[NAFEX] apple rootstocks: Was Sad little apple tree (John McCuan)

Anton Callaway marillen at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 11 21:05:30 EST 2009


Jim,

I can certainly relate to the disease pressures in your area, having had an orchard just north of Atlanta and now in North Carolina.

I was interested also in your comment on the fireblight resistance of Bud9.  I've planted a couple of dozen trees on this stock over the last 9 years or so.  I lost several in the nursery to fireblight.  The blight did not hesitate at the scion/stock boundary.  Maybe the blight resistance is greater in mature trees on this stock(?).  Anyway, I've lost enough trees on this stock due to fireblight that I avoid it when I have a choice.  I'm also trying several Geneva stocks to try to get better disease resistance in a dwarfing stock.

Anton
North Carolina

-----Original Message-----
>From: Jim Freeman <jf at gctruck.com>
>Sent: Nov 10, 2009 2:55 PM
>To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
>Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Sad little apple tree (John McCuan)
>
> 
>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
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
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>nafex-request at lists.ibiblio.org
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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!
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>------------------------------
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>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.
>http://clk.atdmt.com/GBL/go/177141664/direct/01/
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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
>semi-dwarf.
>
>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.
>
>Thanks.
>
>Melinda
>
>
>
>      
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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: <3.0.1.32.20091109214507.00db6040 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
>Quebec
>
>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.
>
>Ginda
>
>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: <52003.24.182.138.146.1257868598.iglou 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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