Best Rootstock for Grafting Apple Trees

If you are an apple grower, selecting the best rootstock for grafting apple trees is one of the most overwhelming tasks. You can select any one among a lot of but that should be perfect. While selecting, you must remember that climate, soil, irrigation, trellis system and variety; all play a vital role. Again, selecting best rootstock has become more difficult for the factors in the growers’ expectations and the ecological interactions. So, a particular selection for a gardener may not be the best choice for other or everyone.

Beneficiary note

You must remember that, more effective rootstock can yield three or four time more than considerably less effective one if you can ensure an appropriate condition for them. Almost every gardener wants consistently high yield along with early harvesting. These are the essential role that a best rootstock can play. After that the question comes that whether there is available or not.

It is essential for a successful operation to know that what is the best rootstock and why; what is available at the very growing reign and when.

Now, let’s come to the point and discuss about the best rootstocks

Best rootstock for grafting apple tree

There are several rootstocks that is used to graft apple trees. To discuss them, we can classify them into four major classes. They are the members of G family, M family, Bud family and other.

Members of Bud family

Budagovsky 9

Bud 9 or B.9 has earned a great popularity in recent years for its compatibility with almost every cultivars and winter hardiness. It is regarded to be more dwarfing than M.9. Remember, B9 dislikes sandy soils and is not a reliable replant partner. But if you plant more plants as close as 16-18 inches, this can be solved. Though B.9 is an excellent choice for high yield and vigor, they will turn into sucker while you’re going to graft them.

Budagovsky 118

This is a vigorous rootstock valuing dry and sandy orchard sites. In spite of being winter hardy, it is not so replant tolerant. In every selection, productivity is an important issue. This type of rootstock produces smaller fruit. It, at the same time, suffers from annual bearing challenges.

Budagovsky 10

In Washington, Bud.10 is the cold and hardy rootstock that is mostly used for its fire blight resistance and easy propagation quality with several side buds. Researchers of Northwest are still learning about this rootstock. Remember, this kind of rootstock is highly susceptible to replant disease.

Members of G family

Geneva 65

Geneva 65 is the best choice for the growers who looks for a variety that is resistant to fire blight and; at the same time, it’ll be tolerant of root rot and crown. It is compared to Malling 27 as a rootstock that is super dwarfing. Geneva 65 is suitable for pedestrian orchard. At the same time, Geneva 65 has some more disease benefits than M.27. There is an important issue to mention that Geneva 65 is not available in volume.

Geneva 47

It is one of the best known and high performing Geneva rootstocks and likes to be associated with large caliper finished trees. The trees of this variety has something strange; a tree of half inch has less problem in comparison to the tree of 5-8 inches. Why this happens so is now known to all. G.41 needs a great care than other cultivars for having challenges with union breakage. But this problem is only with certain varieties and the researchers are trying hard to improve. The smaller you’ll graft, the better the chance will be.

Geneva 935

This is one of the high performing rootstock of G family. It is good for weaker varieties with good production. This kind of rootstock is available for commercial purposes and a good tolerant of replant disease.

Geneva 214

G.214 is the very variety that is the first among the members of G family. It is high performing and best known for being replant disease resistant. Growers select this kind of rootstock for many reasons. It is a good variety for transplant. Production rate is nice and resistant type of plant. Also this rootstock can easily be propagated. In some nurseries, the first group of G.214 is available with some limited qualities.

Geneva 210

Another excellent performer of G family is G.210. It is high performing and done the best in a research replant site in Washington. within the next two years, the availability will increase dramatically. At the same time, this variety is coming out of tissue culture and there has seen production in stool beds.

Geneva 222

G.222 is such a rootstock that is recommended to such a loction where fire blight is a major concern. It is a good M.9 type. One can easily propagate this variety as it is commercially available. But, you need to remember that it is not very replant tolerant. You can have a limited quality of G.222 which you can cultivate in fresh ground.

Geneva 814

A virus sensitive variety of rootstock, you must pare G.814 with clean scion wood of trials in Washington. Bigger than G.214, this rootstock will produce a box sized fruit. If you want to have a rootstock with a good balance of potassium, calcium and phosphorus, it’s a great choice to propagate with.

Geneva 11

In sandy or light soils, G.11 seems to be disappointing in vigor. But if you can ensure a good soil, it produces large fruits. This can grow vigorously on nonbearing trees. This types of rootstock befits for nurseries. Though G.11 is not resistant to fire blight fully, in cause of such an attack, you may lose a tree instead of your whole orchard.

Geneva 16

G.16 is one of the wonderful and mostly known varieties for its beautiful and productive trees. It is also suitable for nurseries and mostly used in the southeast U.S. This variety of rootstock, even with certified woos, is virus sensitive. From the first to the final end of fruiting process, it would take three or four years only.

Members of M family

Malling 9 Nic29

Though it is the largest among the M.9s used in the West, many of the growers stop farming it for its susceptibility to fire blight. This variety is also marked with replant disease.

Malling 9 Pajam2

For the growers who are looking for a variety with large fruit and more productivity, this kind of rootstock is highly recommended. But, you may face with a little bit of problem replanting them. Fire blight is also a major concern for this type.

Malling 9 T-337

 Perhaps you’re looking for such a rootstock that is the global standard and M9.337 is the solution. It is the variety that is mostly cultivated in Washington. This variety shows its outmost compatibility with most scions. But the growers from such an area where fire blight is a major concern, avoid it as it is susceptibility to fire blight.

Malling 26

With a lower production, it is the worst type of rootstock to propagate with. It is not only susceptible to fire blight but also replant disease. So, it is recommended to select among other members of F or G family except this.

Malling 27

Much like G.65, it doesn’t have sufficient availability of commercial production. Also this variety is not used so much in Washington. As this variety is not suitable for commercial purposes, it is often used for some special uses like containerized tree and pedestrian orchard.



If you want a uniform growth and like to observe an excellent horticultural trait in apple propagation, you can choose Mark. It’s also considered to be an easy and high performing rootstock for the growers who have their nurseries at home. Mark won’t be drought tolerant like the other dwarf rootstocks especially for the growers form arid West. At the same time, in comparison with sleeping eyes or bench grafts; it’ll be in more problems when you plant it as a finished tree.

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