[NAFEX] Anchorage of M7 vs M111 rootstock

Alan Haigh alandhaigh at gmail.com
Sun Dec 7 09:35:44 EST 2008

After I wrote of the better anchorage of 111 over 7 Lucky wrote, "My
experience has been just the opposite - I have a good clay soil with high
water table; trees on M7 have anchored well and show no sign of leaning or
blowing over, but easily 50% of my apples on M111 leaned at 45 degrees - or
more - as they gained size, necessitating pulling them back into an upright
position and propping up with sections of Osage Orange trunk."

This surprised me not only because it contradicts my own experience but also
my recollections of what I've read over the years of these 2 root stocks.
However, my experience does not include a lot of growing in clay soils,
although I briefly had a nursery in a commercial orchard with very clay soil
and many of the trees grown their by the owner (not my trees) on semi-dwarf
rootstock required staking.  I'm going to contact the grower and see if he
recalls the relationship with poor anchorage and particular root stocks.  It
is most likely the staked trees were on M7 because commercial growers around
here tend to use this stock more often for its relative precocity and
greater dwarfing affect.

The limited literature on my shelf seems to suggest both root stocks are
relatively well anchored with a slight nod to 111 as superior in this regard
but there's no mention of the affect of soil texture in the anchorage
equation.  On separate issues 111 is rated far superior in light droughty
soils and more resistant to crown rot in poorly drained ones.

I hope some others will offer their observations on this subject.
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