G210 and G969 Rootstocks

This coming spring of 2019 I’ll be grafting the G210 along with the G969 which will be my first experience with these two Geneva Rootstocks. Was wondering what some of the members experience with these 2 have been like with these Rootstocks.

I think I mentioned to you before my disastrous results with G.210 (60% death rate on 100 rootstocks). I made an inquiry to the nursery where they came from and this was their response: “We’ve had mixed results with G.210 in the nursery as well from year to year.
We have reason to believe that it is quite sensitive to winter cold in its younger years, and that before planting it requires heavy, heavy watering, like all Geneva rootstocks.”

I seem to also remember seeing something stating they DO NOT like being left in a bucket of water. Hope this helps you get a good start with them.

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I do remember your saying how that you didn’t have a very suscessful experience with the G210. I went with 50 of them and 25 of the G969 from Copenhagen Farm Nursey. My G890 of last year were a hit and miss with my first attempts at grafting. I provided a steady amount of water to the young whips and I saw a tremendous amount of growth. Hopefully I have a better experience with my grafts this year.

I had pretty terrible luck overall last year. 4 out of my 13 bench grafts took. Only my grafts onto G.935, G.222, and two G.210 took. (The other Geneva rootstock I had was G.890.) But I was rough on my rootstocks during a move and grafted scions and they started to grow before I could pot them up. I’ve had much better luck in the past grafting to established trees.

I have several trees on G.969 and didn’t have issues with it. Even though 1 or 2 grafts I had on G.969 didn’t take the roots still grew and I was able to graft them the next year.

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In 2018, I received G.890 from Cummins in mid-March and potted them. In late April I grafted them. 17 out of 18 grafts took and grew very well.

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So you ended up putting them in pots prior to grafting the bare rootstock? I did mine via a workbench session and put them in saw dust until the Nursey was ready. Once they were transplanted into the Nursey’s soil that’s when they really took off.

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Yes, I first potted the rootstocks, then grafted them. However, or climates are very different, I’m in zone 9b, so our plants are probably about two months ahead of yours in the spring.

O wow :open_mouth: that is a big difference between our microclimate conditions. My zone 4b can get snow :snowflake: all the way into the 3 & 4 weeks of April. My graphs from last year were my first attempts and I didn’t do as well as I had hoped I was 37 out of 85 only that took, I liked the G890 size of 3/8 caliber viruses the 1/4 of the M7 I worked with.

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I’m wondering how the 969 is working out for people - I don’t see any posts about mature trees. I’m concerned about graft union breakage, and wondering if all the G- series that I’m interested in are going to have similar issues. From what I can tell 969, 890, and 935 all come from a Robusta 5 x Ottawa 3 cross.

The newer Geneva rootstocks haven’t been available to hobbyists for very long so information is going to be scarce for mature trees. G202, G11, G41 and G30 have been out for quite awhile so more information is available for these rootstocks.

This is especially true for heirloom cultivar/rootstock combinations. Published trials only deal with popular commercial apples like Honeycrisp and Fuji. Guys in their backyards really are the researchers when it comes to heirloom cultivars.

The positive and negative aspects of Geneva rootstocks vary a lot from rootstock to rootstock same as the older Malling and Malling-Merton stocks. Hard to say in in advance how the newer rootstocks will do in the long term. But it probably would be prudent to use a mix of rootstocks (cultivars too) to insure your not wiped out by one particular problem whether it is fireblight susceptibility, graft union, etc., etc.

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I’ve personally worked with G890, G969 and G210 and of the three the most successful takes via cleft grafts was the G890, it’s a very vigorous rootstock up to this point. The G210 I did around 35 grafts and had only one take and the G969 I had around 8 of the 40 grafts take. These two rootstocks haven’t performed nearly as well as the G890. This coming late winter I’m going to give M106 a try to see if fairs better than the latest G series have.

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The only Geneva stock I’ve done a lot of is 890, did mostly modified V-tool grafts, plus some W/T and a handful of cleft grafts, and take rate was over 90% for all methods.

I was going to use 210 last year, but changed my mind to 890.

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I did a bunch on 890 this spring. Mostly modified cleft that I had to learn because scion that I ordered was not a match. I’m pretty happy with the results. I guess time will tell if the unions hold up under wind and fruit load.

I got only 40% survival (60% death) from a total of 125 G210 rootstocks from 2 different sources in 2 different years. Definitely won’t use them again. the previous year I grafted 100 on G30 and got 90% take. Ordered 50 G890 this year and will report my sucess with them later. THis year I ordered from Cummins because all the wholesale nurseries here in Oregon were sold out of G890 by Dec. When they arrived after more than a week in transit, the roots were dry. THey were not wrapped in damp newspaper, sawdust or any other moisture retaining materials to keep them in good condition during shipping. they also sent me an order of G30 that were more than 1/2 inch caliper and did not fit in my Omega grafting tool. I would not recommend ordering rootstock from CUmmins.


I just got my order of G890 from Cummins- not very damp, but had sawdust and plastic. They are somewhat variable in size, which is fine since my scion varies quite a bit more than that. Cummins was the only place in stock for what I wanted, and they did ship quickly. I’ll post how well they do after the year.

I have three trees on G30, and can say they are very vigorous, although that may have something to do with the scion. But, two of them bore fruit for the first time after three years, and the other will bear this year after four, provided we don’t have any killing freezes.

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As long as they didn’t become dried out, I’m sure they will do fine for you.

@Ciderlady, Deborah, I had the exact same results with G.210, 2 years in a row, 100 root stocks each year, 60% death of the root stock (I’ve never even checked the rate of take on the remaining 40 for the 2 years).

@Heirloom Keith, I got my G.890 this year, after Cummins couldn’t deliver last spring due to an “inventory error”. I’m trying 60 of them and will see how I make out. I drove out and picked up G.890 and M.7 and while waiting for my order was talking to one of their guys who was grafting new trees. I mentioned my dislike for G.210 and he stated “yeah, we’re still not sure what to do with that one.” Apparently they have a difficult time getting the grafts to take, but once established they make a good tree.

I think of the Geneva rootstock that I’ve worked with ( G890, G969, G935 and the G210 ) and it’s ironic that with the least amount of a root system ie ( G890 ) I had the greatest amount of success with. This year I’m going to give the M106 a go and hopefully it’s a keeper. I’ve read a little on interstem rootstock grafting and may give it a try with the B9 grafted onto the M106 come next year.

Cummins is having a 35% sale including rootstocks. Not sure if they started with a similar number, but it interesting to compare the numbers remaining.
G11 over 11,000
G41 over 3000
G210 over 300
G969 over 800
G890 over 3000