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Viability of damaged rootstock

Posted by Katie Selbee 
Viability of damaged rootstock
April 20, 2016 01:42PM
Hello, I'm wondering if anyone has grafted with partially dried out/damaged rootstock: I ordered 1200 M9 and M26 and when I received them, the roots in some of the bundles were quite dry, and some pieces even had no roots left on them--perhaps rubbed off during processing or shipping. I'm wondering if I should even waste my time and scionwood grafting these damaged ones. Any suggestions? I do have a rooting hormone powder--perhaps I could graft them and then dip them in the hormone when I plant them in the nursery? And advice would be appreciated!

Katie
Twin Island Cider
Zone 8 Pender Island
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 20, 2016 03:36PM
I've never grafted on new rootstock, only those have been established for at least a summer in the ground. I prefer to chip bud in August. I don't think I would risk W/T grafting on those rootstock just yet. If you have access to your own scion wood I would wait and chip bud them late summer. In addition, I would also contact the nursery you got them from and let them know about the poor condition of the rootstocks, they may at least give you a partial refund or replacements?

good luck, Pat
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 21, 2016 12:14PM
Katie, I wouldn't fully give up on the rootstocks yet. In many cases the smaller rootlets will die, but the core can rebound. Worse is if they look dry only having frozen in transit. I find too wet a rootstock, or damage from cold allows rot, which is worse. If time is dear, planting them out for late summer budding or grafting next spring is wise. Regardless, grafting low means less stress if most of the stock if it is dry. If it is so dry that full cell death has occurred, rooting hormones won't help.

As for scions, dry is also the question. If they were in plastic with enough dampness (I use peat or a paper towel, damp but not dripping) it should be good. The fridge loves to dry things out. Topgrafting is fine if it is active growth, particularly with rind grafting. Many species will bleed if the leaves are not transpiring enough when the sap is running.

Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard
Zone 3 in Vermont
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 22, 2016 01:17AM
Thanks Pat and Todd--I will try grafting some and planting the rest out for later chip-budding--rootstock is so hard to get here in Canada (I had to go through a "broker," which was complicated enough) that I don't put much hope in getting a refund or replacement!
Cheers.
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 22, 2016 12:28PM
Have you tried the Vineland rootstocks? They were produced initially in Canada. I bought 200 Vineland 1 (V1) last summer and planted them in my nursery. They grew like crazy, put on good girth and I chip budded about 150 of them last August. I just planted them out in the orchard over the last 2 days. I got over 95% take and they had had tremendous root growth on them as well. They had better roots than the G935 I've had in the nursery for 2 growing seasons. They reportedly produce a tree about the same size as G935, both a little bigger than M26.

Pat
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 22, 2016 07:44PM
As Katie says, we haven't had any sources of rootstocks here in Canada for 15 or 20 years. So, while we developed the Vineland series, we can't get them ourselves. A year or two ago a grower in the interior of BC started selling dwarfing stocks (?M-9), but nothing else. And he is reluctant to ship outside BC because he has to get a "movement certificate" to ship east of the Rockies. (Needs an inspection by a CFIA inspector, looking for Apple Ermine Moth, which is absent east of the Rockies.) (But Katie would be OK, because she is west of him.) So in practical terms, we are dependent on US growers for all our rootstocks. And she is right, trying to get recompense for damaged stock from a grower on the other side of the border would likely be a lost cause. And getting anything across the border is a major challenge in the first place since a commercial grower in Niagara brought in Plum Pox virus awhile back - they closed the border tight as a drum - no Malus from NY at all, only virus indexed wood from the few approved states.

Broomholm Orchard
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 23, 2016 05:56PM
Hello David,
I must say I wasn't aware of this situation for rootstocks. It is really quite amazing that there wouldn't be any rootstock producers in Canada, and all nurseries have to source them in the US! There would be a good business to start there...
And how about the Beautiful Arcade that are produced in NS?

