WHICH ROOT­STOCK?

Gardeners' World - - Apples -

When buy­ing an ap­ple tree, don’t just look at which va­ri­ety will suit you best. It’s also im­por­tant to be se­lec­tive about the type of root­stock the va­ri­ety is grafted on, as this will af­fect the size and vigour of the tree. Th­ese are the most com­mon op­tions:

M27 Very dwarf­ing Ideal for step-overs, but it needs a rich soil and lots of sup­port. The tree must be staked through­out its life. M9 Dwarf­ing This makes a small tree, about 2.5m tall, that crops from the sec­ond or third year. It’s great for cor­dons and pyra­mids in small gar­dens. Fruits tend to be large and ripen ear­lier than those of the same va­ri­ety on a more vig­or­ous root­stock. It needs rich soil and a per­ma­nent stake. M26 Semi-dwarf­ing Used a lot in commercial or­chards, as it keeps trees small but with early, large fruits. It can tol­er­ate poorer soil than M9, but is a slow starter and needs stak­ing. Rec­om­mended for trees planted in con­tain­ers. MM106 Semi-vig­or­ous This gives a medium-sized tree, 3-4m tall, that grows well on most soils. Suit­able for a semi-stan­dard (with a clear trunk of 1m) or large bush-shaped tree, or es­paliers or cor­don trees in poor­ish soil. MM111 Vig­or­ous Ideal for stan­dard or semi-stan­dard trees, up to 4.5m ( smaller on light soils). It can also re­sist potash de­fi­ciency in the soil and is no­tably re­sis­tant to drought. M25 Very vig­or­ous The best choice for a large stan­dard tree, ap­prox­i­mately 4-5m tall, which can pro­duce up to 180kg of fruit.

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