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Identifying rootstock


I bought 2 different apple trees 3 years ago intending to plant in garden after I had finished some building and landscaping work. What with personal stuff happening I have only just finished and the trees are still in pots, although bigger ones. I now want to plant them but would prefer to train them into cordons and have been researching how to do this. It seems that trees need to have the correct root stock to do this but I have no idea whether these trees do. How can I find out if they are suitable to train.?




  • didywdidyw Posts: 3,362
    What variety of apple trees do you have?  Maybe someone here has the same and have trained them into cordons.
    Gardening in East Suffolk on dry sandy soil.
  • WillowBarkWillowBark Posts: 241
    Can you remember where you bought the trees from? If so, looking on the nursery/company website to find the same apple varieties might help, as the rootstock might be described on the listing, or you may find contact details to be able to ask their advice. Alternatively, if you've still got an e-receipt lurking somewhere in your emails then that might mention the rootstock, depending on how much detail was put on the item description. Once you know what rootstock they were grown on, that might help you to narrow down your research. Other than that, I'd imagine it's very difficult to tell one rootstock apart from another, but I've never really looked into it, so I could be wrong.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,120
    Do you still have the labels? There might be something on there to give you a clue.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • I may have the labels somewhere I will try to find them thanks
  • pinutpinut Posts: 190
    My common sense tells me that cordon training of fruit trees can be done without using dwarfing rootstock. It's just that dwarfing rootstock makes it easier and it will stay compact with less aggressive pruning.

    Why? Because currently used rootstocks were introduced in the 1900s and I believe there are ancient cordon trained fruits trees, including apples, in existence which predates these rootstocks.

    Training is essentially a clip and grow method but you could apply bonsai wiring and branch bending techniques to achieve quicker results.

    Obviously, you have to make sure that the apple is a spur bearing and not a tip bearing variety.
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