A Word About Rootstocks
We make virus-free rootstock available to the backyard grower who wishes to start his or her own trees. The choice of rootstock has much to do with tree performance. The rootstock is the major factor in determining the size of the tree, its cold hardiness and tolerance of wet conditions. It helps determine how soon the tree will bear and some of the diseases to which it will be resistant. Raintree offers fruit trees grown on superior dwarfing rootstocks. The following rootstock information will also help you understand more about successfully caring for your Raintree fruit trees. Remember that with any rootstock, the ultimate height of the tree depends not only on the rootstock but on the variety grafted, the type of soil and the methods of pruning and care. You may graft onto patented rootstocks but may not reproduce the rootstock itself.
Rootstocks Sent in February
Despite our best efforts to have them ready earlier, it is always February, sometimes early March, before we can send you the rootstocks. They may therefore be sent separately from the rest of your order.
How to Rescue Heirloom Varieties
You may want to save an old variety by collecting scionwood from that tree and grafting the wood on to a new rootstock. Or we can do the grafting for you if you bring the wood to the nursery. Call or email first for details.
firstname.lastname@example.org - 800.391.8892
We charge $5 per graft plus the cost of the rootstock. (Less for large quantities! Ask for a quote.) Also we can do grafting for you or teach you to do it at our annual Raintree classes. Also consider purchasing a grafting knife; or an Omega grafting tool which can make grafts easier for beginners or people uncomfortable with a sharp knife.
Planting Your Grafted Rootstock
Plant your grafted tree so that the graft is, if possible, only a couple of inches above the ground. This will help avoid the burr knots that sometimes form on the EMLA 26, EMLA 7, and MMlll apple rootstocks. If however, you need to graft higher on the rootstock to match the size of scion and rootstock this is also okay. It is often best to plant the grafted rootstock in a garden or easy to care for area, spaced about 18 inches apart for one or two years before planting the tree into your orchard. Use your fingers or pruners to keep any buds from growing below the graft union. Use a piece of scionwood with 2-4 buds to graft. However choose only one vigorous branch to tie up to start your new trunk and prune off any other branches that start to grow.