What should I do with my bud9 rootstocks

So I’m just getting my little mini orchard started this year and in addition to planting some bareroot trees I also ordered some bud9 rootstock from Raintree. I’ve got some scionwood on the way thanks to some wonderful people here and need to decide what to do with the rootstocks once I successfully graft using whip and tongue. Is it best to plant the whips in small pots and give them a year to grow before putting them in their final resting place?

You can plant them in the ground but during the first year it would be a good idea to protect them from direct sun and make sure that they have sufficient water.

You can shade them using some small posts draped with shade cloth.


I’m planning on putting some bench grafts into 5 gallon fabric pots. I’m not sure how good of an idea that is, but I have limited space and plan to do about 50 grafts…

I’m actually planning on sewing the pots myself from landscape fabric so if someone has any thoughts on wide vs. deep, etc. I’d be happy to hear them. Or to hear if planting in the ground has a better survival rate and I should change my plan.

My concern about putting them in the ground that small is having some type of critter chew them or knock them down. I could use some type of tree collar protector I guess. Leaning twoard pots. If I do that should I use regular top soil from my yard or should I use a potting medium of some type?

I think it need not be more than 10 inches deep but I would make it as large a diameter a I could manage 15-20 inches at least. The roots’ spread is more important than the depth. Next year when they go in the ground you’ll be able to plant in a wide saucer shaped planting hole. Then it will be off to the races.


Speedster what zone are you in? I am in zone 5b and my experience is if you have good soil in your permanent planting locations then plant them in the ground. I have never had potted trees out perform in ground grown trees in good soil. I dont see a need for shading in the cooler growing zones.

I put my Bud 9 last year i pots (5 gal i think)… Not a lot of growth. I plan on grafting them this season with a few different varieties . I left mine in mostly full sun…just water them often if you go the pot route and fertilize.

You said not a lot of growth in pots? How much is not a lot? How thick did the rootstock caliper get? From pencil sized to what?

I see on of them had maybe 2 feet of growth (straight up). The others less. Some almost none. I know i had some leaf disease on some of them. I’m sure they put on some thickness in the trunk area, but its hard to tell without a before picture. They don’t seem like they did. Maybe i didn’t feed them enough…maybe too much, maybe too little or too much water. I’m use to growing seedlings that are like weeds… I’l bud them over this summer. They may get planted in the ground yet this spring (if it ever warms up).