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Searching for posts that discuss/explain Root Stocks? (Sepp Holzer example inside)

 
pollinator
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Hi,

I've finally gotten the hard scape done of my yard in Colorado at 7500' in Zone 5 (one acre lot, only half usable).   My plum tree didn't survive this past winter, but now with the excavation done I want to get as many trees started as I can.

I've only recently even heard of how people graft onto other root stock and I'm a bit confused about the whole thing.  I believe the idea is to allow a tree to survive more harsh winters (which would be a good thing for me).

I found this link ( https://permies.com/t/32817/Holzer-Fruit-Tree-System#255852 )where it is explained Sepp Holzer does this at the  Krameterhof.  It sounds as if he uses the wild cultivar of a tree and then grafts a more cultivated variety?  (He also plants a wild variety for birds along with it.). It is then explained that he grafts pears onto Mountain Ash.

For my climate might it be beneficial to do this also?  Does anyone have advice on what root stock to use?  Mountain Ash similarly to Sepp?  Wild varieties?--would I have to search for the most native variety to get a "wild" variety?

You may notice I'm probably lost.  Any help would be appreciated.  Thank you!
 
steward
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Seth, here are a few threads that might help.

I always feel that the best way to learn is to research what kind of wood to use. "Scion" maybe the right word to graft on.

https://permies.com/t/44458/Grafting-Trees

A few others:

https://permies.com/t/161396/Rooting-fruit-trees-put-spot

https://permies.com/t/162727/plums/Plum-Tree-Graft

https://permies.com/t/52567/pears/Grafting-Asian-Pear-Hawthorne-Mountain
 
S. Marshall
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Wow, thanks for the reply. What these links are teaching me is that I’m way in over my head!  I don’t think this is something I can pick up for the dozen or so trees of different varieties I’d like to plant (for my one acre lot).  

I guess I should shell out the premium at the nursery.

I did have a plan to make air pruning seedlings from the varieties I did want, but, and please correct me if I’m wrong), it sounds like this wouldn’t give me the root stock and only the scion.  Am I correct that without the proper root stock this would be unfavorable for my thought climate?  High altitude, cold and windy winters, sometimes dry summers.
 
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Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft Grafter, veggie gardener
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I would also suggest planting apple seeds which you later graft to. But there are a few apples that tend to produce true to type; so that if you plant seeds you will likely get the same apples it's noted for. The first is actually a root stock called Antonovka. You can get seeds here. Antonovka apples aren't the best but they'd likely be great for sauce and cider and possibly baking. Another is Famuese also known as the Snow Apple. Famuese will likely produce a better apple. Antonovka is from Russia, I think actually Poland; and Famuese is from eastern Canada.
So if you grow and graft to these varieties you will have some idea what you'll get and you can graft to them later. Another advantage you'll get is if you grow out the seed in the ground and graft to them in place your trees will have a tap root which should help you get thru droughts and wind storms.

As far as grafting My first attempt was with 4 trees and they were all successful. I used a "whip and tongue" graft using a retractable safety knife and a finger guard I made from the bottom of a plastic half gallon milk jug.

As far as growing the seed you have to keep the seed in a cold environment, outdoors or in a refrigerator over the winter. I've had good luck sowing the seed outdoors in late fall/early winter in the ground and covering the seed with screening to keep away the critters.
 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7 AHS:4 GDD:3000 Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Different kind of root stock accomplish different things.
1) Dwarf or semi-dwarfing rootstock
2) Drought adapted rootstock
3) Winter low temp adapted rootstock
4) Mineral/soil type adapted rootstock
5) etc, etc

Instead of buying an existing rootstock you can make your own by planting seeds.

Lets say you had a 200ft property line/perimeter that you wanted to plant out with some fruit trees. Lets say from the prunus sub-family, apple/pear subfamily, etc. Then you could plant 50 Mt Ash, 50 and 50 almond seeds, 50 plum seed.  After a few years some of the weaker ones that are more adapted to say Florida will have died. The ones that are still alive will be super hardy and maybe not even require any watering or spray or anything thing, and just like that you have made your own rootstock.

