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Re: [nafex] Apple Rootstocks for Extreme Cold

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 at
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 490
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 my
dormant Bud 490 scions to root, despite dozens of attempts over 2 or 3
years, so I've given up.

At 04:59 AM 12/11/00 -0000, you wrote:
>	Bernie, your timing is impeccable...i just today re-located that priceless 
>and extensive article you wrote in nafex fall of '94..."Increasing apple 
>cultivar hardiness to minus 40F"      when i can figure how to copy from our 
>new scanner onto this site i would like to copy paragraphs and go over your 
>current thoughts.....but a few
>?'s for now ..you mentioned a new rootstock Bud 490 needed trial research , 
>have you any opinions today on it?     and on it's ability to root dormant 
>scions?              your comments then regarding baccata and renetka 
>parallel your comments today, what im eager to learn about is the idea of 
>topworking cultivars. in the article it sounds as though you grafted a 
>rescue, dolgo etc.
>onto siberian crab and then topwork the dolgo.  but it sounded like with 
>renetka it was both the frame tree and the rootstock.  how has this 
>topworking worked out since then?   was it the winter of 97/98 when the 
>botttom fell out?  we had minus 55-60 here, finished off most of the few 
>orchards around,  how did yours fare ?         i don"t understand the 
>principle of using a frame tree different from the rootstock.    im 
>wondering if there is an advantage for me to add a frame of dolgo (at ground 
>level ?) onto my malus prunifolia(plum leaf crab) and then top work my 40 
>cultivars on to that?    eager to learn.
>   twas a balmy minus 27F (-31C) this morn and our resident great grey owl 
>was 100 feet out our window hunting our prolific voles from the 4' high tree 
>stakes.   bless his beautiful big-eyed soul
>                        thanks in advance,minnesota del, 2b
>>From: Bernie Nikolai <Nikolai@v-wave.com>
>>Reply-To: nafex@egroups.com
>>To: nafex@egroups.com
>>Subject: [nafex] Apple Rootstocks for Extreme Cold
>>Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2000 20:37:42 -0700 (MST)

>>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 
>>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 
>>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 
>>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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