I noticed from their webpage that Greenmantle sells their benchgrafts on standard, MM111 or MARK rootstocks. There seems to be a relative dearth of information about MARK rootstock on the web. Does anyone have experience with this rootstock or perhaps have links to reports on its performance?
Apparently MARK is not fireblight resistant, whereas the Budagovsky and the Geneva rootstocks are. Mark, like M9, G11,G41, and most dwarfing roots, has to be staked, and will not take droughts without irrigation. It is the product of Michigan State University experimentation…which I believe that part of their program ceased some years back? They currently have a red-fleshed cider apple series of tests on-going at MSU, among other things. (I think it’s MSU).
ps. Michigan’s climate is great for fruit, for the most part. Comparing a red delicious from Michigan and one from Washington State proves this observation.
I thought MARK was an M9 clone but it looks like it is an M9 seedling… here is a long description:
I have never used it but it seems like a perfectly reasonable dwarfing rootstock.
Thanks! I had not seen that page. It seems to be similar to M9 but perhaps a bit smaller with its own potential quirks. Root Mass Proliferation? I also had not appreciated that it is that commonly planted in the east. That would be good news for me I suppose.
So far I’m liking B9 for a small tree…but if it wimps out at 6 or 7 feet and declines in just a few years, I may change my mind. Grafting take rates, and culture in containers has been outstanding compared to 7 or 8 other rootstocks. But none of these are older than 2016, so the jury is out.
I planted my first apple trees in 1991, personally, most on M7. I remember MARK being a option for rootstocks, but I wanted a tougher tree and longevity. The 3 threes I planted on standard seedling rootstock in 1991 are the ones I’m still impressed with today…the M7’s have mostly bit the dust, but a Fuji is still doing well.