Major problem with Geneva rootstocks?

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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I’ve got several trees on 118 in their 6-7 leaf. Very upright, wind tolerant, and starting to be productive. No fireblight resistance though. In cent. Ia., B118 trees had major hits all 2020.

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Appreciate that. I’ll be cutting below fireblight spots I guess. I would’ve just bought MM118 had they not been out of stock. There’s nothing I can do now.

Thanks for that Chikn.

Despite having had at least a few apple trees for 30 years, I’ve not had a lot of trouble with fireblight. Seedling rootstocks as well as M7 on most. I saw a little a few times on Braeburn and Granny Smith on M7, and Winesap on M111, but didn’t kill the trees or anything. Have seen zero fireblight so far on the various “B” and “G” rootstocks I’ve grafted over the past 5 or so years.
Maybe I’m fortunate, as I don’t spray for it.



made me realize which cultivar(s) are on these rootstocks, and on and on; and luck of course (weather conditions.)


I have made a lot of mistakes with apples and never wanted to badmouth the geneva series rootstocks as i think its essential that we breed newer stronger and more adaptable rootstocks and varieties for the future i want to have. However i would like to point out that g-11 for my dry hot / cold climate is the worst rootstock ever. It has even failed as a interstem for me.

I have several on g202 and they have done good through my snap frosts even though sources say they are weak. What i have noticed is that the g202 trees do grow rather upright and put on lots of suckers like people have said, they have however fruited early. The MM111 has been a tremendous rootstock but my trees on mm111 only fruit when beaten and abused and then frost comes and wipes them out for me anyways. I liked my interstems but the ones with g11 have failed with the g11 scion dying and i am trying to graft directly to the mm111 rootstock below now.

I would also like to add that i am a complete jerk and i starve my apple trees of water and try to naturalize semi dwarf trees (keeping them more dwarf) in addition to what the weather does to them.


*You just have to keep in mind HOMEOWNERS and hobbyists are not who Geneva/Cornell is working for! lol


Yes. I grafted several apples to Geneva rootstocks. I forget the number, but it would make a semi-dwarf tree. Aug 10th this year a derecho ripped across Iowa with winds in excess of 130mph here. It snapped two of the 4 year established apples right off at the graft. (Commercial apple growers in the area had the same issue with Geneva) Also another just got broken, I assume a deer bumped into it. I’m done with semi dwarfs here. This spring I’m grafting to antanovka and m111 to replace what was lost and expand the apple ‘orchard.’


My one G202 has done very well and I am pleased with the amount of apples it has been producing. Again, I am not sure if it is because of the rootstock or because of the apple variety.
Other than that one G202 the rest of the G series have been duds for me. I am not even interested in trying any other G series because of the results I have gotten. I do not want to waste growing years on yet another dud G series rootstock.
Good point that you made about the Geneva/Cornell is not who they are working for. They are more interested in the commercial end of growing fruit not what little bit of fruit hobbyists try to grow. Good point!!

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Hi. My first order of about 25 G210 rootstocks came from Cummins. I got a very poor success rate around 20% survival. I blamed the lack of success on poor quality rootstock from Cummins (and was supported in this belief by some of the discussions here). So I ordered 100 G210 the following year from a wholesale grower here in Oregon. I think it was Copenhaven. And I got nearly exactly the same results. Fewer than 20 successful takes out of 100 grafts. So please don’t blame Cummins. Based on my experience it is the rootstock that has poor graft success regardless of where it came from.


I don’t know if it is still true, but Cummins used to order the rootstock it sells from a wholesale nursery in the Pacific Northwest. If it still does, the rootstock may have come from the same source.