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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Geneva, New York » Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU) » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #328289

Research Project: Breeding Apple Rootstocks Tolerant to Abiotic Stresses and Resistant to Pests and Diseases

Location: Plant Genetic Resources Unit (PGRU)

Title: Performance of Geneva® apple rootstock selections with ‘Brookfield Gala’ and ‘Cripps Pink’ on a tall spindle system

item WALLIS, ANNA - Cornell University - New York
item HARSHMAN, JULIA - University Of Maryland
item BUTLER, BRYAN - University Of Maryland
item PRICE, DOUGLAS - University Of Maryland
item Fazio, Gennaro
item WALSH, CHRISTOPHER - University Of Maryland

Submitted to: Journal of American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2016
Publication Date: 7/5/2017
Citation: Wallis, A., Harshman, J., Butler, B., Price, D., Fazio, G., Walsh, C. 2017. Performance of Geneva® apple rootstock selections with ‘Brookfield Gala’ and ‘Cripps Pink’ on a tall spindle system. Journal of American Pomological Society. 71(3): 137-148.

Interpretive Summary: Modern apple orchards feature dwarfing apple rootstocks to grow apple trees in high density to increase productivity per acre. This research relates the outcome of a field trial planted in the Atlantic region (MD) that utilizes new fire blight resistant rootstocks and grafted scions ‘Brookfield Gala’ and ‘Cripps Pink’ the source of ‘Pink Lady®’ apples, to understand the production potential of the Geneva® rootstocks in the tall spindle system.

Technical Abstract: High density orchard systems have become the standard for new plantings in many apple production regions due to their earlier yield and higher cumulative yields which results in greater return on investments. Growers in the Mid-Atlantic region have unique challenges compared to northern production regions: warm temperatures, long growing seasons, and high incidence of fire blight. High density orchard systems have not been trialed under these growing conditions. In addition to the planting system, there is little information on the performance of a suite of new rootstocks released from the Geneva breeding program in the Mid-Atlantic region. Two scion varieties (‘Brookfield Gala’ and ‘Cripps Pink’) were budded on stoolbed propagated Geneva 41, Geneva 202, and Geneva 935 as well as tissue-culture propagated Geneva 202. Results support that tested rootstocks are effective for tall spindle system orchards in the Mid-Atlantic. However, amount of tree death due to graft union breaks, particularly with ‘Cripps Pink’ on Geneva 41, as well as amount of fire blight not controlled with standard practices indicates that care must be taken in making scion and rootstock selections for this planting system in the Mid-Atlantic. Yield efficiencies for both cultivars were lower than expected. Propagation method did not appear to have significant impact on production.