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Rootstocks

Choose the right rootstock

It is the rootstock of a fruit tree that determines how big the tree gets and what soil conditions it can handle. This especially applies to apples. Useful information about types of apple rootstock is listed below, and the best rootstocks for other types of fruit are on the next page.

Rootstocks for apple trees

Adapted from How to Make a Forest Garden

M27 Super dwarf

claysoils · Fruitswellin2ndyear

M9 Dwarf

M26 Dwarf

· Bestinfertile,freedrainingsoil­cannot copewithwaterlogging · Canbegrownwithout stakinginshelteredareas

MM106 Semi-dwarf

· Goodonmostsoils,except poorlydrainedsites · Hasastrongframeandroots, doesnotneedstaking­goodin exposedareas · Semi-vigorous­canbekept smallerwithpruning · Fruitsinthe3rdor4thyearand canbeaheavycropper · Moreresistanttowoollyaphid

· Suitswell-drained,fertilesoils­NOTheavy

· Shallowroots­needsashelteredspot, permanentstakes,andplentyofmulch · Espalierisbest­trainalongafenceor wires · Livesabout30years

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Rootstocks Rootstocks for other trees

Pear

On heavy, fertile soils, grow pears on quince rootstock (grows to about 3m tall).

Cherry

Choose trees grown on Tangshe rootstock (grows to 4m). Prune to an appropriate size for your section, as a standard tree or as a fan.

Apricot, plum, peach, nectarine

On heavy soils, use trees grown on plum rootstock (grows to 4­6m). On dry soils, use peach rootstock (grows to 5­8m). To save space, you can prune them to size as a standard tree, or as a fan against a wall.

(Apple rootstocks cont.)

Citrus

Use trees grown on Flying Dragon (grows to 2.5m), or if you're on heavy clay soil, Trifoliata (grows to 2.3m).

Adapted from How to Make a Forest Garden

M116 Semi dwarf

M793 Tall

Northern Spy

· Anespeciallygoodrootstockfor heavyclaysoils · SuitsconditionsinGoldenBay · Growsintoalargestrongtree­ needsregularpruning,orgrowing asespalier,tokeepitsmaller · Showsresistancetowoollyaphid

· Bettersuitedtodifficultsoils(heavyorclay)thanotherrootstocks · Vigorous,lookschunkierthantheM106,andhasamoreuprightframework andbranches · Needsregularpruning,orgrowingasespalier,tocontrolsize · Hasgoodanchorage · Fruitsstronglyinthe5thyear · Moreresistanttowoollyaphidandcollarrot

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