Now some of those seedling might also be great scion wood. By great scion wood I mean that it produces great delicious fruits. Other seedling might produce, tiny, hard inedible horrible fruits.  The ones that make horrible fruits you can graft on a good scion wood so that you can get a great harvest.

You might find that some of the seedling will produce some fruits that are great for ferments/wines/cider or great for jam or great for baking but not so much for fresh eating. Those ones I would leave as is and not graft because they still have a useful purpose.


 
S. Marshall
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Thank you both for your posts.  The idea of a very cold hardy dwarf rootstock may be perfect for my situation.  Last fall our temp dropped from 70 to 20 F in one day and killed a bunch of peoples trees.  Even though the hardiness map says I'm 5, it turns out I'm definitely more of 4 (or maybe even 3) because I'm at the foothills of the rocky mountains and am a full 2500' higher than my nearby nursery.

All the places I've looked online appear to be sold out of rootstock.  Is it not advisable to do this mid-summer?
 
John Indaburgh
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Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft Grafter, veggie gardener
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Most web sites that sell rootstocks or scions usually start selling just after the holidays and for perhaps a month after. Then you start seeing items out of stock till there's nothing left. Some websites have nothing for sale until this short burst.
 
John Indaburgh
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Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft Grafter, veggie gardener
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I'd like to present a reason to graft your own trees, the interstem. Which is a scion placed between the rootstock and your selected variety scion. This is what I did when I grafted the first time. I used an M111 apple rootstock to which I grafted a cutting off an M7 semi-dwarf rootstock and then grafted my selected variety to that.This choice gave me a semi-dwarf tree on a semi-full rootstock that grows well in my clay. As I said all of these were successful and are still growing today.

But there's another reason to do this interstem grafting. There are varieties of fruit which grow faster or slower than others of the fruit type. In apples there are considered 3 grades. T1 Weak, T2 Medium,and T3 Very Vigorous. And there is a list of apples and their category. I will use a google search link as I'm unsure of the status now and into the future for the site that originally posted the list.

My idea is that you can grow on either a large rootstock you buy or grow yourself and then control the size of your tree by selecting an apple that meets your size requirement AND is also an apple you want to grow and then graft to that ANOTHER apple that you also want to grow. As an example You grow Antonovka seeds which gives you a cold hardy full size rootstock with a tap root and then graft to that a Cox’s Orange Pippin which is listed as a T2 Medium grade and then another apple say an Anna which is a T3 but will grow out as a T2 because of the previous graft. So you wind up with a tree that won't blow over but also controls the size and gives you 2 different apples.
 
pollinator
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I have several native rootstocks going now for use in my future home orchard.  

I have wild Pawpaw and will graft different varieties onto them.  Many of my trees are almost fruit bearing but I have a terrific online source for hard to find scions.

I have Callery Pear, which I find is an import from China because it has fewer problems with rot and disease. I will graft Asian Pears onto these.  Centuries ago the European varieties were not doing well here until they brought in Callery.  Of course this is where the notorious Bradford and Cleveland Pears are offshoots.  But these trees are great for grafting onto.

I also have Native American Persimmon of which I just learned there are two types (Tetraploid - 60 Chromosome and Hexaploid - 90 Chromosome).  The Hexaploid is a lower growing tree and better for growing Asian other Hybrid varieties.  I got my rootstock from Missouri dept of conservation so am hoping this is the right race.

I am also growing a Spinosa (small and sour) variety of Jujube rootstock for grafting the sweet tasting cultivars.

If things go to plan I will only have to treat the Asian Pears for Cedar Quince Rust and I will use JADAM Sulfur spray as needed.
 
Dennis Bangham
pollinator
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Here is how I manage a lot of rootstocks for my future orchard.  I will also use this to grow seedling for grafting and selling when I get motivated to venture on this path.
PXL_20210620_183230932.MP.jpg
groundcover, pavers, cattle panel, poultry fencing, concrete block and sheep and goat panel
groundcover, pavers, cattle panel, poultry fencing, concrete block and sheep and goat panel
PXL_20210627_211359597.jpg
rootstocks now more organized.
rootstocks now more organized.
 
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