SHST - Horticulture and Forestry Society from Transylvania, 40 Years of Horticulture Education in Cluj-Napoca

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Production of Apple Planting Material through Intermediate Grafting

Last modified: 2017-04-18


Shortening the youth period of the trees is a basic concern for the fruit growers in order to reduce investment costs. The production of seeding material with anticipates for apple trees ensure a good precocity, the start of production from the second year of life and obtaining economical productions. The experiment was conducted during 2014-2016, using two rootstocks M111 and A2 and the intermediary B9, with intergraft lengths of 30 and 40 cm, and seven apple varieties: ‘Pinova’, ‘Sirius’, ‘Mutsu’, ‘Goldrush’, ‘Mars’, ‘Karneval’ and ‘Topaz’. These same varieties were grafted, for comparison purposes, also on the rootstocks M9, B9, M106 and Pi80. During the first year, the B9 intermediary was connected to the M111 and A2, using the benchgrafting method, while during the following year the varieties were grafted on the intermediary. Measurements were made related to tree height, number of anticipated branches and number of formed fruit buds. In field, all interstem trees naturally formed branches, without pinching or hormones, at an angle of almost 90 degrees. This behavior if due to the double grafting. For all combinations and varieties, the process of forming anticipate branches was recorded, but with better results for interstem trees. In all cases, the length of the intermediary was directly related to the height of the tree: the longer the intermediary, the shorter the resulted tree. Trees with MM111 as rootstock were smaller than the ones with Alnarp 2. Inter-stem trees were also the most precocious. Due to the strong rootstock, the interstem trees did not require any support system nor were they sensitive to weeds or water stress. Trees grafted on M9 and B9 showed similar characteristics (B9 induced slightly less vigor). All varieties grafted on Pi80 showed very low vigor. The least precocious combination was with MM106. It was also the most vigorous one. From this research it can be observed that interstem trees are an interesting solution for modern apple orchards. The cost of production is similar to the one of traditionally grafted trees. The time of production is the same (2 years) as in the case of “knip” trees, but the result is a self-sustaining, with much more anticipate branches, precocious apple tree. From the nursery observations, the B9/MM111 combinations are closest to the vigor of M9 rootstock, but B9/A2 can also be viable solution especially on poor or heavy soils.



This abstract was accepted to be presented at the conference entitled “40 Years of Horticulture Education in Cluj-Napoca” Cluj-Napoca, September 27, 2017, being included in ‘Book of Abstracts’ of this special-anniversary event ( All accepted papers will be published in a special issue of Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca journal.