Stooling question (apple rootstock)

Can I safely separate my rootstock babies from the mother and plant them out now (in the fall) or should I wait until they are dormant and plant them out in the spring?

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You raise a good question Tia. I am assuming that you began your stool early this spring. So your shoots should be between 6” to 18” high by now. (I have a similar stool of white Russian mulberry that I am observing and my shoots are about that size.
I will wait until spring to remove and transplant fro the following reason: As fall has arrived trees are beginning to dial back their growth and store energy in their roots. Foliage is already turning and soon will be falling off. Transplanting now would expose the shoots to shock at a time when they are not ready to exert stored energy to overcome the event. For the weaker ones that have not yet fully hardened off for winter, the shock could be too much. Unless there is a good reason or advantage in your case I would advise to just mulch your stool bed to protect shallow roots from winter freeze until springtime when you can better judge the best time to transplant them just before the awaken and once the danger of a late frost is past.
That’s my plan
Dennis
Kent, wa

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I’m interested in the responses to this question, Tia, so thank you for bringing it up. I have read a lot about stool beds, and I have one with B9, M111 and G11 in it. I have read that the roots develop well through the summer and fall, rest a bit in the winter and start off gangbusters in the spring, but I really don’t know when is the best time to harvest and plant out. In my zone 8, summers are so hot and dry that I always plant new trees in the fall. So my inclination would be to harvest these root stocks and plant out in November here. I also have to say that the G11 is doing so well and looks so lush that I am dying to brush that sawdust off and see what is going on in there, lol!

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Here is a picture from today of the G11. As you can see things are still growing strong here.

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Good topic.
I’d let them go dormant.
This fall might be ok…I imagine February in the Ohio valley the best time to ‘harvest’ any rootstocks.

I am debating on taking some M111 suckers in November here.

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Thanks for the thoughts, everyone!

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