Malus baccata (manchurian/siberian crab) compatibility?

Does anyone have notes on the compatibility of this variety as a rootstock? Any specific varieties of apples or crabs that work well? I think I read that apples with a lot of crab in their background or possibly closely related crabs might be grafted to this. Wondering if some variety like Dolgo could even be used as an interstem? Why bother? Well, for the fun of it of course :slight_smile: I’ve looked at a few charts that diagram some of the genetics involved and it seems like Baccata isn’t as closely related to Malus domestica as some others.

“Genetic clues to the origin of the apple” pdf


I’ve seen several references in literature about occasional incompatibilities with Malus Baccata rootstock. I’ve grafted around 60 different apple varieties on it and have never encountered any incompatibilites so far.


Thanks! Have you had any varieties that have done well better than others, or is it more related to the vigor of the varieties themselves?

Also, do these rootstock seem to impart a different taste to the apples that you can tell? I’ve seen some articles that seem to suggest that, but maybe it’s bunk.

I only started this adventure a few years ago, so my trees are young and not many producing yet. All my initial grafting was done on Baccata as that is the usual thing here, so I don’t know how vigor compares with other rootstocks.

I first encountered some information on this forum that crabapple rootstock might impact the taste of the apples, so last year I grafted up a few trees on G41 and B9, which (if they survive) I will be able to directly compare with my Baccata trees. This year I plan to add some B118 also.

I know a couple locals who have some experience with different rootstocks. I will quiz them about flavor when I catch up with them, but that hasn’t happened yet.

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Hi Duane,

Do you have any update on this experiment?

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This spring, I grafted a winesap onto a malus baccata/dolgo seedling that I transplanted last year, and it did great so far.


Great news. I’m going to get some scions in the spring to practice a bit.


I have been trialing apple varieties and rootstocks in Zone 3/4, Helena, Montana, and I can share some info on dozens of varieties I have growing on Baccata, Ranetka, and B-118.

The original posting here is about “compatability” of varieties on Baccata, and Steve Masterman, at Alaska Fruit Trees, shares in his apple variety descriptions his success and failures on Baccata and Ranetka, which he states will accept more varieties “willingly.”
I have read that both of these rootstock spend more energy growing root systems during the first few years, but then grow quickly to “catch up” in size to other standard trees I have found that to be true already, at the end of the second year of growth for all three rootstock growing side-by-side. (Photo below.)

Anyway, the link for the siberian crab rootstock descriptions at Alaska Fruit Trees is here: Alaska Fruit Trees - Rootstocks
And the apple variety desccriptions (with notes on baccata compatabilties for some) is here: Alaska Fruit Trees - Apple Varieties
The photos above are the two year olds. Some varieties on B-118 are already 7 feet tall and “feathered.” I have two rows of B-118, plus one row of Baccata, and one row Ranetka. I need to confirm all these, but my list says I have two sources of Baccata rootstock, and which apple variiety is on which. The varieties I have (or had) on Baccata are, in alphabetical order: Advance, Alma Sweet, Beautiful Arcade (supposedly also used as rootsock), Breakey, Carroll, Clair 9, Collet, Frostbite, Kerr 1, Kerr 2, Lee 31, Mantet, Melba, MN 1734, Norkent, Norland, Orange Pumpkin, Parkland, Patterson, Prairie Magic, Prairie Sensation, September Ruby, Sweet 16, Tobias (Y-6211), Trailman, Valentine.

Yeah, no, I am not sure really what the heck is out there remaining, but I will see in the next few days what is there and update my list as I prepare for winter. Obviously, if the varieties I list are missing, they did not “thrive,” and of those that remain, some will be performing better than others.

Okay, well, better get back out there. This year I planted another 4 rows of B-118, and all those whips don’t wrap themselves.


Following up with the Baccata survival numbers, it is a little disappointing to see the rate of graft failures. I generally tell people I have about a 95% success rate, but here with my Baccata I have an abysmal success rate to report instead. Of the 26 roots planted, only 15apple varieties survived on 24 roots (15/24). I began with 26 varieties on the list in my previous post, and ended with Beautiful Arcade, Carroll, Collet, Frostbite, Kerr, Lee 31, Melba, Norland, Oriole (x5), Sweet 16, Tobias (Y-6211), Trailman, Valentine, as the varieties, plus the rootstock remaining without scion. Some of the missing varieties I have growing on other rootstock, or on my “Frankentrees” in the backyard. (The x5 Oriole number is because I gafted them a second time, when first failed, and Oriole looked like only good scionwood.)

Similarly, my Ranetka had a success rate of 16/22, only slightly better, and the two rows of B-118 were 20/26, and 22/24 for comparison.

Obviously, there are many variables and causes for graft failures, but just looking at the rates of success…it may give some indication that Ranetka accepts more willingly than Baccata, and B-118 more willingly than Ranetka. However, the scions I attempted to graft onto the others were not all the same, and so it becomes more difficult.


Hi JohhnyRoger, any updates on this? I am interested in Ranetka, B.118, Antonovka and any other large, hardy vigorous rootstocks.

My soil is high alkaline PH 8.3, sandy, gravely, well-drained, drought, short season, & etc., and my trials showed Antonovka grew very slowly here, and struggled to even survive, whereas B-118 grows like a raped ape in comparison. After the second season, I eliminated Antonovka from my orchard for it’s lack of vigor and survivablity.

The Ranetka and Baccata rootstock preformed as advertised, in that the first year they grew more slowly than B-118, as they supposedly use the first couple years to establish a root system, before growing more rapidly and catching up with the close to standard B-118. And that was what it appears happened. The first year, the Ranetka and Baccata were lagging behind, but at the end of the second year, they had nearly caught up to the B-118 in size, or they were making up for lost time anyway, and growing faster now.

At the end of the second year, I have some B-118 roughly 7 feet in height and feathered, whereas the Ranetka and Baccata are still smaller (so far), and some 5 and 6 feet in height.

I think the Ranetka and Baccata are liely more cold-hardy than B-118, and so I plan to use all three rootstocks in some combination to insure some survive an extreme cold extraordinary event. I think the B-118 will be hardy enough, and do well here, but the Ranetka–and Baccata even moreso–would be a backup, and could be expected to survive the coldest better than the other two.

I don’t know about any of the other newer rootstocks (like P-18), and how they might perform at my location, but after my experience with trialing Antonovka, I wouldn’t committ to any rootstock without first trialing it first myself to see how it performs.

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Thanks! May I ask where you got your Ranetka from?

Walden Heights Nursery had some Ranetka, in 2021, but looks to be sold out currently. Rootstocks | Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard

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