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 Goldrush Apple on Own Roots 
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Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:29 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Foothills of Mt. Hood (southeast of Sandy, Oregon)
Post Goldrush Apple on Own Roots
I planted a Goldrush apple (I believe on m7 rootstock) about 7 years ago and the tree and fruit has been fantastic. This past winter I kept a big crop of Goldrush apples in an unheated garage all winter - they were terrific. By May, they were a little bit wrinkled on the outside, but amazingly crisp and flavorful on the inside and even the wrinkled skin was quite likeable and not at all waxy.

I've done some reading about the benefits of planting apples on their own roots (rooting a cutting from the tree, rather than grafting). Some experts have said you can get even better storage and even better flavor. I'd like to plant a bunch more Goldrush apple trees and I'm thinking about doing it on their on roots.

Has anyone tried growing the Goldrush apple on its own roots? Will I regret it? I'd like the trees to stay under 12 feet and I plan to do this via low nitrogen fertilizer, summer pruning, and via heavy cropping (to zap the trees strength)

What do you think?


Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:18 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1154
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Goldrush Apple on Own Roots
Rootstock has been developed not only for its dwarfing (or growth restricting) properties but for disease resistance as well.

My experience: two Gravenstein apple trees started by grafting their scions to a couple of ‘chance apple seedlings.’ They grew well for about 20 years then began a gradual decline. Perhaps one of the most vigorous of apple varieties, the now ‘standard’ Gravenstein trees were kept in check by judicious pruning.

As both trees eventually succumb to what I expect was oak root rot, due to their proximity to a stand of native oaks, the use of and need for ‘disease resistant rootstock’ became painfully evident to me. Both trees should have out lived us.

I will no longer recommend folks make a ‘cheap tree’ by grafting onto a seedling apple. Or in this case, by suggesting they root a cutting. If apple trees on their own roots provided an advantage of any kind …I’m sure the massive and lucrative apple industry would long ago have ditched the time consuming and expensive step of grafting them to rootstock and simply began ‘layering’ cuttings.

Good question.

My recommendation is to use aggressive rootstock, capable of pulling the most from the soil - and judicious pruning and thinning. That will assure the nutrients necessary to fill those Goldrush’s out!

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Thu Jun 14, 2012 7:38 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Goldrush Apple on Own Roots
ROoting apple cuttings is very difficult but not impossible. I just find grafting hard enough by itself amid parenting, working, trying to be a good husband, etc. Sepp Holzer of permaculture fame is a big fan of own rooted trees, so if you can do it reasonable easily (I haven't yet found out how), it might be worth it.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:07 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:07 am
Posts: 6
Post Re: Goldrush Apple on Own Roots
JohnS, if trench layering will multiply apple rootstock, should it not be possible to produce own-rooted trees the same way starting with a one or two year old whip? Whatever comes from above the graft will be an own-rooted tree.


Sat Jun 16, 2012 2:18 am
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1354
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Goldrush Apple on Own Roots
It's true that you could layer it. It's much easier with rootstock.

Most people only want one Goldrush apple tree. Wounding it and leaning it over into the soil will probably work at some point, but it will delay the apples you get from the grafted tree. For some, it may be worth it. For me, I don't think it will. I think it's an interesting experiment. If disease pressure is less, I would be more inclined to do it on a tree that gets a lot of disease, like Cox's Orange Pippin or Esopus Spitzenberg.

John S
PDX OR


Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:47 am
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