Apple Rootstock for northern Somerset Co., PA

Asked February 19, 2018, 12:37 PM EST

I get dizzy looking at all the rootstocks I need advice. I'm looking for the best apple rootstock to fit my soil condition and growing needs. This area generally has a clay base about 8 to 16 inches down....wet springs and, anymore, mostly dry late summers. Not getting the more predictable rainfall as we did 30 - 40 years ago. I'd like a rootstock that does NOT need supported and is disease resistant. Maybe I'm asking too much, but what are my best options. The other issue is so few nurseries offer rootstock in small quantities. Thanks!

Somerset County Pennsylvania

3 Responses

I am not an expert on apple rootstock so I reached out to our tree fruit specialist. This is her response:

If this individual doesn’t want to support the trees, then MM111 or M.7 are the best options. M.7 is smaller, but it can tend to lean if not staked at least initially. MM111 is resistant to wooly apple aphids and is less susceptible to fire blight than other rootstocks. It also tolerates wet conditions as well as droughty soils. There are some new disease resistant rootstocks, but they are not widely available, and most require a support system. I’d strongly recommend disease resistant cultivars, such as Crimson Crisp -

Just a little confused...should I be looking for a MM111 rootstock of the Crimson Crisp cultivar? Or am I missing something? I am using scions from a tree on the family homestead of unknown variety. 2 of my 5 grafts were successful (so far) last year on MM11 rootstock. Just was wondering if there was anything better. .

According to her response, I would go with the MM11 since it has resistance to some common pest problems.