Israeli stonefruit grower blog/pics

Cool website (blog) if you haven’t seen it yet… They grow some interesting stuff. I like the plums and the red fleshed nectarines.


1 Like

Are those ‘Eagle Beak’ peaches? Nope, Shark Teeth. Great looking plum!

I think they call that one a “watermelon plum”… I want one.

“Seffi” Ben-Dor is a force of nature; if you go to visit, this is about all you’ll see of him. They have mostly Thai workers speaking Hebrew, an odd combination. They are a prolific breeder of stonefruit and low-chill apples. Most of their propagation is from cuttings, grown in soilless medium. He’s the one who supplied the Hashabi apple rootstocks we’ll be introducing next year.


I guess “The Land of Milk and Honey” and…

plums, peaches, apricots apples, …

Are these seedings? They all grow in a small bag

Yes, these are seedlings, mostly citrus and avocado in this area. The greenhouses go on and on; they can control daylight, temperature, and humidity to grow and propagate year-round. Even out in the field they grow in bags because of soil disease.

They do have extensive orchards however, as they produce and pack fruit as well as selling seedlings.

1 Like

Im terribly interested in this rootstock! What can you tell us about it and its qualities? I read your blog post about it on your web page but it looks to be quite old.

There’s not much information available on them; I found an article by the breeder, Raphael Assaf, translated from French:

“A series of Hashabi clones, selected in the orchards in Israel, were selected for a study of behavior. In different culture conditions, clones MH 13-4, MH 14-5 and 15-6 MH were the most productive. For Spur Type, Oregon Spur was the best crops in the orchards in 2500 trees / ha and with MH 14-5, MH 13-4 monitoring. Standard varieties Golden Delicious and Jonathan, on the rootstock MH 13-4, and 1250 or 1670 trees / ha, give better yields and good fruit… The Hashabi, well adapted to the climate of Israel, have a good vegetation and a balanced output. MH 12-1, followed by MH 15-6, MH 14-5 then are the most vigorous rootstocks studied. MH 13-4 is most interesting for its dwarfing effect… English Clones, such as MM-106, are the lowest. All new planting of trees in Israel are carried out today with these new Hashabi clones.”

Seffi Ben-Dor confirmed all apples in Israel are grafted onto Hashabi clones, while the Druze in the Golan still grafted onto whatever domestic seedlings they can find.

It will be a while until they are available in the USA; USDA-APHIS will send just a few sticks of scionwood, most of which I’ll pass on to the rootstock propagator. It may be a lousy variety for colder climates, and only show it’s valuable properties in warmer areas. Israel has alkali, salty soils, high soil temperatures, wooly aphid pressure, and lack of chilling. It will be interesting to see if they outperform M111.

Sounds just like Phoenix. Sure would love to put in a bunch out in the orchard to see how they might do here. Im personally not super happy with M111 and am looking at switching. Just not enough vigor in M111 here in Phoenix. We also see some nutritional deficiencies show up with it in our soil. Have to stay on top of them with foliar applications.

The exaggerated blossom ends on those pieces of fruit make a lot of sense to me. The blossom end is almost always sweeter. When I bite into fruit, it’s blossom end first. It’s usually the best bite of all.

Unfortunately the USDA would likely condemn such fruit as not meeting their shipping specs. Hence the “eagle beak” “shark tooth” marketing description names.


Being that you are up on all things apple…have you heard if there is any movement on releasing more any of the israeli low chill apples like the Odem Galina that they feature on the web site?

There is a lot of competition with new apple varieties, and it is doubtful that you will see Odem in the USA. Where it may show up first is in a warmer reverse climate where they are having trouble with chilling hours such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, or Australia, and then brought into the USA as an import. Remember it took Granny Smith over a hundred years to make it to Europe and then finally to the USA.