Apple Tree Rootstocks and Tree Sizes

We graft our apple, cider and crab-apple trees on to a wide range of traditional and modern rootstocks, to control the mature size of the tree and confer attributes such as disease-resistance and cold-hardiness. If you have specific requirements please contact us.

  • Very-dwarf (mature height: 4ft-7ft)
    • G65
  • Dwarf (mature height: 6ft-10ft)
    • M9
    • Bud.9
    • G.11
    • G.16
    • G.41
  • Semi-dwarf (mature height: 8ft-12ft)
    • M26
    • G.935
    • G.202
    • G.222
    • M7
    • G.30
    • G.890
    • G.969
  • Semi-vigorous (mature height: 10ft-16ft)
    • MM106
    • MM111
    • Bud. 118
  • Full-size (mature height: 14ft-20ft+)
    • Antonovka

Very-dwarf apple rootstocks

G65 rootstock

  • Mature height: Very small, 5ft-7ft
  • Spacing: 3ft-4ft
  • Bearing age: 2-3 years
  • Staking: Required

Suitable forms: Small centre leader, Pyramid, Step-over, Patio container

Derived from the very dwarfing M27 rootstock, but noticeably more vigorous.

Ground around the tree should be kept weed-free (e.g. mulched). Requires regular watering / irrigation.


Dwarf apple rootstocks

M9 rootstock

  • Mature height: Small, 6ft-10ft
  • Spacing: 3ft-7ft
  • Bearing age: 2-3 years
  • Staking: Required

Suitable forms: Small centre leader / spindlebush, Cordons, oblique cordons, Small espalier / fan, The most important dwarf apple rootstock, planted worldwide. However not ideal for North American growers because it is not particularly winter-hardy and has poor resistance to fireblight.

Ground around the tree should be kept weed-free (e.g. mulched). Requires regular watering / irrigation.

Bud.9 rootstock

  • Mature height: Small, 6ft-10ft
  • Spacing: 3ft-7ft
  • Bearing age: 2-3 years
  • Staking: Required

Suitable forms: Small centre leader / spindlebush, Cordons, oblique cordons, Small espalier / fan

Similar or slightly less vigorous than M9, and with excellent winter cold hardiness. Needs good soils, not happy on sandy soil.

Ground around the tree should be kept weed-free (e.g. mulched). Requires regular watering / irrigation.

G.11 rootstock

  • Mature height: Small, 6ft-10ft
  • Spacing: 3ft-7ft
  • Bearing age: 2-3 years
  • Staking: Required

Suitable forms: Small centre leader / spindlebush, Cordons, oblique cordons, Small espalier / fan

Similar to M9 but with better fireblight resistance. Also tolerant of wet conditions / phytophthora. Increasingly used in commercial orchards as a replacement for M9, where it is planted at 2ft or 3ft spacings. For the backyard orchard, 7ft spacings would be more practical.

Ground around the tree should be kept weed-free (e.g. mulched). Requires regular watering / irrigation.

G.16 rootstock

  • Mature height: Small, 6ft-10ft
  • Spacing: 3ft-7ft
  • Bearing age: 2-3 years
  • Staking: Recommended

Suitable forms: Small centre leader / spindlebush, Cordons, oblique cordons, Small espalier / fan, Slightly more vigorous than M9, and with superior winter cold hardiness. Resistant to fireblight. Also tolerant of wet conditions / phytophthora.

Unusually for a dwarf rootstock, does not always need permanent support (but probably still a good idea). An excellent choice for a small backyard.

Ground around the tree should be kept weed-free (e.g. mulched). Requires regular watering / irrigation.

G.41 rootstock

  • Mature height: Small, 6ft-10ft
  • Spacing: 3ft-7ft
  • Bearing age: 2-3 years
  • Staking: Required

Suitable forms: Small centre leader / spindlebush, Cordons, oblique cordons

A new rootstock in the M9-class, very resistant to fireblight and collar rot. Tolerant of replant disease.

Ground around the tree should be kept weed-free (e.g. mulched). Requires regular watering / irrigation.


Semi-dwarf apple rootstocks

M26 rootstock

  • Mature height: Medium, 8ft-12ft
  • Spacing: 9ft-12ft
  • Bearing age: 3 years
  • Staking: Recommended

Suitable forms: Bush, Centre leader / spindlebush, Large cordons, Fan or espalier

The original Malling series semi-dwarf rootstock.

Ground around the tree should be kept weed-free (e.g. mulched). Requires regular watering / irrigation.

G.935 rootstock

  • Mature height: Medium, 8ft-12ft
  • Spacing: 9ft-12ft
  • Bearing age: 3 years
  • Staking: Recommended

Suitable forms: Bush, Centre leader / spindlebush, Large cordons, Fan or espalier

Similar to or slightly larger than M26, but far more productive and precocious. Resistant to fireblight. Resistant to replant disease.

