Tuesday, September 23, 2008

B.118 apple rootstock -- B.9 on steroids?

I am late on this one, but last week I picked 9 Honeycrisp trees on B.118 rootstock planted in 2006 as part of a mini- orchard systems trial at the UMass Cold Spring Orchard in Belchertown. To make a long story short, I was very impressed by the yield, fruit size, and fruit quality of these Honeycrisp trees on B.118. One tree had a yield of 60 lbs. of fruit, which if I extrapolate to a per acre yield (10 X 15 ft. spacing, 290 trees/acre), that's 400 bushels/acre in the 3rd leaf! (In reality, the rest of the trees had less fruit, but 200-300 bushels/acre could be expected.) So I have to wonder -- considering B.9 is very precocious and high-yielding -- if B.118 has these traits in a semi-dwarf stock? I would consider it closely, particularly vs. planting M.7. Willow Drive Nursery was the source of these trees. And check out NC-140 for more rootstock information.