Apple rootstock Selection:
Selecting the right rootstock for grafting apple trees is a critical step in ensuring the success and productivity of your orchard.
Rootstocks play a crucial role in determining the size, shape, and overall health of your apple trees.
In this blog post, we’ll go over the different factors to consider when choosing a rootstock and provide tips on how to make the best selection for your orchard.
First, let’s start by understanding what rootstocks are and why they are important.
What are Rootstocks?
Rootstocks are essentially the roots of a tree that are grafted onto a tree variety, or scion, to create a new tree.
Rootstocks are chosen for their ability to provide specific traits to the tree, such as:
- Disease resistance,
- Drought tolerance,
- and cold hardiness.
Major Factors to Consider When Choosing an Apple Rootstock
When selecting a rootstock, it’s important to consider the climate and soil conditions of your orchard.
Different rootstocks are better suited for different climates and soil types.
For example, if you have a dry, arid climate, you’ll want to choose a rootstock that is drought-tolerant.
On the other hand, if you have a wet, humid climate, you’ll want to choose a rootstock that is resistant to root rot.
Another factor to consider is the size and shape of the tree you want to grow.
Rootstocks can significantly influence the size and shape of the tree, with some rootstocks producing smaller, more dwarf trees and others producing larger, standard-sized trees.
If you have limited space in your orchard, you may want to choose a dwarf rootstock to save on space.
On the other hand, if you have plenty of space and want to grow larger trees, you may want to choose a standard rootstock.
It’s also important to consider the scion variety you’ll be grafting onto the rootstock.
Different scion varieties have different requirements in terms of rootstock compatibility.
For example, some scion varieties may require a rootstock that is resistant to root rot, while others may require a rootstock that is drought-tolerant.
Make sure to research the specific requirements of the scion variety you’ll be using to ensure the best possible match with your rootstock
Other Factors that Might Influence your Selection of Apple Rootsock
In addition to climate, soil conditions, size, and scion compatibility, there are several other factors to consider when selecting a rootstock. These include:
- Disease resistance: Choose a rootstock that is resistant to the diseases and pests common in your region to ensure the health and productivity of your tree.
- Cold hardiness: If you live in a region with cold winters, choose a rootstock that is cold-hardy to ensure the survival of your tree.
- Root system: Different rootstocks have different root systems, with some producing deep, anchor-like roots and others producing shallower, spreading roots. Choose a rootstock with a root system that is well-suited to the soil and climate conditions of your orchard.
- Vigor: Rootstocks can vary significantly in terms of vigor, with some producing more vigorous trees and others producing less vigorous trees.
- Choose a rootstock that is well-matched to the vigor of the scion variety to ensure a balance
Tips On How To Make The Best Apple Rootstock Selection
Now that we’ve covered the factors to consider when selecting a rootstock, let’s go over some tips on how to make the best selection for your orchard.
- Research, research, research: As with any major decision, it’s important to do your research when selecting a rootstock. Read up on the different rootstocks available and their specific characteristics to get a sense of which one might be the best fit for your orchard.
- Consult with an expert: If you’re not sure
Apple Rootstock Used To Graft Apples In Kenya
There are a number of rootstocks used to graft apples in Kenya.
I will mention them below then give more details about them.
These Apple Rootsocks are:
- M 9
- Batten Feilder
- Marllieng Mutton 106
- Marlieng Mutton 107
Let us Look at the advantages of Each rootstock in details:
M 9 Apple Rootstock:
- The m9 rootstock is an apple variety that doesn’t bear fruits.
- However, it adapts very well in all climates,
- also the rooting system of m9 goes very deep therefore the apple can survive even in a very hot area with very minimal watering.
- M9 is disease resistant and hence prevents your apple tree from being affected by pests and diseases…
Batten Fielder Rootstock
Some growers say that this is the best rootstock for apples in east africa.
It is compatible with Apple varieties like anna, Winter Bannana, and Golden Dolcet.
The other two rootstock varieties ie. Mallieng mutton 106 and 107 are said to have similar characteristics to those of Batten Fielder