Major problem with Geneva rootstocks?

Haven’t tried G969…so thanks for the warning.
Well, if standard trees are going to get 20 feet, then 8 to 10 is the expected height of both G 969 and G-202, right? And if standard is to reach 30 then these are expected to go maybe 12 eventually…depending on the vigor of the cultivar. ( I have Anoka and Braeburn that are under 20 feet at year 29 on Standard, and I once planted a Lowland Raspberry on M-111 that at age 20-something is 10 feet tall. And I have a Fuji on M-7 that is close to 20 feet tall.)

B-9 and B-118 definitely put on more impressive first year growth after grafting than any of the Geneva roots I’ve tried. G-202 gave me good ‘take rates’ but the growth has been between 1/2 inch and about 15 inches per tree grafted to G202 in the first growing season. G30 and G890 somewhat better, but not impressive in vigor.

G890 is the only Geneva I ordered more of for 2020, and only 10 more. Most will be on B-9 or B-118 that I graft this year, plus a few Antonovka and others to be regrafted after grafts failed a year ago. I’d try some B-490 roots if I could find some…in the M-7 size range.

It seems the Geneva roots are mostly for resistance to replant disease, and secondarily for resistance to blight and aphids. And for tight spacings in the orchard with posts and wires.
Not for the average homeowner who wants three apple trees in the yard.

I hope the G202, G30 and G890’s (and one each of G222 and G210 I bought as grafted trees from Cummins) turn into nice free-standing trees as replacements for M-7.
But, the jury is still out. Time will tell.


Good to hear your mention of Gen11. I hope to graft Twenty Ounce to a shoot of Gen11 that came up after another graft on the stump failed last year. (Got the wrong tree on it some years ago. Once its ID was sure I didn’t want to keep that.) I’ll tie 20 Oz. (if it takes) to some stakes while young, although it is largely protected from heavy winds by proximity to the two-story house.

Love the video! I had a similar trellis failure on some G11 trees which were very vigorous and full of apples during a big storm with high wind gusts around 80 MPH. A 5 inch post snapped on one row and the “dead man” anchor set 3 feet in the ground with 50 pounds of concrete pulled loose on another row. Interesting the rootstock graft union did not split on most of these G11 trees which were laying on the ground but about 20% of the trees on G41 snapped at the graft union with no trellis failure during this same storm.

Looks like traditional trellis design recommendations may not be robust enough and a very beefy trellis is going to be necessary to support vigorous dwarf trees during a high wind event


I have no G41 trees anymore, wind loss too. G935, g30 also have that problem.
I noticed in the video the loss of some posts from age. Green treat is not all the same and much of the older green treat seems to rot or fungus off at about 10 yrs. From my personal experience, I have found different fungi in 10 yo green post that failed. I also have to agree that trellis design may not be stout enough for the load they carry and normal thunderstorm wind gusts.

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I would suppose shorter rows would helps some in reduced losses in windstorms.

My G11 were first to die from 6 days without rain or watering last August. Didn’t lose anything on Budagovsky roots, in pots sitting in dappled shade/sun without water during the same event.

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I have new observations on 2 and 3-year old trees on Geneva rootstocks.

We got hit with 100+ mph winds (112 mph was observed in the area) on Monday 8/10 as part of the “derecho” that hit Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. Additionally, our kids playset was gone with the wind and made a path through my trees.

All but two of my trees are are on Geneva rootstocks. Of these, 1 was broken and 4 were laid flat or significantly bent over during the winds and subsequent debris rolling (?) over them.

Of these only one was snapped off at the graft union - a Harrison crab on G.202.

Trees that took a severe beating are:

*means these were trees I grafted with a whip-and-tongue spring graft.

I posted a picture here: 2020 Midwest Derecho

I also suspect the Zestar on G.210 got whipped around a lot.

All of the trees that were bent over had the bud graft union growth direction facing into the wind, and the Harrison on G.935 I must have not been paying attention and had its graft union facing away from the wind (facing towards the SE). So perhaps this made a difference? I will definitely plant trees with the bud graft facing into the wind.

So I’m hopeful after this beating that these unions will hold in the future.


I’ve read all the G210 comments among this thread. Since Cummins had such miserable survivability, I’m going to assume the roots were pretty non-existant. Would that be fair to assume? I’m ready to order G210 from Copenhaven if nobody reports otherwise. Just as @BlueBerry said about his purchased apple on 210 from Cummins, ‘the verdict won’t be available’ to see if it has the volume/shape of an M7 rootstock (50% dwarfing) for each (M7 or G10).


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I think I’ve bench grafted 150 trees on G210, all from Cummins. The roots on them varied from fully flushed to nothing but callus bumps. G210 for me had two problems 1) it was difficult to get scions to take; 2) the root stocks died at a rate of 60% the first season after bench grafting (eliminating any chance of success) ! What do I have to show for it now? 22 successful grafts and 23 rootstocks waiting to be grafted again. I have noticed that letting the rootstock grow out for a season or two improves the chance of success. When I went out to Cummins this spring to pick up my root stock order, I spoke to one of the guys who was working on grafts. I specifically asked about G.210 and he confirmed it’s difficult to graft to and stated “we haven’t figured out what to do with it yet”. I also emailed them for advice the first year and they stated it must be well watered. I’ve also grafted to G.222 which has also proven difficult, but at least it’s a survivor. This spring I tried G890 and it has been much better, but still sub-par to M, MM, or Bud series, none of which have such low take rates or high death rates as the Geneva’s. For reference, I currently have 478 apple trees on 9 rootstocks. At this point, I don’t intend to graft to Genva’s any further.


