Sunday 30 August 2015


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A rootstock is part of a plant, often an underground part, from which new above-ground growth can be produced. In grafting, it refers to a plant, sometimes just a stump, which already has an established, healthy root system, onto which a cutting or a bud from another plant is grafted. It is most commonly used in the production of rose bushes and fruit trees.

Rootstocks are used to create trees of differing vigour.  Trees are grafted onto rootstocks which results in different sizes and type of trees.  Rootstocks have also been used for pest and disease resistance, anchorage and to crop trees.

Apples have the greatest range of rootstocks, most with the prefix M or MM and a number. The refers to East Malling Research, Kent where they were bred, and MM for Malling/Merton where work was carried out with the John Inness Research Institute.  The numbers follow no particular sequence.

Most pear trees are grafted onto quince rootstocks as these are more dwarfing and easier to propagate than pear rootstocks.


M27 - very dwarfing
M9 - dwarfing
M26 - semi dwarfing
MM106 - semi vigorous
MM111 - vigorous

Rootstocks for training apples:
Cordon        M27, M9 or M26 
Espalier       M26, MM106 or MM111 
Fan              M26, MM106 or MM111 
Container     M26


Quince c - semi-dwarfing
Quince A & BA29 - Semi vigorous 

Rootstocks for training pears:
Cordon        Quince C or A
Espalier       Quince A or BA29
Fan              Quince A or BA29
Container     Quince C


Pixy & VVA1 - semi-dwarfing
St julien A - semi-vigorous


Gisela 5 - dwarfing
Colt - Semi-vigorous

Peach, almond & apricot

St julien A - semi vigorous

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