597 Rootstock and Scion Interact to Affect Apple Tree Performance: Results from a 10-year Trial by the NC-140 Technical Committee

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  • 1 Department of Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003

In 1990, trials were established at 13 sites including `Golden Delicious', `Jonagold', `Empire', and `Rome' apple cultivars in all combinations on M.9 EMLA, B.9, Mark, O.3, and M.26 EMLA rootstocks. After 10 growing seasons, rootstock and cultivar interacted significantly to affect trunk cross-sectional area and yield efficiency but not yield per tree or survival. Generally, trunk cross-sectional area was greatest for M.26 EMLA, followed by O.3, M.9 EMLA, B.9, and Mark. However, differences between B.9 and Mark and between M.9 EMLA and O.3 varied with cultivar. B.9 was 34% to 46% larger than Mark with `Golden Delicious' and `Empire,' but they were similar for `Jonagold' and `Rome.' O.3 was 27% larger than M.9 EMLA with `Golden Delicious' and `Empire,' they were similar for `Rome', and O.3 was 12% smaller than M.9 EMLA with `Jonagold'. M.26 EMLA resulted in the greatest cumulative yield per tree, followed by O.3, M.9 EMLA, B.9, and Mark. Generally, cumulative yield efficiency (1992–99) was greatest B.9 and Mark and least for M.26 EMLA. M.9 EMLA and O.3 were similar and intermediately efficient. However, differences between B.9 and Mark and between M.9 EMLA and O.3 varied with cultivar. M.9 EMLA and O.3 were similarly efficient with `Golden Delicious', `Jonagold', and `Rome,' but M.9 EMLA was 11% more efficient than O.3 with `Empire'. B.9 and Mark were similarly efficient with `Golden Delicious' and `Jonagold', but Mark was 15% more efficient and 25% less efficient than B.9 trees with `Empire' and `Rome', respectively. Site played an important role, but survival was best for B.9 and poorest for O.3. Cooperators included: J.L. Anderson, W. Autio, J. Barden, G. Brown, R. Crassweller, P. Domoto, A. Erb, D. Ferree, A. Gaus, R. Hayden, P. Hirst, F. Morrison, C. Mullins, J. Schupp, and L. Tukey.

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