Reverse dwarfing ("gianting") rootstock?

Does grafting ever make it possible to grow trees or other woody plants larger than they could grow on their own roots? Or does dwarfing only work in one direction (i.e. smaller)?


Somebody probably can better answer you. But in some instances a vigorous tree can be grafted with scionwood from one not vigorous, and get it (the grafted less vigorous variety) to be a bit more vigorous.


I don’t know, but I do know that it is possible for a scion to grow larger that the stock to which it is attached. Does that mean anything?


Yes , I think so .
Say you have a apple on a very dwarfing rootstock .
If a vigorous apple rootstock was planted at the base. And Inarched grafted ,say to bridge rabbit damage , that would result in a vigors rootstock , reverse dwarfing , by grafting.

Yes this is defenetly possible.

It’s a usful trick for growing more dwarfing rootstock. Like M27 is an extreemly dwarfing apple rootstock. That might make to little shoots in the stoolbed.

If you graft it on MM111 or a seedling, you will likely get longer and or more shoots from it.

Same for pears. I think most pears grafter to pyrus bet or cally will grow larger than they normally would.

There are loads of grape rootstocks that convey extra vigor to the variety grafted ontop.


great question. I am quite intrigued about it myself. I concur with everyone who answered your query, but also would like to add that it is rather “relative”.

mainly because if we have to be nitty gritty about it(since you mentioned growing on their own roots)-- the query poses several permutations --growing from seed will produce a specimen which of course comes with taproot, and this results in growth of the most vigor(albeit juvenile and yet non-fruiting), or having been airlayered from a juvenile stem, or from a seasoned/already fruit-bearing stem.
the latter two(likely in decreasing order)will have less vigor compared to the one with the taproot. And if a future stem from any of the latter two should be grafted back to the one with the taproot, there will be less dwarfing effects.

with citrus, if we take budwood from, say, a self-rooted calamondin that was airlayered, and grafted it to a trifoliate seedling or calamondin seedling(both with taproots), the graft will be more vigorous on both trifoliate and calamondin rootstock, compared to the self-rooted airlayer.

of course, the problem with the scenarios i brought up is that it applies to conditions that are reproducible, since some citrus, such as calamondins, produce juvenile clones–grown from seed.

with many conventional drupes and pomes, each seed from each fruit will likely be slightly different or totally different from the mother plant(the one that ‘grew on its own roots’). So there is no way of knowing Granny Smith apple’s ‘original’ performance on its own roots, unless the person who grew it from seed-- recorded growth rate and performance on its own taproot. Since most named apples and peaches don’t do well as airlayers(which is another long story re: clonal ageing vs disease/pest resistance), and budwood are all propagated via grafting to juvenile rootstock, we could only differentiate performance on the various rootstock we grafted them on to, and never be able to compare performance versus the original trees(with original taproots) from which all scionwood were obtained from.

Plums, both Asian and European, are crazy vigorous when grafted to peach.


I guess my post above is not really a answer to your original question.
Just a reversal of the effects of a dwarfing rootstock.

Since most cultivars are not on their own roots It would be hard to say if there is a increase in vigor on vigorous rootstock.
I would speculate that some are invigorated on seedling roots etc.
But without a variety on its own roots to compare it to , how would one know ?