And to Katie, first I think we need to say welcome - as far as I can see these are your first posts on this forum.
Also, I was curious and I found your web site for Twin Island Cider... It seems to be a nice project you have there.
I am amazed you found some Sauergrauech in Canada - this variety is highly praised for cider in Switzerland (it is included in the cider apple directory of my French book, which is just out - I got my author copies this week) and was recommended by my Swiss collaborator. Maybe you can send me a few sticks of wood next year, as I'd love to test it.
Also, just in case you don't know about them, Summerland Varieties do have a very good selection of cider varieties in their new catalog (of February 2016). If you haven't seen this most recent version, it's worth having a look : [www.summerlandvarieties.com]
And, as a last remark, I think you got me wrong about the Belle de Boskoop... You wrote « Belle de Boskoop: Cidermaker Claude Jolicoeur considers this one of his favourite cider varieties because of its somewhat dangerously high acidity and high sugars. »
It's not exactly that... It is one of my favorite russets, yes, and I like the flavor, but it's not because of its acidity that I like it... I would prefer if the acidity would be lower actually. And it needs to be blended with a low acidity variety otherwise you'll do a « Battery acid » cider as Michael says.
Best success with your cidery...
Claude

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 23, 2016 07:00PM
I agree that there is a need for a Canadian source of rootstocks, and have been encouraging young farmers to get into the business, so far unsuccessfully. I have, however, got several people in the East to start their own stool beds. We will never get up to large commercial scale, but within the next few years should be able to muster a few hundred roots for the amateur community. Which leads me to your next point, your citing Summerland as a source. I have real problems with this outfit. They were originally a research station, under Agriculture Canada, (a government agency). They are now basically dedicated to marketing and patenting, and directed very specifically at large commercial growers. (Note their "minimum charge" of $100 for scion or budwood.) The Canadian Clonal Genebank in Harrow, Ontario continues to be willing to supply small quantities of scion wood free, and have a fair collection of cider varieties, plus roughly 1000 other Malus cultivars. I have a database of variety holdings by both the amateur community, specialty nurseries, and sources such as CCGB, in Canada. Any Canadians looking for particular varieties are encouraged to contact me.
Your reference to somebody growing Antanovka here in NS is intriguing - I am unaware of this. But Antanovka is generally grown from seed, and I think that the Kentville Research Station was at one time offering seed informally. Eddy Dugas, in New Brunswick was using Antanovka as a root stock 20 years or so ago, but I am unaware of anybody else using it. (Eddy's orchard was sold some time ago, and I think Eddy himself has died.)

Broomholm Orchard
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 23, 2016 07:29PM
Currently I'm thinking of changing the name of this post to the viability of Canada . . .

Sure does seem like a great opportunity for someone to become a rootstock grower north of the border. I taught a grafting and pruning workshop today, at the Old Stone House Museum in Brownington, Vermont (one on my favorite venues) and really enjoyed being able to share the perfectly calipered rootstock of MM.111 and Bud.118 gotten from Willamette Nurseries in Oregon. One of the very best. I second the idea of planting out rootstock in the nursery to gain girth and root establishment (and in your case, Katie, determine viability) only I am not a budding kind of guy. A simple slit, aka bark inlay graft, made the week of quarter inch green works brilliantly that next spring and is rather quick to do compared to a full-blown whip and tongue with notching. Something those of us should consider in Zone 4 and Canada.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 23, 2016 08:51PM
David Maxwell Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Which leads me to your next point,
> your citing Summerland as a source. I have real
> problems with this outfit. They were originally a
> research station, under Agriculture Canada, (a
> government agency). They are now basically
> dedicated to marketing and patenting, and directed
> very specifically at large commercial growers.
> (Note their "minimum charge" of $100 for scion or
> budwood.)

David, I think we need to put this in perspective... I agree Summerland Varieties (SVC) is not the place to go when you need a few sticks of a certain variety. But they have their place as a supplier of large quantity of scion wood. For example Katie who is grafting 1200 trees this spring. She can't get that quantity of wood from you or me, nor from Harrow who will only provide small quantities for research... It makes sense for her to spend 100$ - less than a dime per tree grafted - to get all the wood she needs.
Note also that SVC provides wood to many large commercial nurseries in Canada - it is generally cheaper for these nurseries to buy their wood from SVC than to grow it themselves. So we need to look at SVC for what it now is: a private company that provides a product to a customer, at a reasonable price that permits paying the salaries of its employees and make some profit... And they are good at it. For my part, I have no problem with this. But I agree we may feel nostalgia from the old days where government was supporting it. Unfortunately these days will probably not come back.

And further:
> Your reference to somebody growing Antanovka here
> in NS is intriguing - I am unaware of this.

