Propagating less common apple rootstocks

I have been working to propagate some of the less common apple rootstocks. I am particularly interested in a few that can be cloned by hardwood cuttings or by stooling like G65, G11, Novole, and Bud490.

From a passing interest in interstems, I had a number of harder to find dwarfs but I abandoned most of those after deciding I didn’t have time or space to keep messing with interstems. I only kept a couple trees of Geneva 65 on MM111 in case I change my mind. Here is one of those with a few apples on it.


I got Bud490 and Novole scions from the USDA GRIN collection. I have a Novole on B118 in my orchard as a source of scionwood or hardwood cuttings. I put Bud490 onto a B118, an M7, and an M111. The B118 went into my orchard to a cutting source. I decided to layer the M7 and M111 trees to produce a stoolbed. Since Bud490 has red leaves and purple bark, I will be able to sort those from the M111 and M7. The 2 year old M111 and 1 year old M7 tree both had a few feathered branches. I wish I’d prepped the site ahead of time but I had some time to transplant last fall so I just went ahead and did it. It dug a hole for the rootstock and a trench under the sod so I could lay the tree down on its side.I was able to plant with the feathered branches sticking up out of the soil. I was surprised my young trees decided to flower and have set fruit and nothing has yet bother the apples. I won’t try stooling anything until next year. Here are some photos of the Bud490.


@DanBlass How are your G 65/M111 and G11/M111 interstem trees doing? Which do you recommend? I’m looking for small, precocious, well anchored, drought resistant.

1 Like

FWIW, I have a G11/MM111 interstem Rubinette that does really well here. It stands up to stiff winds without staking, and to summer drought without supplemental water. It remains less than six feet tall, and produces reliably and well. Its only minor drawback is a bit of suckering from the rootstock.

1 Like

Hey that sounds great, thank you for your report!

What’s the correct length for the G 11 interstem part- around one foot?

Did you bury half the G11 trunk?

Is the G 11 graft down low on the trunk (like four inches above the top roots, as I normally do normal benchgrafts?) Or is it higher up the M111 trunk?

I didn’t graft this one myself - I got it from Cummins - and I don’t recall how long the interstem was. The graft was low on the trunk. I buried some of it, yes - half is probably a decent guess.

I recall that @SkillCult has some videos about interstem grafting that likely provide some good advice.

1 Like

I mostly abandoned my interstem attempts. Too much effort for no known benefits. I only have two M27 interstem trees, both on M111, that I planted at the southern edge of my orchard. Those were grafted to PRI Co-op cultivars. The G65 insterstems I just planted out to preserve the G65. I may want to propagate from G.65 by hardwood cuttings at some point.