Rootstocks - Fruit Trees

DIY grafting is satisfying work, and it is always a joy to give a new run to a beloved old, dying tree whose name has been lost. 

A named fruit tree, like a Bramley apple tree, for example, is never grown from seed. They are effectively cloned from other Bramley trees. A cutting, called a scion, is taken from an adult Bramley and this is grafted onto the roots of another apple tree - this is called the rootstock.
The same process is used for any other named fruit tree. rootstocks

  • The scion is the top half - this determines what the new tree will be.
  • The rootstock is the bottom half - this controls the tree's final size when mature & rate of growth.

The relationship between a rootstock and a variety is similar to the one between a car model and engine size: a BMW 3 Series comes with a range of possible engine sizes. Just as the bigger engine makes your BMW go faster, so a more vigorous rootstock makes your fruit tree grow bigger. In the table below, the mature sizes shown are approximate maximums: the variety of apple, the soil type, the amount of sun and the way the tree is pruned will have an effect on how big the tree can potentially grow.

If you want to graft your own, you can buy Apple & Pear rootstocks, Cherry rootstocks and Plum family rootstocks.

Which rootstocks do we use for our fruit trees?
There are many specialist rootstocks out there, but the reality is that each type of fruit tree has one group of rootstocks that are used by almost everyone. 
When buying any fruit tree from us, you do not need to worry about choosing the right rootstock: they are grown on the most suitable one for its intended final shape and size. 

 MaidenCordonBushHalf-Standard
Apple MM106
(Semi-Vigorous)
M9
(Dwarfing)
M26
(Semi-Dwarfing)
MM106
(Semi-Vigorous)
Pear Quince A
(Semi-Vigorous)
Quince A
(Semi-Vigorous)
Quince C
(Dwarfing)
Quince A
(Semi-Vigorous)
Cherry Colt
(Semi-Vigorous)
N/A Colt
(Semi-Vigorous)
Colt
(Semi-Vigorous)
Plums, Gages,
Damsons, Bullaces
St Julien A
(Semi-Vigorous)
N/A St Julien A
(Semi-Dwarf)
St Julien A
(Semi-Vigorous)
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