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Re: [nafex] Malus prunifolia

1) I used Malus prunifolia seedlings from Lawyer a good many years ago and have been gunshy ever since.  Suckering in the nursery and later in the orchard was the heaviest I've ever encountered.  Roots were very fibrous in the nursery but I did not observe later in the orchard.  However,
2) If we look at the geographical distribution of the species, it's easy to judge that one should not generalize from a single or even several samples.  Malus prunifolia is evidently endemic across an extremely wide belt, from eastern Siberia nearly to Lapland.  The north-south distribution  is also quite extensive.  Within that wide distribution there must be an enormous variation in characteristics.  To further complicate matters, there has been constant hybridization along the contacts with other Malus species.    We have no way of knowing whether  a particular lot of Malus prunifolia seeds came from Vladivostock or from the northern Urals or maybe from half a dozen hybrid trees in the Warsaw Botanical Gardens.
3) We do know that within the species we can find resistance to fire blight (although there is no evidence that the species in its natural habitat was ever exposed to Erwinia), immunity to apple scab, non-preference resistance to voles, and a lot of tolerance for low winter temperatures. The Cornell-Geneva 'Novole', which carries those 3 resistances, comes from a Malus prunifolia x Malus sieboldii cross.

My bottom line:  I wouldn't touch Malus prunifolia with a 10ft pole for rootstock purposes unless I knew a great deal about the characteristics of the particular seed lot.


edforest55@hotmail.com wrote:

Del (ando others interested)
I just did a search on prunifolia and did find that one site
(garden. . . something or other) did say that it does well on heavy
clay soil.
This makes me wonder Del, what did the roots look like, were they
more carrot shaped or fibrous?
It said that prunifolia also does well under drought conditions, and
is frost tolerant.
I would like to learn more about malus prunifolia, anyone out there
used it as a rootstock? Lawyers used to offer it but not lately.

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