Growing your own rootstock, what are the possibilities?

Hi friend, I don’t know of anyone on the island who carries callery rootstock specifically, but I do know Gord Baird from Ecosense, he has OHx87 for sale as well as apple rootstock, M7, m111, m9
you’ll have to set up an appointment with him and his wife - you’ll get to meet them have an hour or so to ask questions, get to know them etc.

send them an email after the holidays!

As for callery roostock, there are a few specimens to be visited around Victoria, all wild - and 2 of them are on public property I think, I’ll link them here.

I think they are self fertile - they bloom in april, check back in the summer possibly for viable seeds, save me some you’ve gotten me curious. You could also take some cuttings and see if they root, I don’t know experiment! :slight_smile:

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I’m not really looking for Callery rootstock, but thanks for those locations. I’m not sure, but if you collected seed from those locations, it may not be true to type. It could have possibly hybridized with other varieties of pear. Again, I’m not sure about that, perhaps others could comment.

As far as rootstock goes I’m doing OK with my own home grown sources. For apples I have a dwarfing rootstock stooled that is producing volunteers for grafting onto. I’m not sure what rootstock it is, but it is very dwarfing as the mature tree never got large at all. It was from a commercially purchased McIntosh tree from 45 years or so ago. The rootstock has always been very prone to suckering. Perhaps someone could hazard a guess as to the apple rootstock variety from the age and characteristics. I took the tree down last year as it was in decline and producing very little.

I also have euro plum root suckers I harvest from Italian type plum seedling trees. I harvest suckers and stools from three seedling euro plum trees that seemed to be naturally dwarfed and grew no more than 8 feet tall. I cut 2 of these plum trees down as they were also in decline and no longer producing well. I’m using these as experimental root stocks to graft plum onto.

Most of my fruit trees with the exceptions of a few very old varieties are still immature and have not come into production yet. I have a large selection of plum, and smaller quantities of pear, cherry, and apple trees I am trying to get into production (hopefully soon).

I’ll drop you a PM, and perhaps we can compare notes on the local varieties we are growing, (as we seem to be pretty close to each other).

Pacific crab sounds like a good rootstock for apple with some compatibility with pear, have you seen Nick Kasko’s youtube channel? He uses Pacific crab and has some cool examples of experimental grafts on it.

No I haven’t, but I’ll be sure to check that out. Thanks for the link Doug.

I’ll get a cutting of the Callery pear this spring and maybe find some seed from it (doubtful on the seed part) and see if I can root them out, it may be my inexperience in tree stewardship, but maybe the cuttings I take won’t root out at all, maybe someone could pitch in and tell me otherwise.

I think if you were keen about it, browsing the internet back 40-30 odd years ago, you could probably find the rootstock you are working with, my educated guess would be Mailings series :+1:

I’m curious about how the plum tree suckers; do they grow far away from the trunk? Or are they attached to the trunk? My experience with suckers are with apple trees that were planted in 1986, they are semi-dwarf rootstock is what my grandfather told me.

And im always open for dms my guy, i just gotta get some rootstock growing and eventually graft an asian pear onto my ohx87’s. I have m9 and m111 and i need to grow those out too and stool them.

Just a small question on stooling rootstock. Would it be best to plant it come spring, let it establish its self 2 months into spring then snip it off early May? Conventionally i have seen it done where they grow the single rootstock out for the whole season, then cut it down flat come early winter, so itll create multiple suckers come next spring. I ask this because i want to decrease the time im waiting to graft.

I am basically just using old trees I’ve cut down for stooling or harvesting root suckers from. The apple rootstock throws up suckers mostly only directly around the stump. The plum trees I’ve cut down will send up suckers a good 10 feet (or more) away from the trunk. The pear trees I’ve removed haven’t sent up suckers after being cut down.

I really can’t offer any advice on stooling new trees, as I’ve only been using established trees that I’ve cut down for this purpose. Perhaps others could better offer advice on the best way to stool a new tree.

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I made a new stool bed this spring for b118 from a few dozen rootstocks. This produced a couple of new rootstocks per plant by fall, and those are now collected and heeled in so we’ll see what it does in the second year. My process was to plant the rootstocks on an angle, nearly laying them down just a few inches above the soil line, and then a couple inches of wood chip mulch. Each one produced 3-4 upward shoots, so potentially 3-4x multiplication in the first year. There are youtube videos of European farms growing root stocks by the acre and they were doing something like this just with a tractor.

After some growth I added about six inches of sawdust. It worked well enough and I started a few more for apple and pear this time with Siberian crabapple and Ussurian pear seedlings. Next summer one improvement will be to pin them down to the soil once there’s some growth so that a uniform thickness of sawdust will cover all of the shoots evenly. I went a bit deep with the sawdust to cover the top shoot and since it was a few inches higher than the base ones, it covered them and they didn’t continue to grow. Maybe the other approach does work better with just chopping them off at the soil line, but I would be faster to do that on trees with a larger root system. This was the first time I’ve tried it, I would like to hear from anyone with more stool bedding experience about first year results.


This seems like a decent YouTube video on stooling apple rootstock:

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