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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706

The dwarfing potential of apple interstems has long been recognized. This study was undertaken to examine the relationship between the dwarfing effect of apple interstems and interstem starch concentration. In 1981 apple trees with P2 or P22 interstems on clonal Antonovka rootstock using Jerseymac or Starkspurmac as scion were planted. In 1989 and 1990 core samples from the interstems and root samples were analyzed for starch concentration. Roots always had higher starch concentrations than interstems. In the spring, P22 interstems had higher starch levels than P2 interstems, but in the fall the reverse was found. No difference in starch concentration was found between the Antonovka rootstock under the same interstem. However, root starch concentration was more stable under P22 than P2. Further, roots under P22 were lower in starch in the fall than in the spring. This suggests that P22, the more dwarfing interstem, may interfere with the transport of carbohydrates through the trunk, which may be a factor in dwarfing.

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