About Rootstocks

Listed below are the various rootstocks utilized for apple, peach, pear, cherry, apricot, plum and quince trees.  We have budded our trees on the particular rootstock we feel best suited for the individual fruit variety and soil conditions in South Central Pennsylvania. Please keep in mind that cultural practices, soil and environmental conditions, irrigation and scion vigor can affect the genetic influence of the rootstock.  The rootstocks listed are those that are in use at Boyer’s, at this time, this is not a comprehensive list of all rootstocks in existence.  Mature heights listed are approximate.

Rootstocks for Apple Trees
(Budagovski 9): Dwarf, Zone 3 (Malling 8 x Red Std)
Height 8-9ft. with recommended 5-10ft. spacing
This root stock produces trees comparable to M9 or EMLA26 in size and require staking. Induces early fruiting in 2-3 years. Very resistant to winter frost - bred to withstand -40F in Russia. Rarely produces burr knots or suckers. Very resistant to collar rot and moderately resistant to powdery mildew and apple scab. Suceptible to fireblight.
Dwarf, Zone 3-8 Introduced by East Malling.
Mature Height 8-10ft.
EMLA 9 has a dwarfing influence on all scions and trees bear early on in life. Fruit tends to be larger and ripens earlier.  Trees on this rootstock can withstand heavy soils and wet conditions, but should not be planted in dry light soils.  A vigorous tree that rarely suckers, EMLA 9’s roots tend to be brittle and should therefore be staked.  Disease resistant to collar rot, but is susceptible to mildew.  Useful for high density plantings.

Dwarf, Zone 4-8 (EMLA9 x EMLA16) Introduced by East Malling in 1969
Mature Height 10-12ft.
Introduced as a virus free replacement for Malling 26.  Rootstock stem piece develops large burr knots, so trees should be planted with the union a few inches above ground level.  Good in areas with frequent spring freezes, due to its delay in spring bud development.  EMLA 26 is considered shallow rooted and therefore subject to drought stress.  It has little tolerance of heavy, excessively acid, or unusually wet or dry soils.  Not resistant to collar rot and is subject to fireblight.  Generally it is free standing (not require staking), but with heavy fruit set can lean in very windy areas.  The advantage of this rootstock is an early, heavy production of quality fruit.
EMLA 111
Semi-Dwarf, Zone 5-8 (Northern Spy x Merton 793)
Mature Height 18-22ft. with recommended 16-26ft. spacing.
It is an outstanding choice for spur-type Red Delicious varieties.  It has an excellent anchorage, with no staking required.  Very drought tolerant, high soil temperatures and adapts to sandy and clay loam.  Best Semi-Dwarf for heavy or poorly drained soils.  Quite resistant to collar rot and Woolly aphids, and moderately resistant to fireblight.  Can be susceptible to burr knots and powdery mildew.  Rarely produces root suckers.  EMLA 111 produces an early and prolific fruit crop.

Semi-Dwarf, Zone 5-8 Introduced by East Malling in 1974
Mature Height 12-15ft.
One of the most desirable rootstocks when factors such as production efficiency, longevity, ease of propagation, hardiness, compatibility and disease resistance are considered.  It has exceptional winter hardiness and good anchorage, but may require staking while young if in an open, windy area.  It does well in most soils, especially deep, fertile soil versus light sandy or heavy clay.  Good for high lead arsenic residue soils and old orchard sites with replant problems.  Can be susceptible to collar rot.  EMLA 7 is moderately resistant to crown rot and very resistant to fireblight.  Tends to produce root suckers in shallow plantings.

Standard, Zone 5-8
Mature Height 22-24ft.
A Malling rootstock which is very vigorous and precocious.  Like Malus domestica, it has been found to work well with certain spur-type Red Delicious varieties that have a tendency to “runt out” (slow down) on domestic seedlings.  The EMLA 25 is 20% more vigorous than seedling rootstock. 
Apple Interstem Rootstock
Interstems are rootstocks that have a stem of one type of rootstock bench grafted onto another type of rootstock.  Which then has a bud of a particular variety grafted onto the stem.  The resulting tree has the stability of the rootstock in the ground and the growth characteristic of the stem with the fruit of the chosen variety.  This type of tree growing is becoming more popular.
EMLA 9 / EMLA 111

This interstem combination uses the dwarfing growth habit of the EMLA 9 with the benefits of the EMLA 111 root system.
BUD 9 / EMLA 111

This interstem combination uses the dwarfing growth habit of the BUD 9 with the benefits of the EMLA 111 root system.

Rootstocks for Peach Trees

Originating out of Iowa, this is a relatively new rootstock for peaches.  It has proven to be very cold hardy.  It develops an abundant root system and is resistant to root lesion nematodes.
A Lovell type seedling that produces a standard size tree which is adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions.  Compatible with all commercially grown varieties with good disease resistance.

Rootstocks for Pear Trees

This is the most widely used rootstock for pears.  It performs well and has a good history of production.  Since this rootstock comes from seed, tree size can vary.  The rootstock gives no growth control, but does give good anchorage and is compatible with most pear varieties.

Provence Quince
(BA 29-C)
Originating from France, this is a high yielding dwarfing rootstock.  It produces trees approximately 1/2 to 2/3 the size of a standard pear tree.  Roots well and produces good quality trees.  Resistant to crown gall, nematodes and root aphids and calcareous (limestone) soil types.  It does show some susceptibility to fireblight.

Rootstocks for Cherry Trees

Mahaleb (Prunus Mahaleb)
Hardier but shorter living than Mazzard.  Slightly dwarfing.  Considered one of the best rootstocks for sweet or tart cherries.  It is cold hardy, drought tolerant, and highly productive.  It’s anchorage is excellent.  It is susceptible to oak root fungus, root knot, and especially phytophthora.  It is somewhat resistant to crown gall and resistant to bacterial canker and root lesion.  Prefers light sandy soils and will not survive on wet or heavy soils.

Mazzard (Prunus Avium)
This rootstock produces a vigorous tree with very good anchorage.  It is most compatible with sweet cherries.  It tends to resist common cherry diseases better than Mahaleb.  It has some tolerance to phytophthora and is moderately resistant to oak root fungus.  It grows best in sandy loam soil, but is also tolerant of heavy soils.  It is susceptible to crown gall and bacterial canker, but it is resistant to water stress and root knot nematodes.  Overall, Mazzard makes a very large and hardy tree with few root suckers.

Gisela 6
Gisela 6 semi-dwarfing rootstock produces a tree 65 - 95 % the size of Mazzard and stimulates very early blooming and heavy bearing. It has a wide range of soil adaptability and actually likes heavy soils. It has good resistance to bacterial canker and a tolerance to viruses equal to that of Mazzard or Mahaleb. It requires support for its heavy crop loads and a management system that promotes new shoot growth to balance its early, heavy bearing. It has shown no variety incompatabilities.

Gisela 12
Gisela 12is a precocious,semi-dwarfing rootstock produces a tree similar in size to Gisela 6. The tree structure is open, spreading and stocky. Gisela 12 has wide soil adaptability and does well on heavy soils. This stock is very precocious and productive. It has good virus resistance and no suckering problems. Gisela 12 is well anchored, but support is recommended.

Rootstocks for Apricot and Plum Trees
Myrobalan (Prunus cerasifera) Zone 4
A widely adaptable standard plum rootstock with mild suckering. Particularly adaptable to heavier soils with excellent anchorage.

Boyer Nurseries & Orchards Inc.
405 Boyer Nursery Road
Biglerville, PA 17307
Phone: 717-677-8558 • 717-677-9567 Fax: 717-677-4026
email: sales@boyernurseries.com

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