Rootstock Information

perry pears grown on rootstocks

Pears

Pyrus Communis: This rootstock is used for producing large specimen pear trees, well over 6m/20ft, and usually very long-lived. It can be grown on most soils and is tolerant of chalk. It takes a long time to bear fruit, and is not suitable for small gardens.

Quince A: Pears grafted on to the Quince A rootstock produce trees 10ft-12ft tall –  in other words larger than the same variety on Quince C but not dramatically so. It can be considered roughly equivalent to the MM106 Apple rootstock. Suitable for a wide range of garden types.

Quince C: Pears grafted on to the Quince C rootstock produce small trees about 8ft-10ft in height, similar in size to M26 Apple rootstock. Very suitable for small gardens.

plums grown on rootstocks

Plums/Damsons/Gages

St Julian A: St Julien A is the most widely-used rootstock for plums. It produces a tree 10-12ft tall or similar to the MM106 rootstock used for apples. It fruits in 3/4 years and is a good choice for medium to large sized gardens.

Myro 29 C: Similar sized tree to St Julian A but is less prone to suckering.

heritage apple trees for sale

Apples

Apple trees are grafted because they do not root well from cuttings and they cannot be grown from seed as ‘true varieties’. A few varieties can be grown from cuttings or ‘pitchers’ but these tend to become very large trees.

Grafting on to different rootstocks can control vigour, so that apples can be grown as small bushes, cordons, fans and espaliers, as well as large trees known as ‘standards’.

Those on dwarfing rootstocks, such as M9 and M26, tend to bear fruit earlier. Using these rootstocks also allows growers to plant a larger selection of varieties in a small space.

M9 is the smallest rootstock we use. It is suitable for bushes, espaliers, fans and cordons. Varieties grown on M9 need permanent staking. M9 produces a tree roughly 8ft tall. Plant 8 to 10 ft apart. It crops at 2/3 yrs old and is recommended for small/medium sized gardens.

M26 Slightly larger than M9 it is also suitable for bushes, cordons, espaliers or compact standards. Varieties grown on M26 require permanent staking particularly in less fertile soils. Makes a tree 10ft tall. Plant 10 to 12 ft apart. It crops at 3/5 yrs old and is recommended for small/medium sized gardens.

MM106 Slightly larger than M26 and a good deal larger than M9, this is a good choice where space allows. Good for large bushes, large cordon and espaliers or half-standards. Varieties grown on MM106 require staking for a couple of years or until properly anchored. It makes a tree 12 to 15ft tall depending on variety. Plant 12 to 15 ft apart. It crops at 3/5yrs old and is recommended for large gardens.

MM111 is our most vigorous apple rootstock, producing a tree between 12 and 15 ft plus in height. It is suitable for growing as large bush, standard and half standard trees. Varieties grown on MM111 require staking for a few years or until properly anchored. Plant 15 to 20ft apart. It crops at 4/6yrs old and is recommended for large gardens.

Please Note: The practice of growing standard and half-standard trees has fallen out of fashion due to the difficulties associated with harvesting and carrying out pruning and other maintenance tasks on these very large trees. Our varieties on MM106 and MM111 are pruned to branch out on a 3/4 ft trunk as opposed to the more traditional 4/6 ft trunk. You will still have a large tree but it will be slightly more manageable. If you want to grow a standard or half standard, choose a 1 yr old tree instead and we can advise you on how to train this tree in to the required size and shape. We do prune a small number of trees as half standards and straight leads. Please contact us prior to placing your order if this is your preferred option.