Rootstocks for garden fruit trees
It’s really rewarding to introduce fruit trees into your garden and there’s a fruit tree suited for any garden, whatever its size, thanks to the availability of different rootstocks.
A rootstock is simply made up of the roots and bottom part of the main trunk of a particular tree. Together the roots and bottom part of the trunk determine the eventual height of the fruit tree along with its vigour.
Our specialist growers then combine another variety of fruit which produces the leaves, flowers and fruit onto the rootstock. This means you can choose and order from many fruit varieties, growing at different heights suited for your outdoor space.
Here are a list of rootstocks to look out for and the planting situations that best suit them……
Apple Tree Rootstock
M26 - Dwarfing. Ultimate height 8-10 ft (2.4m - 3m) will start fruiting after 2-3 years. Suitable for: bush, pyramid, spindle bush, cordon, espalier and ideal for containers.
Pear Tree Rootstock
Quince ‘A‘ - Semi-vigourous rootstock, reaching an approximate height of 10-15 ft (3 - 4.5 metres). Regular pruning or training can keep the tree to a size that you want, making fruit much easier to access. Medium to very fertile soils will produce larger and quicker growing trees compared to less fertile soils, so ensure that you incorporate some fertiliser when preparing the soil. Will fruit after 4 years.
Plum, Gage, Peach, Apricot & Nectarine Rootstock
St. Julien ‘A‘ - Semi-vigorous rootstock, reaching an approximate height of 14 - 18 feet (4.5 - 5.0 metres). St Julien ‘A' has a good yield influence. Heavy soils are tolerated, however it is not suitable for poorly drained soils. Will fruit after 3 - 4 years.
Cherry Tree Rootstock
Colt - Semi-vigourous, reaching a height of 6m (20ft). Tolerates most soils including clay and light chalky soils. Will fruit after 3 - 4 years.
Apple Twin Trees and Crab Apple
MM106 - Semi-dwarfing, 10-13ft (3 - 4m). The most widely used rootstock but unsuitable for small gardens. Will fruit after 3 - 4 years)
Nectarine, Peach and some Plum
P. Myr -Considered vigorous and semi-vigorous. Trees will eventually reach 5m - 6m, will bear fruit after 4 - 5 years. Suitable for a wide range of conditions. Can benefit from staking for the first few years.