[NAFEX] Sad little apple tree (John McCuan)

Jim Freeman jf at gctruck.com
Tue Nov 10 14:55:04 EST 2009

Hello John & Melinda,

It is great to see a post from someone who lives so close! We have a
small planting of 72 fruit trees at our home in Acworth, GA and a larger
orchard on our farm in Chatsworth. It sounds like we have the same soil
types as you and have planted most of the rootstocks mentioned for
apples. I don't know where your trees were purchased, but most sold
locally are on M111 rootstock. If you have a healthy tree growing beside
the runt and have no sign of trauma, I doubt it is anything you did. In
my experience, sometimes a tree just runts for no readily apparent
reason. It is often cheaper to replace them than to try to fix them. I
just dig them out and install a new tree. If you want to try to fix what
you have or buy a superior local replacement, call Bill Ford at
Johnson-Ford Nursery in Ellijay. He is very knowledgeable and has a wide
selection of varieties well suited to our state.

As for rootstocks, I have learned to avoid any of the sensitive dwarfs
(M27, M9, M26, etc.) that are grown in other areas. We have too many
disease issues (severe fireblight, crown rot, various rusts...) for any
of the "high maintenance" roots. I just started my test plantings of the
G11, G16 & G30 rootstocks this year; so it will take a little while
until I can report on them. Based on you being happy with the other tree
at 14', I would recommend the following roots based on my test plantings
and your size preference:
If you want a dwarf, then go with Bud 9. It has done very well in my
plantings, needs support, is resistant to fireblight and will produce
large fruit quickly.
If you want a mid-size tree, go with EMLA 7. Most of the benefits of Bud
9 and is self-supporting.
Either way, you can't go wrong.

PS - Sending a soil sample from the tree site out for testing via the
county extension office is always helpful for pre-planting preparation.

Good Luck!
Jim @ Freedom Farms

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Today's Topics:

   1. Subject:  rootstock suggestions for apples and pears
      (fuwa fuwa usagi)
   2. Subject: rootstock suggestions for apples and pears (Pete Tallman)
   3. Sad little apple tree (John McCuan)
   4. Re: In Defense of Big Apple Trees (Claude Jolicoeur)
   5. Apple Rootstocks (Ginda Fisher)
   6. blue persimmon seeds wanted... (bmn at iglou.com)


Message: 1
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 14:14:05 -0800
From: "fuwa fuwa usagi" <fuwafuwausagi at muchomail.com>
Subject: [NAFEX] Subject:  rootstock suggestions for apples and pears
To: <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <20091109141405.A25083BE at resin11.mta.everyone.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"

Subject: [NAFEX] rootstock suggestions for apples and pears:

In your area for pears OHxF 333 and 282 are outstanding, a little
tarnish perhaps over the fruit quality over quince with some varieties
but I do not think it is worth quibbling about given all the issues with
Quince.  No staking needed for 333 and 282 and fireblight resistance and
both can deal with clay thank you, it just keep the trees smaller.  

As for apple I use M27, M26, and M7.  Obviously you need to stake M27
and it is more suitable for espalier training than anything, and you can
simply amend the soil in clay as it will never develop enough of a root
system to trouble you with the native soil. M26 works though I like the
smaller trees of M27.  And M7 is simply to much a tree for most home
growers unless they want to dry, make cider, or can, but it works well.

the fluffy one

The Free Email with so much more!
=====> http://www.MuchoMail.com <=====


Message: 2
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 17:47:50 -0700
From: Pete Tallman <pete_tallman at hotmail.com>
Subject: [NAFEX] Subject: rootstock suggestions for apples and pears
To: nafex <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <SNT124-W174C1DBEF938DD3B3D808AE3AB0 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Fluffy one suggests M26 apple rootstock, but this is usually regarded as
too fireblight susceptible. Try Bud-9 or Mark, which have worked well
for me here with amended heavy clay and fireblight pressure. There are
also some Geneva rootstocks coming along ("in the pipeline") which were
bred for fireblight resistance - check the Cummins Nursery catalog;
maybe G-11 for now? For your area, I concur with M27 and M7 depending on
what size tree you're looking for. (For me, M27 is a bit too weak or
small here.) There are those who don't like Mark because of "root zone
proliferation", but I'm reasonably happy with what I have. 
Pete TallmanLongmont, CO  		 	   		  
Hotmail: Trusted email with Microsoft's powerful SPAM protection.
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Message: 3
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 18:34:25 -0800 (PST)
From: John McCuan <wawo at yahoo.com>
Subject: [NAFEX] Sad little apple tree
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Message-ID: <667728.48786.qm at web31903.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

We live a little northwest of Atlanta, so the soil is somewhat clayey
and acidic.? I fertilized every year but missed on the lime a couple of
years so the soil got rather acidic, but another apple 15 feet away is
14 feet high.? I don't know what rootstock it's on except it's

I haven't seen any vole damage on the bark, but something could be going
on with the roots.

