How do you match the right scion to a rootstock?

I didn’t know that two years ago and grafted Fortunella japonica and a Nagami seedling on sour orange seedlings. So far they look great

I have red that they are incompatible and all my grafts died within days. I tried Meiwa and Fukushu… some reading.,%20FSHS.%20Kumquat%20Calamondin%20Compatibility.pdf Could you post some pictures. Mine grafte 15 months ago on flying dragon.

This yearsngraft done 5 months ago is just starting to grow. The tree in the picture of Fukushu on PT on seville is a month younger that the Fukushu on flying dragon 5 months old.

I read that too, but I can make a picture tomorrow.

1 Like

The OP was unclear as to what was being matched. But the example given is literally apples-to-apples. So I assumed we were talking grafts within the same species. Inter-species compatibility is a whole 'nother issue.

Yes it got a little off topic, but for I think u/Kellogg_Hill_Farms answer is pretty comprehensive for apples. It just comes down to vigor and preference.
I would just like to add that some old varieties don’t do well on dwarfing rootstock. The fruit don’t develop right, get to big and drop early with physiological disorders like watercore. Gravenstein on M9 would be an example

It’s a published fact that G41 has weak graft unions with Honeycrisp and Gala. There are multiple sources that have published this information.

Was the weakness mostly on budded trees? I thought I remember reading that whip and tongue and cleft grafts were less likely to have an issue, particularly if staked.

What about other varieties? I’ve seen the Gala and Honeycrisp ones. They scare me. A tree’s a big investment.

Hopefully the majority of the graft union issues with G41 are related to the graft type and/or local conditions. I have a number of trees on G41 but am not subjected to the strength of wind some of you are. They’re all W&T grafted as well. The G41 part is as an interstem but still G41 to scion is a component of them. They grew like gangbusters this year, into top-heavy whips that I currently have staked. Before I did so a Black Twig fell over, the G41 portion was basically bent at a 90 just below the graft union with the scion. I stood it back up and staked it and am hoping it will be fine. I hate that some people have had a negative experience with this rootstock and that W&T plus local growing conditions will result in continued success in my own orchard. I’m planning to do more with it next year. :crossed_fingers:

1 Like

You will want to match your scion vigor with the appropriate rootstock. Here is a link


I have no interest in promoting any particular rootstock; it just happens that I’ve used G.41 for my roughly 50 dwarf grafts and I’m reporting on that limited experience. With that caveat, I’d echo these comments on vigor. Bench-grafted (W&T) trees on G.41, planted in 1.5 gallon and then up-potted to 3 gallon pots, routinely grow into 4-6’ whips during the first year. I haven’t grown Gala or Honeycrisp, but I’ve got a wide variety of dessert and cider varieties.


I’m not promoting any specific rootstock either, as I have trees on Bud 9, m26, m7, G41, G890, and G969. I have not had graft weakness issues either. I have grafted 75 trees onto G41 in the last year, and I believe that it serves its purpose. I am just careful not to put Honeycrisp or Gala onto it because of known issues. Whip and Tounge, cleft or budding, I’ve done all 3 on G41, just not those 2 varieties. I have put about 20 other varieties on it with no issues.


So you can put them in pots for a while, before they get bigger?

Yeah. I find that easier to manage. For starters, I usually graft more trees than I need. Potting makes it easier to organize the eventual planting and to gift the extras. Potting also makes it easier to protect the young trees from threats – wind, deer, bugs; all the pots can be stored in one place. And potting lets me control fertility and water better. You have to be careful, though, not to let the pots dry out. Just don’t skimp on the pots. I usually start with 1.5 gal, then up-pot to 3-5 gallon in the first season.

Last year I started two persimmon grafts on potted rootstock trees that I had jump-started indoors under lights. In this case, I grew the persimmons in pots for a year just to help them get bigger before grafting. Persimmons need to be actively growing when you add a graft. By starting them indoors in late March I could graft in early May, giving me a 4 week head start vs outside.


If you don’t want to do pots, you can plant your root stocks in a nursery bed, and them either chip or bud graft them later in the summer or you can bench graft them in the spring then plant them.

Here are 150 bench grafts planted in a nursery bed this past spring. Next March or April I will dig them up and put them out in the orchard.

Here are 50 rootstock planted the 1st week of May, then chip budded the first week of August.

I keep fencing around them to keep deer pressure off. I can fertilize, water and weed with no issues. I find this easier than putting in individual pots.


Thanks. I had no idea you could do that. I’ve only bought bigger trees from big box, so I don’t have expeience in it, but this is really a neat thing. I was wondering how I might protect it all until I could put in a big fence and was about to give up.

How long do they stay in those bed before the orchard?

I have a 40" fence around the grafts, which keeps deer pressure off the grafts. I did add a 2nd, taller fence a week ago, as deer did nip the end of some of the new growth. Since adding the 2nd fence, I haven’t had any issues.

They trees stay in the nursery bed 1 season before most are about 5 feet tall and ready to put out in the orchard. Some weak growers and those that need to be re grafted will spend a 2nd season in the nursery bed


Looks good!