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[nafex] Apple Rootstocks for Extreme Cold

Nafex member Clair Lammers in Fairbanks, Alaska has an apple orchard of
several hundred apple trees (and some pear, plum, apricot).  He has
experimented with many apple rootstocks, and his real world experiences in a
test winter back a couple of years ago is of significant value to
orchardists in zones 3 and colder.  He experienced a week or more of -40F
and a bit colder, but with only an inch of snow to no snow, depending on
where the wind piled it in his orchard.

All his "hardy" rootstock, ie 100% of the trees on Antonovka died.
About 99% of the trees on Siberian crab survived, and about 95% plus of his
trees on Ranetka (apparently Dolgo crab x Siberian Crab) also survived.

Ranetka seems to make a tree grow faster in cold climates.  From my testing
a two year old tree on Ranetka is as large as a 3 year old tree on Siberian
Crab.  Ranetka seems also to be compatible with more varieties than Siberian
Crab. Lawyer Nurseries in Montana is the only source of this rootstock I've
come across.

While I'm testing many rootstocks, presently we only have about one inch of
snow on the ground, and the temperature this morning was -24C.  I'm glad the
majority of my rootstocks are Ranetka and Siberian in my orchard, as it
eliminates a lot of worry.  I have good confidence in these two rootstocks
down to -40C and zero snowcover.

Bernie Nikolai
Edmonton, Alberta zone 3/2

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