I know if children are malnourished or stressed their growth can be
stunted, even if they eat well when they're older, and I'm wondering if
that might happen to apples, too.? I hope to graft a scion on rootstock
this winter, but I was wondering if there was any hope for the tree, or
if it's permanently stunted.



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Message: 4
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 2009 21:45:07 -0500
From: Claude Jolicoeur <cjoli at gmc.ulaval.ca>
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] In Defense of Big Apple Trees
To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: < at pop.ulaval.ca>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

I am with Alan concerning big apple trees. I have many full size
Cortland trees and I think they are great. I don't think such trees may
be as productive as modern intensive orchards, but the quality of the
apples is much better although smaller. For cider, standard trees in my
experience produce apples with greater sugar concentration and better
flavor. Unless you grow apples to earn a living or are extremely limited
in space, standard trees are the best way to go - and even more so in
colder climate and in areas with a lot of snow. 

Claude Jolicoeur

A 06:57 09.11.08 -0500, vous avez ?crit : 

Fluffy???s warning about the grand results of growing a tree on a
Northern Spy rootstock has inspired me to counter with an endorsement of
full sized apple trees.


Message: 5
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 23:38:07 -0500
From: Ginda Fisher <list at ginda.us>
Subject: [NAFEX] Apple Rootstocks
To: NAFEX Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <233E7C14-41A5-4117-9FAE-FF833841FCF5 at ginda.us>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Here's something I wrote up for Pomona following the one NAFEX meeting I
attended.  Professor Cummins spoke about the apple rootstocks Cornel has
been working on, and it mostly deals with those.  But it has some
interesting general information.  Oh, and when I was planting some
stuff, I spoke to Professor Cummins about rootstocks for my backyard, in
eastern MA, zone 6.  Of the traditional semi-dwarf rootstocks (not  
needing support) he recommended M7.  It's an old reliable workhorse.   
It's not the most fireblight resistant, nor the most hardy, nor the
most. . . . but it's pretty good in most ways.


Begin forwarded message:
> Jim Cummins on Newer Apple Rootstocks
> Professor Cummins spoke in the first session.  Unfortunately, we 
> started a bit late, and he wasn't able to get to pear rootstocks, but 
> he did talk at length about apple rootstocks - where they were in his 
> childhood, and where they have come today.
> Professor Cummins grew up on an old apple orchard with seedling 
> rootstock.  The trees were spaced on 40'x40' centers, for 27 trees per

> acre, and the canopy was full, with the trees just meeting overhead.  
> This was the standard orchard until fairly recently.  In contrast, 
> modern orchards on dwarfing rootstock can have hundreds of trees per 
> acre, up to 1900 (??  this sounds too high, but it's what I wrote 
> down)  with the smallest trellised trees.  Today, most new apples 
> trees are planted on M9, or occasionally M7 for intermediate sized 
> trees.  Very little M26 is planted due to its susceptibility to 
> fireblight.
> These are relatively old rootstocks.  The Malling and MM series of 
> rootstocks became commercially available in the early 1900's, with 
> newer rootstocks such as MM106 coming on line in the late 1960's and
> dwarfing rootstocks in general becoming widely used by the 1970s.   
> This was the result of a process started back in 1922 when Lord Dowd 
> started a breeding program in England.  Shortly thereafter Dr.
> Budagovsky started a similar program south of Russia.  Several other 
> programs have since been started (in Canada, the US and Europe) and 
> the program started by Dr. Budagovsky has moved to Poland.
> Most of these programs have looked primarily at horticultural aspects,

> especially including how easy they are to root.  This has often been 
> the first criteria used to cull seedlings.  In 1968, the Geneva 
> program decided to try something new - they decided to breed first for

> resistance to the major diseases of rootstocks, and secondarily for 
> horticultural criteria.  One side advantage of this is that their 
> trees, being somewhat harder to root, are far less susceptible to burr

> knots.  This can be a problem with several of the M and MM series 
> (esp. MM111) and the Russia series.
> The major pests of apple rootstocks are collar rot and fireblight.   
> In order to find resistant plants, the Geneva program would plant out 
> thousands of seedlings from selected crosses.  When the baby trees 
> were 3" tall, they infected them with crown rot.  This would kill 
> between 75% and 100% of the plants.  when the remaining plants reached

> 1 foot in hight, they injected them with fireblight bacteria.  This 
> would again kill off between 75% and 100% of the plants.  From 100,000

