Is this normal for Geneva 41?

I recently ordered some Geneva 41 rootstock and the roots appear to have been stripped off of it I contaced the nursery and they claim this normal?

The other rootstock and trees I got from them had good rootsystems.

I ordered and received a dozen G 41 from Cummins earlier this year. For the most part, they looked like yours. I emailed them my concerns, and their reply was that their is plenty of stored energy in the rootstocks, and they would be fine. I went ahead and bench-grafted all of them, and potted them up. That was on March 30th. As of today, most of them are showing good signs of taking, as well as pushing leaves below the grafting union. I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform for me.

Wow…that is nuts. Geneva 41 must be totally unlike everything else if that is indeed the case. I just cannot get over this. So they are saying then (basically) that this little tree pictured here grew with essentially NO roots? That what is pictured is normal and more or less came from the ground that way?

I’ll not be trying any G41.

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I know when I had a wild pear I grew through root propagation it looked much like that. Since I grow many things wild from seed they have a long extensive tap root and network of side roots. When people grow rootstock in an old tire full of sand however they cut off any roots below that tire so they can grow the next rootstocks by throwing another tire full of sand back on the original roots. The roots on those trees will wind up looking like yours. The process of growing rootstocks is normal but that’s why after a big wind storm every fruit tree is knocked over. They grow plenty of lateral roots later but never a big long tap root. A tree without a tap root does not handle drought as well either. You would think they could take that old bare root and grow it out another year in a bucket of its own sand and give it a bunch of hair roots for feeding but that all costs more money and time.

The G-41 rootstock I got from Cummins last year looking nothing like that, it had the typical roots you would find with other rootstock. Looks like you got it from Grandpa’s that is a quality supplier. My guess is the rootstock never developed properly because of the brutal winter/spring weather Michigan and northern states experienced.

I’d think what they are saying is the stick will root out when planted. Obviously it isn’t going to grow without roots. G41 has been touted as the best dwarfing apple rootstock ever. It won’t do that without roots.

Before reading this thread, if someone had showed me that “tree” I’d have given minimal chance of it’s survival. I once tried planting a freebie dwarf tree that looked similar to that yet better, and sure enough…it went on to tree heaven. That was with good soil and more than adequate water. That was my only foray into dwarf trees. I’ve learned something here today.

I’ve received bare-root dwarf trees grafted onto G.16, B.9, and G.41 from Cummins and other suppliers, and the trees had well-formed root systems.

I’ve never ordered just the rootstock before, so I cannot add any expertise here. It does seem strange, though.

I have heard that B.9 can grow well, even when the root system is very small, but I cannot corroborate this with personal experience.

This was my first order for rootstock from Cummins this year also. G41 and G935. Three of each had just one little root. They were well sized so I placed in a bucket of wetted pine bedding. I’ll learn about chip budding this fall when they have a better root system. A learning experience for sure.

I would be disappointed to receive that rootstock, notwithstanding promises that it will grow roots. I’ve ordered a couple other Geneva rootstocks from different sources and never received anything that bereft of a roots. In any case, it seems like your graft will be lagging behind those with a rootstock that had a full root system for the first year. For rootstocks that are supposed to be precocious, that does not seem like a good feature.

Chikn, I’m wondering where you ordered your G.935–I have not found many suppliers? Thanks.

Cummins had them earlier. The retired professor that developed many of the Geneva rootstocks is Jim Cummins. His son runs the nursery. They have been real good about answering any questions. Jim has encyclopedic knowledge on rootstocks and is available through Cummins. I ordered quite a few rootstocks from them and most were very well rooted. I may have seperated some roots in my haste and hurry to try grafting for the first time. I got the "fever’.
Best, Chikn

Any other experiences with G41? Especially with G41 purchased from Cummings? I would prefer to buy a rootstock with a lot of roots, so that the tree will get a good start and grow quickly

This is the process to produce rootstocks using the methods I follow


Thank you for the video, very interesting. I’m not quite ready to try to produce my own rootstocks, but I did send an email to Cummings to see if they grade their rootstocks. I would love to try some trees on G41, but I have to start my process with a rootstock that actually has roots! Cummings is the only nursery I could find with these rootstocks for sale. I could graft some more trees on B9, but I’m having a little trouble getting some variety to grow to the 9.5 foot trellis wire on B9. Also see a few WAA around the root suckers I cut off, so there are probably a lot more. I believe G41 is resistant to WAA

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You might find this video on rootstocks interesting.

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So Orchardman, how did it do?

Unfortunately it did not make it.

I grafted 100 trees on g41. They had next to zero roots. The trees in the nursery on g41 are doing well. I hope they have develped a root system when i dig them up in a few weeks.

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Do you believe these trees will grow and bear fruit as quickly as grafting on a rootstock with roots?