Apple rootstocks

Most all fruit trees are propagated via grafting. A branch or bud (scion) of a specific variety is attached to a compatible root-sytem (rootstock). The rootstock determines size and some growth characteristics of the tree. We offer trees on standard and semidwarf rootstocks. Full-dwarf trees may be available upon request.

Semidwarf trees may come into full bearing sooner than standards and do not grow as large (about 15 ft with pruning). However, they are typically not as long lived or well anchored. Semidwarf trees must have some pruning and may need staking. Some have suggested semidwarf trees may not be hardy in the coldest parts of the state. We recommend standard trees for their robustness and longevity. We recommend semidwarf tree for those willing to undertake a little more management or with limited space.

Final tree size will depend significantly on site conditions. Not enough sun, soggy soil, or droughty soil will all stunt the mature tree size regardless of rootstock. For planning purposes, however, 25-30 ft is a reasonable height to assume for a standard-rootstock tree (though some may grow to 40 in the right conditions, if allowed to!). Other rootstock heights are given as a proportion of standard tree size.

Full size trees should be planted 25-35 feet apart.

Semi-dwarf trees (M7 or M111) 12-25 feet apart.

Full-dwarf rootstocks (such as B9) require permanent staking and careful attention to the soil, consider the vegetable garden. Not for beginners.

Standard: Antanovka, vigorous and disease resistant full size trees. With a little TLC these trees can last generations.

B118: Budagovsky 118. Semidwarf (85% standard). Reliably productive, hardy, and vigorous. Needs no staking.

B9: Hardy Full dwarf rootstock (30% standard). Compact and quick to bear heavy crops. Will need permanent staking and very good soil. 

M111: Semidwarf or semi-standard (80% standard) Vigorous and adaptable disease resistant rootstock. Needs no staking.

M7: Semidwarf (50-65% standard). reliably productive, hardy and quick to bear. May need staking early in life.