> seedlings evaluated, only about 500 survived this treatment.  These 
> ones were reinnoculated and tested for nursery performance, and the 
> most promising of these will be released as the Geneva series of 
> rootstocks.
> It takes a long time to fully evaluate a rootstock, and Dr. Cummins 
> wishes for another 20 years, however, they are beginning to release 
> their roots.  Some of them will eventually come up lacking, but he is 
> certain that some will be winners.
> Three rootstocks have currently been released, G30, G16, and G11.   
> G30 might replace M7 but it has limitations.  It yields early and 
> heavy bearing (20-50% better than M7 in first ten years) and it is 
> very cold-hardy (at least to -30F, probably to -35 or more) but it 
> produces a very brittle graft union, especially with trees that tend 
> towards brittleness, such as Gala and possibly Honeycrisp.  Trees on
> G30 should have permanent support (an "artificial trunk") to 8'.   
> Another problem with the rootstock is that it is a very poor nursery 
> subject.  In particular, the baby trees have short internodes and are 
> very thorny.  These thorns need to be removed if the plant is to be 
> grafted.  They can be removed early on by hand ("thumbing them
> off") somewhat later with sheers, or after the plants have been dug.  
> The third is easiest, but it results in lots of open wounds on the 
> nursery plants, and they tend to dry out and die.
> G16 might compete with M26.  It has no thorns or burrknots, and 
> doesn't sucker at all - it yields a perfectly smooth trunk.  It is 
> more productive than M9, winter hardy, with heat and drought tolerance

> similar to M7.  Curiously, it gets this tolerance through a totally 
> different mechanism than M7.  M7 has a vertical root system, and the 
> roots often find water by heading down.  G16 has very heavy, 
> aggressive roots that go everywhere.  It appears to be adequately 
> winter hardy but has not yet been subjected to a test winter.  The 
> problem with this otherwise very exciting rootstock is that it is very

> susceptible to common latent viruses, including applestem grooving 
> virus.  It is critical that it only be grafted to clean scion wood, or

> the tree will die.  Because apple viruses are not transmitted sexually

> (e.g. by pollinators) or by leaf-eating insects, the tree is unlikely 
> to be naturally infected in the field.  (Nematodes do transmit some 
> apple viruses, such as tomato ringspot, but this tree is not 
> susceptible to those.)  On the other hand, it could be infected by 
> pruning equipment - this is a tree to treat carefully.
> There was an interesting side discussion about why G16 is dwarfing 
> given the high vigour of its roots.  Dwarfing is not well understood, 
> and the "weaker roots" theory is not backed by any solid evidence.  
> Dr. Cummins and others suggested two possible mechanisms for why this 
> tree might be dwarfing.  The first is that "wider pipes" in the tree's

> plumbing might limit the hight to which nutrients flow.  Research done

> in Israel has shown that M9 has very large pipes and they appear to 
> reduce the capillary action that helps bring sap up the tree.  The 
> second theory is that precocity is itself dwarfing - once a tree has 
> started to fruit (even if you remove the young fruits) it simply puts 
> less energy into growing trunk and branches.
> G11 has just been released this year.  It is in the same size class as

> G16 and M26.  It is not as fireblight resistant as the other two, but 
> it is probably good enough for most uses (comparable to M7) and has 
> adequate resistance to phytopthera.  There are (so far) no known virus

> problems with this rootstock.  It is also an early and heavy bearing 
> variety, and is also a good nursery subject.
> At this point Dr. Cummins ran out of time, and quickly ran through a 
> couple of "things to come" from the Cornell-Geneva program, and 
> answered some questions about the other new rootstock series.
> CG3041 is more dwarfing than M9, and much less brittle.  CG5935 is a 
> bit more vigorous than M26.  Both are still undergoing testing (along 
> with G5202, described in his handout.)  According to the handout, 
> CG5202 is also highly resistant to wooly apple aphid, and has been 
> introduced in New Zealand, where WAA is a major pest.
> Bud9 (or red leafed paradise) is similar to M9 but more cold hardy,  
> with a smooth shank.  It has better fireblight tolerance than M9.   
> It was introduced in Russia in 1948 and is now widely available in  
> the US.  Bud118 produces a tree about 90% as large as standard.   
> Like M111, it seems to delay the onset of fruiting, but once it starts

> it is very efficient and very well rooted.  He believes it would be 
> good under Honeycrisp.
> He has had trouble propagating the Polish series (coincidentally the 
> "P" rootstocks, although the "P" stands for the Polish word for 
> rootstock, not for Poland.) and had little to say about it.  He is 
> skeptical of the German supporter series, which he doesn't think has 
> been adequately tested outside of Germany.  He feels that program is 
> under pressure to release stuff.  He has found this series to be 
> susceptible to fireblight.  The least susceptible to fireblight of the

> lot (Supporter 4) is still somewhat susceptible, and is also 
> susceptible to collar rot like M9 and seemed to yield poor cropping in

> his tests.  Some trees died from apple aphid.
> At this point we really ran out of time for the first session.

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Message: 6
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 10:56:38 -0500 (EST)
From: bmn at iglou.com
Subject: [NAFEX] blue persimmon seeds wanted...
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Message-ID: <52003. at webmail.iglou.com>
Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1

Howdy folks.  I have a reader who wants seeds from one or more of the
blue Diospyros virginiana persimmon varieties for a curiosity.  Would
anyone have some they could send him?  I'm willing to pay the postage.


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