Agree basically. For the commercial planting in orchards where large old trees with varieties not in demand have been dozed out…the Geneva roots are probably special.

But, the Budagovsky roots have been better to work with. And besides B9 and B`118, there’s B-10 which I grafted 10 of last spring…G935 size probably.
Then there’s another B root…I forget it’s number, but I have not been able to get any…in the M7 size range.


Okay, thanks you guys. Thanks a lot.

End of the chase is I really want M111 anyways or something that will always anchor and tolerate heavier clay soils, to clay that is beautiful to work with, to even better than that being dark loam for the first 18" or so. I have it all on my property and have been using M111. Got any suggestions, I’m interested.

Thanks again,


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I’d pick B118 and G890 over MM111. That’s me. Fortunately not everyone likes the same in life.

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Thanks a lot! I’ll write that on paper with pencil and tape it to my world of notes. Much appreciated.

I got G890 ordered and done. You’ve been talking about apples for a long time so thanks a lot.

Thanks, @AndySmith, too.

I have had really good luck with the M111. I have some G series and a couple interstem with the G series. Not very impressed with the G series rootstocks. Only one of them is doing well the G202. The one G 202 looks fine. The other three are horrible looking and runted growth. I will stay with the M111 in my orchard.


I have roughly 150 each of M111 and G890. The 890’s have only one year in the ground, but look similar to what my 111s looked like after one year. Graft success has been similar. In both cases, I had major problems with specific varietals making me think the problems were either straight up bad scion or scion compatibility.

I’ve had exactly one rootstock not survive, aside from the ~100 trees that died when vols stormed my nursery fence last winter.

I hate vols.


I hope I’m not leading you astray then, Barkslip. Most of the “G” roots are not fully tried out … so it’s a bit of an experiment. But the 890 should be somewhat equivalent to a M106, but without the problems associated with root rots. G890 as well as the B-series should all be more ‘precocious’ than M111. (My main complaint with MM111 is having to wait a couple more years to get the things to fruit…might as well be on seedling roots. Then, they’re not as winter hardy, have burr knots and put up a lot of sprouts from the rootstocks. They are tried and true. But, in this day and time nobody wants to wait 4 to 10 years to get a crop. Even B-118 is at least a year earlier to fruit, and can stand colder temps.
I have not grafted to any MM111, but over 40 or so years, I have bought a few trees that were on that root, so I know it’s not perfect. Mostly I’ve ordered B-9 rootstocks for 2021, and a few B-118. And the B9 is simply so I can grow them very close together, or in containers.
I’ve grafted roughly 100 Antonovka, 30 G890, 10 G30, 25 G202, over 50 B9, 10 B-10, and at least 30 B118 over the past 4 years…maybe a few more. The other G roots I have I bought as one bareroot tree at a time from Cummins.

As LTCider says, G890 graft fine. I do wish I could get the 99% take rate, but around 9 out of 10 ain’t too bad, especially when I’m usually potting them in cold weather outdoors immediately upon benchgrafting…most of the time.

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I have a few G202 MikeC that are budded for some blooms, which were grafted 2018. But the take rate hasn’t been as good on G30 or G202 as I would have like. And I hear the 202 isn’t really all that productive, rather like my M7’s I’ve had for years…we shall see…I note they love it in New Zealand. I have been waiting 5 or more years without fruits on numerous apples on M111…I might not ever get to eat fruit from them…so if I graft any M111 it will be with the intent to sell trees. But, I’m really not into that…looking to retire rather than start in the nursery business.

I am planning to see what I can accomplish with some breeding especially red fleshed apples. Probably more for fun than a commercial endeavor, unless I should get lucky and create a “Honeycrisp” with red flesh…lol.


I’m going with B118

Thanks everyone.


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Well, this is a depressing thread. I have a handful of apples here and there, fighting for sunlight. The only one that’s matured and borne fruit is a Jonathan on M111, and that took more than 10 years to fruit, and only fruited after I beat it.

More recently, I’ve tried

  • “family” tree on M7 (I could only collect scions while it was in bloom. I grafted several bits onto G11 and M7. None of the G11 grafts took, and all of the M7 grafts did. But… I literally stripped blossoms off those branches before grafting them. I see this as an endorsement of M7 as an easy rootstock.)
  • Ashmeads Kernel on G202 (runted out. lousy soil and sun)
  • Karmijn do Sonneville on G41 (looks pretty)

I bought a pair of G210 to graft stuff to, but didn’t obtain a scion. I left them in the ground. The one that had sun and space did very nicely, until a deer at the top and a rabbit removed every bud from the side. :frowning: (I lost it’s protection in a windstorm and was slow to replace that.) I’m still hoping to graft to it next spring.

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You may be fine. I’ve found G.210 grafts better when established in the ground than dug up and bench grafted.

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