An Exploratory Study of Reciprocal Apple Rootstock and Scion Hardiness with Two Methods of Assessment

in HortScience

Root hardiness for the apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) rootstocks M.26, MM.106, MM.111, M.7A, and M.7EMLA at - 8 and - 11C and trunk survival for the tender cultivar Gravenstein and the hardy cultivar Wealthy at -25 and -35C were evaluated both destructively (tissue examination) and nondestructively (regrowth measurement the following season). No differences in root survival were detected at -8C by either method; at - 11C, MM.111 rated better than the others, while regrowth was higher on M.26, MM.111, and M.7A than on MM.106 or M.7EMLA. Root survival did not differ for the scions at either temperature, but regrowth was greater for `Gravenstein' than Wealthy' at both temperatures. Trunk tissue survival at -25C was consistently lowest for scions on M.7EMLA, and regrowth was less than on M.26 and MM.111. At -35C there were no significant rootstock effects. For the scions, lateral wood tissue survival at -25C was highest for Wealthy', but the weight of the new growth did not differ. At -35C bark tissue survival and regrowth was greater for Wealthy' than for `Gravenstein'. Evidence is presented in support of the occurrence of reciprocal effects. Correlation between the two methods was highest for root exposure at - 11C and for the assessment of trunk bark.

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