Major problem with Geneva rootstocks?


Are there any university phds that are not totally connected to the nursery industry out and available? I’d like to know if this is a virus problem or something else. This is only happened to my Geneva root stock grafted trees.


ISU is a member of the NC-140 rootstock trial. Not so much apple production here in Iowa to expect a big nursery link, maybe? Not like the Iowa Farm Bureau link to… well nevermind, that is a subject for the lounge…

From a google search here is the ISU lead on the NC-140 trial:
Diana Cochran - Iowa State University: AES

You sell produce right? I would imagine they might listen better to someone selling produce than a hobbyist.


She quit 7-31.:frowning_face:


I was out taking scions for budding these trees that snapped, the trees I grafted broke deep in the ground, well below the 6-8" high, cleft graft union. All the commercially budded trees broke at the union. The breaks are a clean snap through unrotted, seemingly healthy, wood. A pattern is emerging.


Let us know what Cummins says about all this. What a shame. Usually my tree losses are my fault so all I have to blame is myself; not so in your case.


2 weeks ago an email was sent. Zippo, bupkis, nada, crickets.


Here is a little more info on my Geneva trees:

Lots of apples on my second year trees on G41 (Pink Lady) and G11 (Golden Del, Granny, Fuji) this year. Probably more than a peck and close to half bushel. I’m getting more apples than I expected (especially in year 2) and more than most of my 5 -7 year B9 trees. Got the Pink Lady trees (50) from Waffler. Got all the G11 trees (25 each variety)from Vaughn for a great price

The G11 trees are huge and are not brittle at all. Most of these trees where the trellis collapsed and the trees are on the lying on the ground are still connected to the rootstock. Very impressive size and yield with no problems except for the fact that the trees demand a very substantial support structure, much stronger than what I have in place.

Fortunately, I have not lost any more G41 trees to brittle rootstocks after loosing about 20% during a storm few months ago. These trees were clipped to tight trellis wires with very little movement, so there was no excuse for the breakage.


I have a frostbite on G11 that is just a terrible excuse for a tree. Im going to try to move it in case its site related but funny yrs is the same. Mine is in ground so drought is not the issue


Just another (single) data point: my only Geneva rootstock is a G11/MM111 interstem Rubinette obtained from Cummins. After a few years of support, it stands just fine on its own despite being exposed to substantial wind, and it no longer requires any supplemental water in this summer-dry climate. It remains less than 6 feet tall, has spread nicely, and produces a substantial harvest. The G11 influence has made it a nearly ideal size for a limited planting area.

Downsides: 1) Interstems are harder to come by and more expensive to purchase, or more time-consuming to graft at home. 2) It produces root suckers that I have to remove from time to time. 3) Rubinette is so good that I wish I had a bigger tree now. I’ll topwork another MM111 tree to address that particular shortcoming.


I bought 4 Geneva rootstock variety of apple trees. I have two (2) G11/M111, and two (2) on G202. All 4 have split because of heavy rains we had here. The split part was the Geneva part not the upper grafted part. I was really interested in using Geneva rootstocks on all my orchard trees. Thank goodness I did not switch to all Geneva rootstocks.
The one G202 is looking pretty good. The other three are very scrawny and very short, about 5 feet tall. I’m not impressed with them overall.


My 7 yr old Baldwin was on G202. They break!


Bud 118 is quicker to come into bearing than MM111, while offering a similar size tree. I have been quite happy with Budagovsky 118 (& helped with a couple hundred grafts to MM111 in the past five years, so have a basis for comparison.)
The single Geneva 202 I’ve grafted to (Redfield onto it, more by default than design) took well and grew nicely. In four years from the graft it should offer a decent sample of fruit. (Will also graft Redfield from this tree to a Lord Lambourne, coming up from roots after a failed attempt with something else. This should make an interesting comparison in years to come, having Redfield on Gen202 & Lord Lambourne right next to each other. Am curious to see how much juicier LL may make the fruit it supports, & how much more productive. Geneva 202 is reputed to somewhat limit fruit set.)


By now I find the new growth from Gen11 is about 9 inches tall & very healthy. I may be able to graft to it next March after all.


Oh Phil, I am so sorry. I’ve not lost anything grafted to Geneva 30 - and Macoun here has a strong vanilla overtone & finish. If I had the space after learning about Macoun…


Mike, I have between 50 and 100…all containerized so far. Geneva trees.

I will say Bud 9 and Bud 118 on average have outgrown the Geneva rootstocks.

I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet on the Geneva roots, but I am tired of the Malling roots…especially MM111.


Please keep us/me informed as to how your Geneva rootstocks do. I was hoping for a better tree on top of the Geneva graft. Like I mentioned, three of the four look runted and spindly above the graft.
I have a couple of other interstem varieties am a lot happier with that are not Geneva varieties. They look better and are producing a lot earlier than the Geneva varieties.
What do you not like about the M111 rootstocks? Just curious.


I was looking earlier this week…and G890 …none of the 25 grafts done in 2019 have put on 2 feet of growth. A few G202 have done better. And from last year, a few G30 did better.

I have some B9 under identical conditions that have attained 4 feet, and one at 5.

Antonovka, seedlings and B118 are very variable with some having put on a few inches, and some 3 feet or more. *Many of the Antonovka and other seedlings were small caliper, which explains lack of vigor. *G890 were the biggest rootstocks…so lack of caliper does not explain their failure to put on good growth.

*I’m going to complicate this even more by saying over 40% of my grafts are red fleshed varieties, and most of them are not known for being vigorous.

M111 is a fine root. Has some burr knots, but that’s not that big a deal. It was fine when I was age 30, when I was age 40, when I was age 60 even…but now that I know how long it takes to have apples, I may not live long enough to ever see fruits from any new grafts of M111!!!

2014 and 2015 trees on M111 have not had any blooms yet. And a couple 1991 trees never were big producers even once the wait was over. Full sized trees produced much more, and started bearing just as quick.

I know of no compatibility issues with M111, it doesn’t need staking, and definitely tolerates drought (and probably wet feet). (It’s subject to late winter root damage then tree death from freezing weather while growing in containers outdoors…a problem I’ve had with no other rootstock. I’ve lost more overwintered trees in pots than I care to admit on M111 roots between groundhog day and April 15th in the past 7 years!)
(My theory is the roots begin growing with early warm spells…then die when the conditions dip into the teens.) This isn’t a problem with trees planted in the orchard…winter hardiness not a problem for trees in ground at least not down to -20.F


Great info and comparison. TY.
Most of my trees are on M111. Simply because of my soil and the range of wet and dry conditions I get here. Right now we have not had any rain in about 4-5 weeks. In the spring we had rain for 25+ days out of 31 days. Yet the trees on M111 all looked great. No issues. The Geneva rootstocks all split up the truck area, yet again.


I edited to add extra info from your first reading. Keep us posted on your “all split up” Geneva trees. tks


I certainly will. Time will tell.