Centennial Crab Rootstock Question

Centennial crab is often described as a genetic semi-dwarf (10-12 ft). If I was to order that with an M7 rootstock (semi-dwarfing) would it be shorter than the 10-12 foot mark?

Raintree indicates that Centennial grown on MM106 would only grow to 8 feet tall. In contrast, the vendor from which I am purchasing the Centennial crab made it sound like the size of the tree is entirely dependent upon the rootstock and an M7 will yield roughly the same height regardless of the scion.

All of my other apple trees will be on M7. If possible, I would like a uniform height of the trees. Can anyone tell me their experiences with the vertical height of Centennial on different rootstocks? Thanks!

Not sure about Centennial on M7. M7 doesn’t do well in my area. But my experience with Centennial on a full-sized standard rootstock is that it only grows to about 10 feet tall. My guess is that it would only get to be about 6 or 7 feet tall on M7.

Thanks Nick. I thought that was the case, but I have been wrong before. I appreciate your feedback!

Bumping this old thread to add that I think the natural dwarfing character of ‘Centennial’ may be slightly exaggerated. I bought mine on a semi-dwarfing rootstock, but buried the graft to get it on its own roots. While it’s by no means a massive tree, the idea of it staying in the 8-12’ range without pruning is insane. I trained mine to a central leader because that was the way it seemed naturally inclined to grow (I just pruned to remove competing leaders and to add space between branches).

After a short number of years it was probably approaching 15’ tall and at that point I decided to cut off the top and add large fruited varieties so that I can use an apple picker to get the high up fruit and keep the ‘Centennial’ apples on the lower half where I can easily pick them by hand. Now about three years after top working it appears to be around 18’ tall (the top is no longer ‘Centennial’, but there’s basically a 10-12 foot ‘Centennial’ interstem with no dwarfing effect to the added on varieties). It is still growing strong and reaching higher each year.

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My Centennial is on M26. Free-standing, needed no support… Planted around 1996, it’s pretty well been at 8-10 ft for as long as I can remember, though I do remember it being smaller. The only ‘pruning’ it has ever received was yearly collection of scionwood…it’s a heavy, annual producer, so, not a lot of vigorous growth since it came into bearing.

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@Lucky_P That makes sense since the vigor of your ‘Centennial’ is being reduced by M.26 rootstock. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I believe the natural semi-dwarf habit is over emphasized.

Not arguing that.
I love M26.
Wish everything I’d ever bought had been on M26 instead of M7, M106, M9/M111.
Thankfully, the 3 trees I have on M26 sucker fairly profusely, so if I decide to graft an apple or crab, I just go pull out a sucker and away we go!

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I’m surprised to hear that. Did they sucker in response to root damage or have they just always been that way for you? One of the reasons I like M.26 is that it does not generally produce a lot of suckers.

No, no root damage that I’m aware of., but appear to be mostly arising from near-surface roots, running out 3 ft or so from main trunk.
Suckering not as profuse or vigorous as from some of the M111 understocks.

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