Good Fruit Grower

February 1

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28 FEBRUARY 1, 2016 GOOD FRUIT GROWER F or apple growers, choosing a rootstock type can be a bit over- whelming. There are many to choose from, yet no perfect choice. Soil, climate, trellis system, irrigation type, tree spacing and scion all play a role. Factor in the grower's expectations, and the spectrum of interaction between all of those consider- ations makes rootstock selection all the more difficult. The best option for one grower may not be best for everyone. More efficient rootstocks may yield two to three times more than less efficient rootstocks when planted at appropriate densities, and most growers want early yields, followed by consistent high yields — points that highlight the role rootstock selection plays in a grower's bottom line. Then, there's the pesky question of availability. Staying abreast of the latest information on rootstocks — what's best where and why, what's available when — is essential to a suc- cessful operation. So, here's a rundown of the latest news on rootstock choices for Washington from a couple of experts: Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission in Wenatchee, Washington, and Dr. Gennaro Fazio, plant geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Geneva, New York. Which rootstock should you GROW WITH? Horticulture Apple growers have a lot of options when it comes to selecting the best rootstock for their orchards. by Shannon Dininny

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