Ground around the tree should be kept weed-free (e.g. mulched). Requires regular watering / irrigation.

G.202 rootstock

  • Mature height: Medium, 8ft-12ft
  • Spacing: 9ft-12ft
  • Bearing age: 3 years
  • Staking: Recommended in lighter soils

Suitable forms: Bush, Centre leader / spindlebush, Large cordons, Fan or espalier

Similar to M26 but with much better resistance to fireblight, collar rot (phytophthora), and woolly aphid and therefore a better choice than M26 in warmer climates where woolly aphid can be an issue.

Ground around the tree should be kept weed-free (e.g. mulched). Requires regular watering / irrigation.

G.222 rootstock

  • Mature height: Medium, 8ft-12ft
  • Spacing: 9ft-12ft
  • Bearing age: 3 years
  • Staking: Recommended in lighter soils

Suitable forms: Bush, Centre leader / spindlebush, Large cordons, Fan or espalier

Slightly larger than M26, but far more productive and precocious. Resistant to fireblight.

M7 rootstock

  • Mature height: Medium, 9ft-12ft
  • Spacing: 10ft-12ft
  • Bearing age: 3 years
  • Staking: Recommended in lighter soils

Suitable forms: Bush, Centre leader / spindlebush, Large cordons, Fan or espalier

One of the original Malling series rootstocks, widely planted in North America, and noticeably more vigorous than M26.

G.30 rootstock

  • Mature height: Medium, 9ft-12ft
  • Spacing: 10ft-12ft
  • Bearing age: 2-3 years
  • Staking: Required

Suitable forms: Bush, Centre leader / spindlebush, Large cordons, Fan or espalier

An adaptable, precocious, and productive new rootstock. It produces a tree somewhat larger than M26, similar to M7, and much heavier-cropping than either. It has good fireblight resistance and cold-hardiness.

G.30 is very well anchored but nevertheless permanent staking or support is essential for trees on this rootstock, because of the weight of apples it can produce which on some varieties can over-stress the graft union.

Probably the best rootstock of any size class if your ground is subject to flooding.

G.890 rootstock

  • Mature height: Medium, 9ft-12ft
  • Spacing: 10ft-12ft
  • Bearing age: 2-3 years
  • Staking: Required

Suitable forms: Bush, Centre leader / spindlebush, Large cordons, Fan or espalier

An M7-class rootstock with good resistance to fireblight and woolly aphid, crown and root rots, and tolerance of re-plant disease.

G.969 rootstock

  • Mature height: Medium, 10ft-14ft
  • Spacing: 10ft-14ft
  • Bearing age: 2-3 years
  • Staking: Recommended in lighter soils

Suitable forms: Bush, Centre leader / spindlebush, Large cordons, Fan or espalier

Similar to G.890 in all respects, but produces a larger tree, intermediate between M7 and MM106.


Semi-vigorous apple rootstocks

MM106 rootstock

  • Mature height: Large, 10ft-14ft
  • Spacing: 12ft-18ft
  • Bearing age: 2-3 years
  • Staking: Not necessary

Suitable forms: Half-standard, Bush, Large centre leader / spindlebush, Large fan or espalier

MM106 is one of the most widely-grown semi-vigorous rootstocks. Susceptible to collar rot on wet sites. Easy to grow and versatile.

MM111 rootstock

  • Mature height: Large, 10ft-16ft
  • Spacing: 12ft-18ft
  • Bearing age: 4-5 years
  • Staking: Not necessary

Suitable forms: Half-standard, Bush, Large centre leader / spindlebush, Large fan or espalier

MM111 is one of the most adaptable of all rootstocks, and will grow in a very wide range of soil conditions. It is a good choice for a traditional orchard. MM111 is also noted for its good drought tolerance when mature - thanks to its extensive spreading root system.

MM111 can be slow to come into bearing, and is not suitable for the coldest zones.

Bud. 118 rootstock

  • Mature height: Large, 10ft-16ft
  • Spacing: 12ft-18ft
  • Bearing age: 4-5 years
  • Staking: Not necessary

Suitable forms: Half-standard, Large centre leader / spindlebush, Large fan or espalier

Produces a tree somewhat larger than MM111 but with much better cold hardiness, and more precocious.


Full-size apple rootstocks

Antonovka rootstock

  • Mature height: Very large, 14ft-20ft+
  • Spacing: 24ft+
  • Bearing age: 5 years
  • Staking: Not necessary

Suitable forms: Full-standard

Antonovka is a seedling apple rootstock and will eventually produce a full-size tree. It is also very cold-hardy.



Introduction to rootstocks