G890 yields and drought tolerance (apples)

I’m growing apples on glacial till… deep, sandy, acidic soil in zone 4b-5a. To date, all of my apples have been planted on m111 for their deep rooted, drought tolerant nature. With an abundance of Scion ordered, I’m Considering modifying my rootstock order to include g890 as I’d like to start seeing earlier production from a more dwarfing rootstock. I don’t want to bother with staking/trellising and g890 seems to fit the bill.

So, as the subject heading implies…

  1. does anyone have yield data for g890 on a per tree basis?
  2. with sandy soil, how drought tolerant is g890? Mid summer here, I’ve had seemingly bone dry soil to 4’. I have irrigation in place to help young trees until they can drive their roots ‘deep enough.’
  3. suggestions on a better rootstock considering everything above?




Hoping someone can help out.


I’ve no experience with G890, but I’d also like to hear from someone who does.

If you participate in the NAFEX page on Facebook, Greg Rothman of Cummins Nursery may be able to give you some information on G.890. If not, Cummins may be able to refer you to someone at USDA or Geneva that can provide info.

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I received the following reply on another forum. Says a lot about yield in New England. Still haven’t found any info on drought tolerance.

“You might have to dig a bit, but the NC-140 Regional Rootstock Research project, nc140.org, should have some yield info. Look in particular at state reports. Where are you located? Obviously, the location closer to you would be more appropriate. If you want to see what G.890 did last year in Massachusetts, see: jmcextman: NC-140 rootstocks gone rogue?

Where are you located?

I don’t know much about growing G.890 on sandy soil. I had a tree on G.890 before I moved, but our yard was wet. It is definitely precocious and seemed to yield well, but I don’t know about the commercial side. My dad has Williams Pride on G.890 on the stuff we call till soil here in SE Iowa - clayey stuff with sand and rocks. It is a monster tree for its age.

My guess is that you won’t find much in the NC-140 literature or published stuff on drought tolerance of the Geneva roots. All of the research plots are irrigated since they are high density plantings on stakes/trellis and irrigation is a way to hold water constant to control for variation in the rootstock on yield.