I was refering to Beautiful Arcade (BA), not Antonovka. BA is also normally grown from seeds. Corn Hill Nursery (in New Brunswick) has been producing trees on BA for over 30 years, and I understand they have been sourcing their roots in NS - was it the Kentville station? Possibly. I don't know however if they got the seeds or the small trees.

Claude

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/2016 08:55PM by Claude Jolicoeur.
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 24, 2016 07:14AM
Just a thought for canadian growers , a couple years back when I was looking for Bud 118's I had turn to the US for supply . The US supplier suggested I contact a local major nursery here and " piggy back " my order with theirs . A quick phone call and they added what I needed .

Hillview Heritage Farm
Zone 5*in British Columbia
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 27, 2016 09:50AM
I am not sure it is appropriate to to prolong the discussion of our travails in Canada, but my experience yesterday was simply too fascinating to let pass. Like David Doncaster, I have relied on the local grower's association to "piggy-back" a few hundred extra roots onto their order, (in my case so as to have supplies for my spring grafting workshop). When I signed for my roots yesterday there was a listing of the rootstocks they potentially have available on the inventory sheet. None of the Vineland series were included, (cf. Pat Pryal's enthusiastic endorsement above). I asked why, and the answer was that, "they haven't been cleared for importation into Canada". We developed them, but lacking any Canadian rootstock growers, we sent the mother plants down to the States, (in this case Treco), and now we can't get them back into Canada because another branch of government (CFIA) has imposed import regulations prohibiting importation of Malus wood which does not meet their criteria. (A couple of years ago I actually called up one of the senior bureaucrats at CFIA to ask what their concern was with, for example, scion wood from New York, (absolutely prohibited.) The answer was "I don't know"! Bureaucracy gone completely amuck.
I do know that they have a thing about viruses - only virus indexed wood is permitted, even if the state is on the approved list. And, of course, heritage varieties are never going to be virus indexed. This may be the sticking point for the Vineland rootstocks - I don't know whether they would ever have been formally tested for viruses. (Roughly 1/3 of the holdings in the Canadian Clonal Genebank, our national repository of fruit varieties, are not indexed.)

Broomholm Orchard
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 27, 2016 10:20AM
This won't help Canadian seekers of clonal rootstock, but seed for standard stock is allowed cross border without issue, and sure makes the cheapest tree imaginable. Our nursery gets a whole lot of inquiry for cold hardy stock from Canada, and as stated, live material including scionwood is nearly impossible to get up there. Seed however, below a pound is allowed without issue.

It does seem onerous that you good folk have such a problem getting material to each other. The determination to protect against disease and pest transmission is a warranted idea. But...as is happening more and more in US as well, this control is making it very difficult for small producers, like myself, to offer plants, etc. It may not be orchestrated, but the likely outcome will be large producers who can fumigate fields, spray incessantly, and of course, have a tissue culture lab. This may mean that rare specimens like a Sauergrauech tree or scion stick making it from a specialist family nursery to Canada or Washington or California might wind up, well, unlikely.

Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard
Zone 3 in Vermont
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
May 08, 2016 12:46PM
Sorry Claude, I didn't see your response till now! The Sauergrauch is from a Swiss friend at Wahrenburg Farms in Keremeos--I'll get my partner Matthew to put you in touch with him as he (Markus) has plenty of viable scionwood. Thanks for the correction on my apple variety list--that's hilarious, I will make that correction. Matthew has had great success blending our Belle de Boskoops with other apples here on the island, although it does seem that our Boskoops are lower in acidity here, perhaps due to the very mild winters? I'm personally in the orchard more than the cider shed but I've really enjoyed perusing your book.

And thanks to everyone else's responses and input--I'll definitely be saving some rootstock from this year's order to propagate my own for future grafting--that seems to be the best solution for my smaller-scale situation. But if anyone hears of good sources for rootstock on this side of the border I'd love to hear.

Katie
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 20, 2017 01:26PM
Shiloam Orchards in Uxbridge ON sells rootstock, bunches of 20 for $/125.

Old 99 Farm and permaculture site
Dundas ON 5b
Re: Viability of damaged rootstock
April 20, 2017 02:04PM
Oh-la-la...
The revival of this thread from last year makes me remember I should have followed-up with Katie about the possibility for Sauergrauch Swiss cider apple grafting wood!
Katie, would you by any chance have some ungrafted leftover?
If not I'll have to mark this down for next year.
Claude

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
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