English Apples - Propagating Rootstocks

The usual method of propogating rootstocks is by stooling. This is also a good way of using up rootstocks where the graft has failed.

The method is this - take your failed grafted rootstock in about July, when it has some vigorous young shoots starting to grow. Plant the stock in a bottomless bucket, a little deeper than the bucket if necessary; then fill the bucket with compost so that almost everything is covered. Shoots will emerge during the season and will reach a length of about a foot.

In October or November, when the leaves are off, take the stock from the bucket. It will have rooted in several places (see pictures). The plant can be cut up carefully into perhaps 4 or 5 stocks, which are potted up separately for the next spring. Some will be big enough to graft that year; some will need another year's growth.

It is also possible to root the pieces of rootstock which you normally throw away after grafting. Push the pieces into a large pot of damp compost, label them clearly, and then put the pot aside for a year or so. From a dozen pieces you might get 7 or 8 to root. Then proceed as above.

Pictures below show MM106 propagated for private use only.
(click on small images for detail)

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compiled by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

Note that it is illegal to propagate registered rootstocks - MM106, M27, M26, etc, for sale, unless you have been through the proper formalities and have paid the necessary fees. There is a "patent" fee to pay on such rootstocks produced for sale.

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