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Re: [nafex] Apple Rootstocks for Extreme Cold, apricots etc..

Del, Experiment away with topworking other fruit in the true NAFEX
tradition. My topworked European plums (Mt. Royal, Italian, Greengage) died
after one winter when topworked onto wild Americana plums, but this may have
been a lack of compatibility reaction.  My apricots topworked on plum trees
survived for only 2 or 3 years, then died, again my guess is compatibility.
While topworking makes apples hardier in my opinion, it seems to make prunus
species LESS hardy.  As an example Evans cherry grafts easily, but
invariably dies over the first winter for me when topworked, but survives
well on its own roots in my climate.  My pears seem fine so far, but haven't
produced yet as they have only been topworked for about 3 years on a young
tree. Re breakage, I've never had a horizontal graft break under the weight
of a heavy crop with a whip and tongue graft as the graft union seems even
stronger than the rest of the branch.

Re Battleford apple, a horribly tart, sour apple that is a very shy producer
from my experience.  Good for pies, but right at the bottom in terms of
quality for fresh eating. Take one bite and you won't take another unless
you have a passion for very, very tart sour apples. Not worth growing from
what I've seen.  PF51 and September Ruby will mature well for you in your
climate, and would make excellent frame trees if you want a hardy tree with
reasonably good fruit quality on its own.  PF51 is the better tasting by
far, sort of a northern Royal Gala that takes -45F, and Bob Purvis in
Minneapolis/St Paul has a few trees of it growing as a scionwood source for you.
>Bernie, thanks, you make a convincing argument for topworking apples in our 
>climate zone.  Any opposing opinions out there?      How do you feel about 
>topworking other fruits, i have 50 each of the following--- pears( 
>ussuriensis rootstock), plums(  prunus americana, and apricot(manchurian)  ? 
>      How to avoid wind breakage and weight breakage from fruit,  in the 
>horizontal grafts?    The Manchurian  apricots (or whatever they are, from 
>Lawyers) 	 what fabulous growth, 4' the first year i put them in the nursury 
>bed, and those georgeous massive pink roots.  Ive grafted moongold 
>sucessfully onto 20 of them, then met an old nurseryman who said "youll 
>never get an apricot off of either moongold or sungold here, spring is just 
>too late.(last frost mean date is june 10).   ive heard of a producing 
>apricot in the area with full size fruit , of course im hoping to track it 
>down for scions. Any other apricot options?         You mentioned the 
>battleford apple
>in the article, i have fond memories of a trip there once, dont know of any 
>grown here below,  is it worth pursuing?  thanks again, minnesota del
>>From: Bernie Nikolai <Nikolai@v-wave.com>
>>Reply-To: nafex@egroups.com
>>To: nafex@egroups.com
>>Subject: Re: [nafex] Apple Rootstocks for Extreme Cold
>>Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 22:02:45 -0700 (MST)
>>Hi Del,
>>Topworking gives a more tender apple cultivar about 5 to 10F more hardiness
>>as the site of the most serious winter damage is often on the trunk just
>>above the snow line as well as the first few inches of a branch where it
>>comes out of the trunk.  Topworking insures you have a very hardy variety 
>>these locations on the tree.  It is way, way too much trouble to make an
>>orchard this way however.  I just use it for a very few "pet" trees in my
>>backyard as it is very time consuming to do.  My topworked McIntosh,
>>Summerred, etc are fine to this day, but the tender ones, Ginger Gold,
>>Jonagold, etc. did die after a few days of -40F three years back, even
>>though they were topworked.  Topworking helps, but it isn't a cure-all for
>>really cold weather.  You can graft directly on the crab rootstock's
>>branches if you wish and the result should be the same.  I just happened to
>>be using hardy trees purchased at a local nursery, so I grafted on the
>>existing branches.
>>Bud 490 seems hardy for me, but it is nowhere near as hardy as Ranetka or
>>Siberian Crab. No snow and 40 below, those two will mainly survive.  Bud 
>>will not, nor will Antonovka.  Prunifolia is a question mark at -40 with no
>>snow.  The bottom line is in a severe winter climate, why worry about
>>whether you will get enough snow to insulate the roots?  I have the bulk of
>>my test orchard of 200 trees on Siberian and Ranetka just for that reason.
>>-30C tonight and almost no snow on the ground as I write, so I'm glad for
>>the hardiness of the bulk of my rootstock.  I unfortunately could not get 
>>dormant Bud 490 scions to root, despite dozens of attempts over 2 or 3
>>years, so I've given up.

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