Bramley G.41 to G.890

I preordered a Bramley apple tree from Cummins this year and they just sent me an email saying they had to switch it from G.41 to G.890 rootstock. I am brand new to apple trees and I have some questions about this!
How small can I keep this tree and still have it be decently productive? I would like it to be probably no taller than 8’ for sure. Will it require pruning more often to keep it from getting crazy?

G890 is to your benefit in some cases I have read bad reviews on the one you ordered. My G 890 is doing very well and requires no staking. A real plus for a fast growing semi dwarf. You can easily figure on a 15’ top with a 20’diameter spread
If that’s ok I would be thankful for the swap!
Kent, wa

Keep in mind that if you limit it to 8’, by the time it loads with fruits those scaffolds will drop down to about 4’ off the ground, so suggest waiting to cut the top back until you have scaffolds that are starting at about 8’-9’ at the trunk.


That’s interesting—I thought G41 was supposed to be better!
I hadn’t thought about the branches being weighed down by the weight of the apples. Like I said—newbie! :grin: Is there anything wrong with having them that low, other than maybe more animals could possibly reach?

My experience is very limited. But so far I like g.890 a lot. I also am impressed by my g.41. I don’t doubt it’s world-beating yield efficiency but you have to be quite attentive to grow it out to productive maturity. (Agressive thinning, consistent fertilization and watering etc. etc, )

Short answer: Don’t sweat it.

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I have some G-890. They are no problem pruning to 8 feet.

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G41 may be quicker to bear and easier to pick…but you must stake it, and you must irrigate it.

Will I need to stake the G980 at all? Or just the first year or so?

I am staking my g890 trees for the first few years.

Is your soil very sandy & area windy? Then stake it the first few years. Bramley is vigorous, I believe, so it will gain size pretty fast. If you have some protection from damaging winds, Gen980 should otherwise do very well for you with minimal or even no staking. That must be your call. I have two varieties (neither vigorous growers) on G890 & they are so far doing beautifully.

On the other hand, I lost a tree in its 8th leaf (8th!) to a thunderstorm on G41. Talk about a clean break right at what had been the graft union. I think you are better served this way.

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G41 is known to be brittle at the graft union and break easily. True to form the one apple tree (Wickson) I had on G41 broke off at the graft union last winter. I haven’t tried G890 yet but from what I’ve heard it’s a great all-round rootstock.

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Not sandy, clay. Sometimes windy but not like some places. More like just in storms. It also won’t be very protected though either, especially when we get east winds.

Treco says G.41 also suffers from slow root development. G.890 is fairly bullet proof. You can also get G.935 cheaper at Treco. But it is not wholly aphid proof.

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Thanks for the info! I have it (the G.890) planted so I will hopefully be able to see how it does in the next few years. If it’s still alive anyway—it doesn’t seem to be leafing out yet. Hopefully it will! :grimacing:

I have keepsake and goldrush on g41. Crawling and slow growing, spindly trees.

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