Geneva 890 RootStock


Greetings all, I decided to go with the G890 rootstock as my very first choice of grafting onto. My question is this, are any of you Apple Tree growers working with and growing this variety?


Me too. My reasoning was that it would be almost 30x better than the much-vaunted g.30.

Seriously, I figure that pikers like me ought to go for the latest and greatest. We don’t have to be conservative like a real farmer. The downside is that there can be weird incompatibilities and the like.


I’ve ordered some G890 (as well as G210 and G969) from Cummins, will be grafting this spring.


Tell me more about the incompatibilities that you’ve experience.


My rootstocks are also coming from Cummins Nursery and on the advice of Alan seeing I planned on transplanting the trees next spring hopefully with all grafts taking. I originally had G935 on my list but, Alan thought otherwise with that choice.


G935 is not resistant to woolly apple aphids and susceptible to latent viruses. G890, G210 and G969 are resistant to woolly apple aphids and not susceptible to latent viruses, so advantages are obvious.


I’m in exactly your position. My point is that with a newer release, you don’t know exactly what the downsides might be. Just like the release of a new pharmaceutical. For people like us, that’s no big deal. A couple of unexpected downsides don’t mean much. For a farmer it’s a much bigger consideration


Personally I want to be even more conservative than the farmer. After having many problems with G16 and G30 and watching my good 'ol M9, B9, M7, M26, MM106, and MM111 all do pretty much fine, I am a fan of the tried and true.


I originally thought that the G935 was the correct choice but like I was saying earlier in our thread Alan steered me towards what they think is a good idea with the G890. What’s your experience with this particular variety?


I have n = 2 on G.890. One of my dad’s trees (Williams Pride) is G.890 rooted. It is a big tree after 3 years. It gets all day sun and Wms Pride is a vigorous grower.

My Suncrisp is on G.890, and is also 3 years old. It is a smaller tree than the Williams Pride, but it gets less than full-day sun. It also cropped this year, so was slowed down some by that.

G.890 seems about the same size as M7 to me. I have not had trees long enough to say if they should have support, but they seem to be OK so far without it.


Over here, we have had a discussion of what the potential virus sensitivity of Geneva rootstocks might be:


I’ve only worked with M7 and the M26, I’ve seen some crown burr knots on the M26 that do concern me seeing it’s a weak area that insects can enter into the tree.


@scottfsmith do you have preferred rootstocks out of the list you provided (M9, B9, M7, M26, MM106, and MM111) ?


At least based on my soil and conditions vigor is the #1 distinguisher between these for me. The two in the same vigor class are M9 and B9 and B9 has done a touch better. Both can runt out depending on location etc. M9 is somewhat more fireblight-prone so that probably tilts things a touch toward B9 overall. Note most of my M9 are EMLA 9, the virus-clear version. I have had about 15 B9 and over 100 M9 over a 15 year period.

I have 15-year M26 with large burr knots but the tree is still fine so I don’t hold it against it.

BTW I hope many people experiment with G890 and tell us here how it works out! Me, I like to experiment above the soil (the variety) and not the stock. I can change over a bad variety in a couple years whereas changing the stock takes several more years than just variety.


Sounds like it’s doing very well so far on those two varieties of Scion that are already producing fruit. I’m definitely pleased with reading your results.


I have a Goldrush on G890, planted in April of '16. It has put on fair growth over two growing seasons. Compared to some other Geneva RS trees I have, it’s done OK. I think it would’ve done better in better soil, other trees near it have done similarly mediocre.

The other Geneva trees I have are three each on G30 and G16, two each on G202, and one each on G222, G11, and G210.

All three on G16, with two years in the ground, have been pretty vigorous. My two year old G30 has been the best grower of all my apple trees. The other two are a year old, so too early to tell. The G202 trees have done fair, and the G222 tree hasn’t done much at all. They’re close to the G890 tree, so it may be the soil. The G11 tree was planted last year, but it’s done well.

I also have five M7 trees, all have been in the ground two years. They have done pretty well, with good growth and scaffolds.

Probably more info than you asked for, but thought it might help.


The knowledge gained with 15 years under your belt is indispensable. I’m pleased to read even with the burrknots that hasn’t become any sort of an issue with your M26. I hope to be an good source of knowledge in the coming years seeing I’m going to be grafting 60 G890 this spring.


None. I’m a newbie too. Some of the g. series have had that reported. The chances that my particular scions wouldn’t work is quite low. Things like that aren’t detected until the variety is released for a few years. If I were starting a commercial orchard with a variety with an unusual heritage, I would be concerned.


That’s great that you’re been getting to try so many different Geneva rootstocks. I have pre-grafted G41 G935 and G11 trees coming this spring along with B9 trees which I’ve heard and read some very good results with the B9. Have you staked any of your G trees?


I didn’t mean to get so many different rootstock trees. When I was first considering what varieties I wanted when I was starting our little orchard, I had to get them on the rootstocks that were available. All of them came from Cummins Nursery. I’d preferred them to be on the same RS, but we’ll see how they do.

Since G16 is susceptible to viruses, I won’t be doing any grafting onto them. I have a Novaspy and two Grimes Golden on that RS.

As far as staking the G trees (or any of the other apple trees), I have a 3-4ft wooden tobacco stake next to some of them. When I know it’s going to be really windy, I might tie them to the stake. But most of the time, they have been free-standing.

Now, when they start producing, then I’ll probably need to give them better support. Most of my two year in the ground Geneva trees won’t be allowed to produce his year. They haven’t put on enough growth or branches to do that this year. I’m going to fertilize them more this year, and might do some trunk notching to induce some scaffolds.

My big Winesap that’s over ten feet tall should be OK to fruit some this year, but it was large (potted 5ft tree from Lowe’s) when we planted it in '16. I don’t know what rootstock it’s on, but it was called a “semi-dwarf” on the tag. Plus, it’s produced some rootstock suckers. So my guess is that it’s an M7 tree. I have a stake next to it as well. We had some very heavy rains last summer, and the tree was leaning a bit, so I had to lash it to the stake. My guess is because it still hasn’t put down real deep roots yet, and may be a bit top heavy and assymetrical. It’s prob going to need some pruning in a couple months.