The New Fruit Grower

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A service from Moser Fruit Tree Sales, Inc.

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The Basics!

Start with a Plan!
Marketing Issues
Business Basics
Conventional or Organic?
Site & Soil Basics
Orchard Planning
Training Systems
Variety Selection
Pollination Basics
Dwarf or Semi-Dwarf


Apple Rootstocks
Pear Rootstocks
Stone Fruit Rootstocks


              100%                          80%                   70%                  60%               50%          40%     30%   20%
    Standard / Seedling    <<<<<Semi-Standard>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<Semi-Dwarf range>>> <<Full dwarf>>

Listed in approximate order of dwarfing / size control--- results can vary with your site and the vigor of grafted scion.


Gisela® 5  USPP 9622 (148-2 cv) [45-60%]---  A very good, dwarfing rootstock for sweet cherries.  Very precocious and early bearing.  May need some support.  More tolerant to virus infection than Mahaleb or Mazzard.  Suitable for high density cherry systems where early production in the third year is expected.  Needs more management of heavy fruit load than other rootstocks in order to maintain proper vigor and fruit size.  More dwarfing on east coast than west coast.   Fair availability  of sweet cherry varieties--- recommended for highly vigorous, but less productive clones.
Gisela® 6  USPP 8954 (148-1 cv) [65-90%]--- A precocious,  semi-dwarfing stock very suitable for all sweet cherry varieties.  Adapts well to all soil types and does very well on heavy soils.    Open and spreading tree structure.  Good virus resistance.  No suckering.  Support recommended, although it is well anchored.  More dwarfing on east coast than west coast.   Good availability of sweet cherry varieties.
Gisela® 12  USPP 9631 (195-2 cv) [65-90%]--- A precocious,  semi-dwarfing stock very suitable for all sweet cherry varieties.  Very similar in size to Gi 6.  Adapts well to all soil types.    Open and spreading tree structure.  Good virus resistance.  No suckering.  Support recommended, although it is well anchored.  More dwarfing on east coast than west coast.   Increasing availability of sweet cherry varieties--- recommended for testing.
Maxma® 14 [70-75%]--- A newer dwarfing cherry rootstock that has just recently been reintroduced back into the U.S., where it was originally bred.  Reported to be compatible with most sweet cherry varieties, precocious and productive.  Tolerant of wet soils and iron chlorosis resistant.  Very limited availability of sweet cherry varieties-- recommended for testing at this time.
Mahaleb [90%]--- Typically used for tart cherries and some sweet cherries.  Deep rooted, drought tolerant, cold hardy and highly productive.  Susceptible to oak root fungus, root knot,  and phytophthera.  Best for light sandy soils--- do not use on heavy, poorly drained soils.  The most productive rootstock for tart cherry.  Not used often for sweet cherry, however a newer introduction from Europe called Mahaleb- CT 500 has improved genetic compatibility with most sweet cherry varieties.  Mostly available on tart cherry--- very limited on sweet cherry. 
Mazzard (Prunus avium) [100%]---The most common standard-size sweet cherry rootstock.  Produces a very vigorous tree with good anchorage.  Some tolerance to phytophthera and moderately resistant to oak root fungus.  Will grow on a wide range of soils.  Susceptible to crown gall and bacterial canker.  Very few suckers.  Typically used for sweet cherries, but also can be used for Montmorency and tart cherries to be planted in wetter, poorly drained sites where mahaleb cannot grow.  Almost all sweet cherry varieties are available on Mazzard.  Some tart cherry availability.
MxM® 60 (Prunux mahaleb x mazzard hybrid) [100%]--- A hybrid of mahaleb and mazzard that shows a wide range of soil compatibility.  Has moderate resistance to phytophthera and crown gall and some tolerance to bacterial canker.  Reported to be more productive than mazzard.  Similar hardiness to mahaleb and compatible with both sweet and tart cherries.  Often used in replant sites where it is reported to do better than either mahaleb or mazzard.  Poor availability as it is in limited supply.


Peaches are almost exclusively available on seedling peach rootstock.  Almost all peach rootstocks are suitable for lighter, well drained, sandy-loamy soils.  They do not tolerate wet conditions or wet, poorly drained soils.  Mounding of planting sites or raised beds created for a better drained soil condition will help prolong tree life and reduce winter injury from late hardening off in the fall. Most peach seedlings rootstocks come from cannery pits, although some nurseries grown their own cultivars for the seed for their rootstock.  Typical varieties used for seed include Halford, Lovell, Tennessee Natural, and Bailey.  There is still some debate whether there are significant hardiness differences between the cultivars, but most growers consider Bailey as being on the hardier end, while Halford may be on the less hardy end of the spectrum.  However, if peaches are a significant commercial crop in your area there is little chance of winter injury, it may not matter which rootstock is used.  However, if peach production is marginal or there has been a history of frequent winter injury, then the perceived hardier varieties may be a better choice.
There are no significant commercial dwarfing rootstocks for peach or other stone fruits at this time.  However, research continues for dwarfing rootstocks, such as the new Krymsk® series, with commercial potential that may be suitable for the commercial grower.  We do not recommend any other rootstock than seedling at this time.


Myrobalan (Prunus cerasifera) 29C--- An improved selection of the most common myrobalan seedling rootstock used for plums, prunes, and sometimes peaches.  Vigorous and not considered a dwarfing rootstock.  Resistant to armillaria root rot (oak root fungus) and nematodes.  Adaptable to a wide range of soils.  Usually well anchored, but somewhat shallow rooted.  Prone to suckering.  Not used or recommended for commercial peach plantings, normally, unless wetter, poorly drained soil conditions warrant.  Common myro seedling is just as suitable a rootstock, however may be slightly more variable as it is a seedling and not a clone.
Seedling peach--- Often used for plums and prunes, since no incompatibility exists.  Typically suitable for well drained, sandy soils, but some concern that they may be more short lived than myrobalan.  We do not normally recommend peach root for plums and prunes, ,except under very sandy soil conditions where drainage is never a problem.


The recommended rootstock for apricots is manchurian or seedling apricot root.  It is hardy and productive, although apricots are somewhat slow to come into bearing.  Full grown, mature trees can reach 30 feet tall after many years,  but production usually commences after four or five years on smaller trees.  Myrobalan is often also used as there appears to be no compatibility issues.
Copyright © 2012 Moser Fruit Tree Sales, Inc.
Last modified: December 15, 2012