Ordering rootstock in the fall

Has anyone in zone 6 ever ordered rootstock in the fall? Good idea? Bad idea?

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Be a fine idea if you can get dormant roots … and properly plant them before the ground freezes (that my happen this year before bare root stocks can be harvested and shipped to z. 6 this year I am thinking.).


Order from a nursery north of you by 2 zones.

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Actually, I ordered rootstock already this summer (But for March delivery)!

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I think if you are planting them out right away, it should be fine, maybe hopefully they’ll be settled in a bit when you graft if you do it this Spring.

And does anybody know, are rootstocks for Spring delivery still readily available, or are we in a big shortage still?


Yes, I am planning on planting them out right away. Burnt Ridge seems to have some available. I was going to order some along with a few honeyberry liners. They have them for 5.00 - 7.50.

I’m also curious about spring availability too. Maybe @Barkslip would know.

6b and above is what I consider a bulletproof Fall planting.

I’m assuming that you mean for rootstock. I plant fruit trees every fall into early winter (mild winters) and have not had any issues in the last 9 years. In fact, I really prefer fall planting, the trees just seem to do better, but it could be because sometimes I don’t have time to water them through out the summer when it’s hot.

Anyway, so you wouldn’t necessarily recommend fall planting for rootstock… hummmm, maybe I’ll just try a few that I have on hand (in my prop bed) and see how it goes then. Thanks.

As far as how things will be next spring, availability wise, what do you think? Will we have a shortage or back to business as usual?

I’m assuming the most in-demand rootstocks get sold before next year arrives. But some probably still can be bought at last minute.

As for planting in fall…I have successfully planted all months of the year more than once. Planted a yard full of shrubbery in front of a business office first of January one year. (Replaced a couple plants that died later in the year.) The ground froze solid right after I planted.
Another time I planted tulip bulbs in January…ground frozen…by placing the bulbs and covering them from dirt stored in the dry of a building.
You’d be surprised the things that live. Even thrive. Under bad conditions.

I’ve also dug American hollies (5 to 7 feet tall) in August and planted them … all living to this day.

Fall is actually better than spring for most trees and many large shrubs.
But, not usually for perennials or small plants.

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Go into the nursery business :grinning:

See what you think then. And besides guys, I’ve lost important genetic material due to zone 5b Fall planting where I was not concerned. The whole point is that 95% of the time I’ve been fine but you can lose stuff unless you’re 6b or above…

I knew it was foot in mouth time, but, I was asked and I answered honestly.

Their are people that water and there are people who don’t realize that water is all it takes to successfully plant.

This could go on forever cause I’ve too planted every month of the year on given years. And huge stuff I dug up from an old yard to this new place.

Alright then.


I’m actually following your advice for the most part @Barkslip. I had planned to order 20 rootstock, I decided to just play around with a few that I have on had. Whatever happens, happens. It’s a risk I’m willing to take. Thanks for all you do around here… I appreciate it very much. :slight_smile:

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The problem I have in my area is that any rootstock sent from the “wrong” side of the Rockies in the “spring” gets here so late that it might already be in the 90s and just baking…and/or ground that is already too baked to dig…so planting/watering those on top of the other tasks is just a pain. I would rather have rootstocks show up in Feb and heal them in until the ground is fully workable. That, and rootstocks are just expensive.


Which species? In my experience (including last year), Cummins has an ample supply of apples and pears. Specifically I bought MM111, G41, and OHxF87. I ordered in autumn for delivery in March, which is ideal here. But I know there was more rootstock available in late winter.

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I’m in 9b so I would love to plant rootstocks and trees in the fall but I see no offerings. If you know of a nursery that sells rootstock for fall delivery please let me know.

Well, I’m not altogether sure, but it appears as if Burnt Ridge has rootstock available.

I’ve just checked Burnt Ridge and they have a few trees available for fall delivery but those are mostly container grown and no rootstocks.

Well, that’s good to know. They seemed available (even though I thought it was kind of strange).