[NAFEX] Mark and Geneva Rootstock

sherwin dubren sherwindu at comcast.net
Fri Dec 5 01:49:09 EST 2008

I have four trees in my yard obtained from Greenmantle Nursery
as benchgrafts in the late 90's.  All are doing great here in
the Midwest,where my soil is black dirt atop clay.  Mark is a
very prolific rootstock, about the size of Bud-9, but I think
it is superior to that rootstock.  It probably requires less
staking than Bud-9.  I have read reports that it is more resistant
to disease and pssts in a study comparing it to M-9.  There is
only one grower I know of selling Mark and that is Treco.
Unfortunately, Treco sold their entire supply to Mexican growers.
Greenmantle cannot make me a tree on Mark because of this.  By
the way, Greenmantle is run by Ram Fishman, a former President
of Nafex.  He said he was going to try and grow some Mark
rootstocks himself, and that Mark got a bum rap years ago.
There was a report that trees on Mark rootstock were dying
after 10 years.  Turns out, these were being grown in sand on
irrigation lines.  Nurseries stopped growing Mark and so it no
longer was heavily used.  Here in Illinois, my Mark's are thriving
after 15 years.

I have also looked at the new Geneva rootstocks like G-11.  This
rootstock is still too new and the only supplier, Cummings is all
sold out.  Seems like there is too much of a lag with these
suppliers.  Geneva rootstocks are supposedly superior in resistance
to fireblight.  Fireblight is not a big problem in my area, but
it could introduce itself and its a nasty disease.  What is mostly
available for the size trees I want is Bud-9.  This rootstock is
only somewhat resistant to fireblight.  For some reason, I have
had trouble with whip and tongue grafts on Bud 9.  Ram told me to
try Bark grafts as more reliable, which I may do.

                         Sherwin Dubren

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