistant Promising new rootstock. Little suckering; very few burrknots (2). Available
Ottawa 3 (O.3) 50 - 55 % Early bearing, very productive May need support As hardy as M.26 Well drained soils Resistant on most soils Susceptible Roots poorly; may be a factor in orchard establishment. Moderate suckering; very few burrknots (2). Moderately susceptible to tomato ringspot virus (3) and common latent viruses (4)
EMLA 9 45 - 50 % Very early bearing, very productive Needs support Slightly hardier than M.7a Well drained soils Resistant on most soils Very susceptible Suckers heavily; prone to burrknots (2).
M.9, M.9 - T337 & other M.9 Strains 40 - 45 % Very early bearing, very productive Needs support Slightly hardier than M.7a Well drained soils Resistant on most soils Very susceptible Suckers heavily; prone to burrknots (2).
Geneva 16 45 - 50 % Very early bearing, very productive Very good, support needed for crop Needs testing Needs testing Tolerant Very resistant Very little suckering; no burrknots (2). Very sensitive to common latent viruses (4). Available
Mark 35 - 45 % Very early bearing, very productive Roots are brittle, needs support Hardy early, but susceptible in late winter Best on well drained soils; drought susceptible Resistant on most soils Susceptible Very prone to abnormal swelling of rootstock at ground line that stunts the tree. Moderate suckering; prone to burrknots (2). Moderately susceptible to tomato ringspot virus (3)
Bud. 9 (B.9) 35 - 40 % Very early bearing, very productive Needs support Hardier thaan M.9 Well drained soils, does not tolerate wet soils Very resistant Susceptible Promising new rootstock. Some suckering; very few burrknots (2). Drought susceptible. Susceptible to tomato ringspot virus (3). ISU observations suggest it is very susceptible to voles.
Geneva 65 35 - 40 % Very early bearing, very productive. Fruit size reduced. Well anchored, support needed for crop Hardy Needs testing Resistant Very resistant Promising new rootstock. Some suckering; nearly no burrknots (2). Susceptible to apple stem grooving virus (4). Available.
P.2 35 - 40 % Very early bearing, very productive Needs support Needs further testing Well drained soils Resistant Moderately susceptible Very little suckering; few burrknots (2). Susceptible to tomato ringspot virus (3).
M.27, EMLA 27 25 - 30 % Very early bearing, very productive. Fruit size reduced Needs support Slow to harden-off Well drained soils Resistant on most soils Susceptible Too dwarfing for standard orchards; has potential for vigorous cultivars in very high density plantings. Almost no suckering or burrknots (2). Susceptible to tomato ringspot virus (3).
P.22 25 - 30% Very early bearing, productive Needs support Needs further testing Well drained soils Resistant Moderately susceptible Too dwarfing for standard orchards; has potential as a rootstock for vigorous cultivars in a very high density planting. Very little suckering; very few burrknots (2)
Interstem/ Rootstock
M.27, M.9/ MM.106 50 - 60 % (5) Early bearing, productive Good in most soils; may need support on light soils or when the interstem-rootstock graft union is above ground Slightly hardier with interstem-rootstock graft union is below ground Well drained soils; better adapted with interstem-rootstock graft union below ground Most tolerant with interstem-rootstock graft union below ground Susceptible as M.27 or M.9 Suckering is a problem; can be reduced by planting interstem-rootstock graft union below ground. Additional cost
M.27, M.9/ MM.111 50 - 60 % (5) Early bearing, productive Good in most soils; may need support on light soils or when the interstem-rootstock graft union is above ground Moderate Widely adapted to most soils Tolerant on most soils Susceptible as M.27 or M.9 Suckering is a problem; can be reduced by planting interstem-rootstock graft union below ground. Additional cost
(1) Size control as a percentage of the size of a cultivar on a seedling rootstock. Remember that the vigor of the scion cultivar also influences the ultimate size of the tree on any rootstock.
(2) Burrknots are above ground root primordia that form under shaded conditions (either from a truck wrap or excessive suckering). They are very sensitive to winter injury, and a potential point of entry for fire blight bacteria.
(3) Tomato ringspot virus is a nematode-transmitted virus that can include Apple Union Necrosis and Decline disease when a sensitive cultivar is propagated on a sensitive rootstock. It has not yet been found in Iowa, but as a precaution, purchase virus-free trees. If the disease is ever found in your orchard, avoid combination of a sensitive cultivar propagated on a sensitive rootstock. Cultivars sensitive to tomato ringspot virus include: Red Delicious, McIntosh, Paulared, Spartan, Tydeman's Red, and Stayman.
(4) Virus problems can be greatly reduced by selecting virus-free cultivars
(5) Used as interstems, M.27 and M.9 produce similar sized trees. With the present propagation practice of using 6- to 8-inch interstem sections, relative tree size is more dependent upon planting depth: With the interstem-rootstock graft union above the ground, tree size between M.9 and M.26; with the interstem-rootstock graft union below ground, tree size is between M.26 and M.7a and depends upon how much of the interstem is exposed.

Last Modified: 9/13/2013
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