Understanding Fruit Tree Rootstocks


The height of all stone fruit trees sold is controlled by 2 parts: a “rootstock” or foundation and a “scion” or top portion which determines the fruit variety. A rootstock can be “seedling” or “standard” (which produces a full-size tree) or it can be “dwarfing” or “size-controlling” (which produces a smaller tree for easier care and harvest).

The biology of the scion and the rootstock combine to determine to the mature height of the tree. In some cases, a standard sized tree will be grown on a dwarfing rootstock or a dwarf tree will be grown on a standard rootstock. While dwarfing rootstocks have important advantages, rootstocks should be selected primarily for adaptability to the soil and climate of the planting site.

Dave Wilson Rootstock Rootstock Properties
Citation Semi-Dwarf peaches/nectarines to 8-14', apricots and plums to 12-18'. Very tolerant of wet soil - NOT drought tolerant (induces early dormancy in dry soil). Very winter hardy. Resisits root-know nematodes. Induces heavy bearing at young age. Trees on Citation may be held to any desired height by summer pruning.
D. Lotus Standard persimmon rootstock. Prefers deep loamy soil in warm, sheltered, sunny position. It dislikes acidic or poorly drained soils.
Geneva935 Semi Dwarfed to 8-10 ft. Very cold hardy. Bearer of large fruit.
Lovell Standard. More tolerant of wet soils than Nemaguard. Also more cold hardy. Susceptible to nematodes in sandy soils.
M-7 Semi-Dwarfed. From GrowOrganic: M-7 rootstock dwarfs to 65% of standard. Induces early and heavy bearing. Resistant to fireblight, powdery mildew, moderately resistant to collar rot. Good anchorage. Very winter hardy, widely adapted. Disadvantage: prone to suckering (prune or break off at least once per year). Trees may be held to any desired height by summer pruning.
M-106 Semi-Dwarf apple rootstock.
M-111 Standard. From GrowOrganic: M-111 is an excellent all-around rootstock for apples. Tolerates wet, dry or poor soil. Resists woolly apple aphids and collar rot. Induces bearing at young age. Unpruned tree height 80-90% of standard, or about 15-25 ft. Trees on M-111 may be held to any desired height by summer pruning.
Maxma 14 'R' brokforest Dwarfing rootstock for sweet cherries; trees dwarfed to about 2/3 of standard. Less dwarfing expected in fertile loamy soils. Induces early heavy bearing; crop management may be needed for productive varieties in early years. Good tolerance to wet soils, also performs well in calcareous soils. Resistant to bacterial canker and nematodes. Well anchored, very little suckering.
Mazzard Standard root stock for sweet cherries. Adaptable to many conditions. Vigorous, more tolerant of wet soils than Mahaleb, but good draininage still required. Resistant to root-know nematodes and oak-root fungus.
Myro29C Makes large tree, immune to root-knot nematode, tolerates wet soils, less sucker development than Marianna 2624.Disadvantages: Tends to lean, some incompatibility with almonds, prunes subject to brown line on this rootstock, may set lighter crop than Marianna 26-24, susceptible to oak root fungus.
Nemaguard Standard. Vigorous, resistant to root-rot nematode: an excellent rootstock for well drained soil. In slower draining soils, plant on mound or berm. Unpruned: 15-25'. May be held to any desired height by summer pruning.
Newroot-1 Dwarf. Newroot-1 encourages early bearing and will reach a height of 8 to 12 feet if left unpruned. This dwarfing rootstock is very versatile and more tolerant of clay soils then either Mazzard or Mahaleb. Trees on Newroot-1 can be grown in containers.
OHxF333 Semi-Dwarf pear rootstock. Resistant to fireblight, collar rot, woolly pear aphids and pear decline.