I bought a nicely shaped cameo apple tree at a big box store. I contacted the grower who said it’s on a domestic apple rootstock??? Would it be a seedling tree? On another seedling rootstock? Other? I’ve never heard of that one. Is it a generic term?
Lawyer Nursery used to sell Common Domestic apple rootstocks. Yep, they were/are seedlings. At one point I believe most CDA rootstocks had at least some Red Delicious genetics because that was the most “common” seed available.
My hunch is that he just does not know or perhaps he simply grows them from seed? Legend says Johnny Appleseed went all over sowing them, so maybe it could be some places where native trees exist!
That’s my guess!
That’s the first seedling rootstock tree I’ve ever bought. Fortunately it’s at the end of the line. That might give me more room. I have mostly MM111 maintained around 12 feet with summer pruning.
Recently I’ve used a modified central leader There’s a little “tuft” of branching at the top maintained just under the height of the next tallest branches. It’s seems to have done a really good job at keeping the top from reaching too far toward the sky. I tried to follow Skillcult’s example.
I’ll try and use the same for this one as it grows.
Thanks for the info! Perhaps I should have checked a little closer before I bought such a potentially big tree. I said I would never buy another tree without knowing exactly what I was getting first. I did take about 45 min to pick out a tree with four potentially nice balanced scaffolds. There were a lot of crappy trees in that bunch. There was even a plum with black knot in another section but no one really cared when I mentioned it.
Apple’s botanical name is Malus domestica, so “domestic apple” most likely means it’s an apple seedling.
I screwed my notes so I don’t know what most of my stuff is growing on, and for some I never knew. Well the stuff I bought from local sources they are probably on baccata, that’s the default that most everybody uses in Alaska. That stuff is Dolgo level of hardy. I’m actually switching to B.118 because some apples don’t like baccata, like prairie magic.
Anyways… If it is from a seedling the biggest concern is that it should be full size, so you’ll need to train it for size more. For my neck of the woods the season and soil provide all the dwarfing I need so I use full size/near full size rootstocks. Commercial outfit care more about the most ideal rootstock in order to maximize with the soil characteristics and to help determine shape.
Seedling apple rootstock produces better root systems than most clonal rootstocks, save for maybe M111, but it’s a big tree.
I think @Stan tan had an excellent idea. Domestic probably refers to the latin name. And often seedling rootstocks are just called by their latin name. Thus malus domestica.
Is it a bear root tree? I never had apples on seedlings (to vigorous in my climate)
But i know that on pear seedlings you can see that it’s a seedling when looking at the root. There is a clear difference between for example a pyrus seedling and pyrodwarf rootstocks.
If it’s a bear root tree. and you haven’t already planted. Could you make a picture of the roots. Ideally you make the stem wet and clean it a bit with a cloth. (clean around planting depth)
here is a picture of quince rootstock (pyrodwarf pear rootstock looks roughly similar) and a seedling pear (right) where you can see a clear definition of the aboveground part and below ground part on the seedling.
Although purely conjecture. I would guess a seedling rootstock would look more similarly to the right rootstock on the picture and an MM111 i know to look more like the rootstock on the left. (without clear difference in thickness between above/below ground part, And with less pronounced whitening of below ground parts. Also lacking a taproot.)
Thanks for all the information that you have provided. It was a potted tree and I actually already have it in the ground. I took out one tree I was not happy with so the new hole was essentially dug.
One thing I noticed was that I had difficulty locating a graft union. I see one place that could be a graft union but it’s almost all the way down at the soil level. I think it was in a 5 gallon container. I can take a picture if it ever stops raining.
I’ve bought my share of big box trees but never a seedling tree or one with a seedling rootstock. I’m still surprised. It was there with all the regular “semi dwarf” or smaller trees and of identical size in both caliper and height. Nothing that clued me in to it’s size potential.
Should be a seedling root, and a cultivar grafted to it.
If it decides to become 20 feet tall, I’d let it.
I worked two seasons at a big box outfit. Because I have some experience with growing apples, I recognized that most apple trees for sale were put to M7. It sends up myriad suckers every year, so getting more root stock from it is a snap.
Rosdonald: If you find your new tree throws lots of root suckers, this is not diagnostic, but suggestive the graft was put to M7.
As to the “help” at the store telling you it is grown on domestic apple stock, well you’ve already figured out that’s an answer lacking content. It won’t be put to foreign mangrove stock.
As to seedlings, it’s the luck of the draw: some are naturally midgets, some giants & most in the mid-range. Since you are in Virginia, at least you won’t lose sleep over whether the stock is hardy enough for your zone.
Actually planting seeds and grafting scions on to them produces completely unpredictable results. Some seedlings will produce full size trees and some will produce complete runts. Disease resistance is also a complete unknown.
The way I would read that label is…
That they are just stating the species “ Malus domestica Of the plant.
Not necessarily saying anything about the root stock ?
I’ll disagree. I have 32 year old M7 trees…Granny Smith, Fuji, Braeburn…and I’ve had no suckers off the rootstocks.
But, I have three M111 nearing age 10 that have several suckers. (Last year I removed a couple and benchgrafted to them).
Some seedling trees (rootstocks) sucker, others don’t.
So far I’ve had very little suckering from Budagovsky or Geneva rootstocks.
Good point. And that could be all that tag means to imply.
4 native apples to the US: 1) Malus coronaria (sweet crab) 2) Malus fusca (Oregon/Pacific crab) 3) Malus Angustifolia (southern crab) 4) Malus ioensis (prairie crab). Malus domestica is a generalized group of domesticated apples, those brought to the US and now crossbred with the native apples here in the US. It’s pretty hard to find a true native crab here in the US any longer, they’ve all crossed with “domesticated” varieties both domestically and in the wild. Geneva has some they try to preserve.
Blueberry: Apparently you have lucked out, for which I am glad. To quote Cummins Nursery describing M7: “…suckering on M7 can be so heavy as to be a serious problem.”
Perhaps there are several strains or bud sports, some suckering less.
More information. Forgot to post the back of the tag which says height 15 feet. That suggested semi dwarf to me.
I see what might be the graft but it looks different than on my other trees. Is that one cut just a sucker? I moved back the soil a little so you could see it better.
I appreciate all the discussion!!!
I don’t get how the same people that go to great length to protect saplings because of how fragile they are then talk about suckers as if they were any harder to remove. See sucker, kick sucker.