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 Geneva 11 Apple Rootstock 
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:18 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Eugene, OR
Post Geneva 11 Apple Rootstock
Does anyone have experience with Geneva 11 rootstock on their apple tree? I have been looking for disease-resistant fruit trees to replace those that have died from the horrible clay soil (class VI, panther 102C) and wet conditions we get in parts of Eugene and the Willamette Valley. A bark canker killed my fuji apple and my shiro plum trees last year, but some sort of rootrot was also a problem.

I grafted a Freedom apple to a Geneva 11 rootstock I got from the Lane County Propogation Fair last winter and the thing grew more than 5 feet over the summer. Seems like it could be a great rootstock for this area and I am wonder if others have it and are happy with it.

Why doesn't someone publish a nice list of disease-resistant fruit trees and rootstocks that grow well in these horrible conditions under organic management without requiring lots of coddling and spraying? I could publish a list of trees NOT to grow. Maybe another topic...


Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:18 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Geneva 11 Apple Rootstock
Making sure you have well-drained soil is crucial in these situations. You probably need to amend it, and maybe raise it higher than the surrounding area. Gravel, rock, pumice, pieces of old wood below help, as do compost and wood chips above.
John S
PDX OR


Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:50 pm
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:18 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Eugene, OR
Post Re: Geneva 11 Apple Rootstock
John S,

Thanks for your suggestions. I have been gardening here in South Eugene for 20+ years and have lost far more fruit trees to our soil than I have planted today. This is the result of a very unique soil resulting from volcanic ash from Mt Mazama (now Crater Lake) eruptions 6,800 years ago. These eruptions deposited 1-5 feet of soil in the southern Willamette Valley. Due to the fine particle structure of this ash-cloud-deposited soil, it is far different from the usual alluvial and sedimentary “heavy clay” soils gardeners often deal with elsewhere. Oregon ash trees are about the only thing that grows well in it. It is a supreme challenge to find a fruit tree that can live for more than a few years in this soil, even when I elevate them, as you suggest.

That’s why I have come to focus on getting plants with the right rootstock. I am also trying to select varieties that perform well in an organic, low-maintenance regime without any chemical spraying. The Liberty Apple is an example of a real performer. Is there anybody on this site with experience with the Geneva 11 apple rootstock?


Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:33 pm
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:18 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Eugene, OR
Post Re: Geneva 11 Apple Rootstock
I am following up on this posting in case others discover it while wondering what rootstock to use. My Freedom apple grafted onto a Geneva 11 rootstock is looking a little disappointing this year. The small tree has been in the ground for 2 years now, but is poorly anchored. (It feels like I could pull it out of the ground with one hand.) I have it elevated in a mound a foot or more above surrounding grade, so no excuse for this that I can see. Also, the variety seems a little anemic, with weak looking blooms. Will update if news is more encouraging.


Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:36 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:56 pm
Posts: 12
Post Re: Geneva 11 Apple Rootstock
I don't have data to add, but have similar conditions (clay loam in Columbia river wetlands of Western Oregon).

I'm starting a trial this year to compare these selections:
EMLA 111
EMLA 111 with M27 interstem
P18 with M27 interstem
Antonovka with M27 interstem
Dolgo crab with M27 interstem


Of course with apples, results never come quickly, but it's always nice to hear from people with similar conditions and experience..


Eric


Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:20 pm
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Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:18 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Eugene, OR
Post Re: Geneva 11 Apple Rootstock
Eric,

I like your approach. I hadn't considered this interstem option. Sounds like it could be the ticket for tough soils and poor drainage. So will the tree end up being slightly larger than the interstem would otherwise be?

The G30 rootstock is supposed to handle wetness well, but I haven't been able to get it. I've got some apples grafted on G935, since it was available. Where do you find your M111 rootstock?


Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:23 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:56 pm
Posts: 12
Post Re: Geneva 11 Apple Rootstock
This year I got M111 from Treco, along with the P18 rootstock which is a little harder to find. I think Raintree has it in small quantities too. My Antonovka came from Lawyer Nursery in Olympia, WA. To get the insterstems, I ordered full M27 rootstocks and used the top sections - so I will have a byproduct of grafted M27 trees too...

From what I have read, I expect the M27 interstem (I'm using mostly 6-8" pieces) to produce a tree a little larger than M27 rootstock - but the lower P18 or Antonovka should be much better rooted and adapted to the soil. I do expect more suckering, but I'm more of a hobbiest than a commercial grower, so up to a point that's just "free rootstocks".


Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:47 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Geneva 11 Apple Rootstock
Victor,
Another option that I dare you to try:
Graft winter banana to Oregon swamp crabapple (malus fusca). I have done it and so did the late Lon Rombough.

Malus fusca can live in a swamp. You can find it for free. It does not have a really edible fruit. The Native Americans never really developed it, because they had so much other food. I really think it might solve your horrible soil situation.

I would also buy the mycorrhizal fungi packets, and seed it on grasses out to your yard. Fungi Perfecti and others sell it. I am doing an experiment with it in my yard, but I have normal clay soil that is getting better each year, not permanently problematic soil. I will be writing an article about it for the Pome News. I think the mycorrhizal factor would even be more important in your situation. I actually think that everyone should probably do it.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:58 pm
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