Source: UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI submitted to
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2002
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2007
Grant Year
Project Director
Recipient Organization
Performing Department
Non Technical Summary
With the increasingly competitive international market, the growing demand for higher quality fruit by consumers, the strong pressure to reduce chemical use, and an ever increasing need to enhance the economic efficiency of production, tree-fruit growers must look to alternative economically and environmentally sustainable management strategies for production. Growers who want to stay profitable must establish high-density plantings with much smaller trees with new scion cultivars. These high-density plantings may cost several times more to establish than low-density plantings, thus greatly enhancing the economic risk. Rapid returns are also vital for providing the ability to change cultivars in response to market or genetic opportunities. The central component of high-density systems is the rootstock. The root system imparts many characteristics to the mature tree such as size, precocity, productivity, fruit quality, pest resistance, stress tolerance, and thus profitability. The purpose of this project is to perform uniform cooperative testing for the fruit industry so that new rootstocks can be introduced quickly and systematically to widely varying soil and climatic conditions to shorten the time necessary for thorough evaluation.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
To evaluate the field performance of pome- and stone-fruit rootstocks in various environments and under different management systems, and to optimize experimental design for such evaluations. To understand the developmental and abiotic stress physiology of rootstock/scion interactions in pome- and stone-fruit trees.
Project Methods
Uniform apple rootstock trials were planted in 1992 and 1993 to evaluate the precocity, yield efficiency, tree size and survivability of different cultivars on various dwarfing rootstocks. A similar peach planting was established in 1994 with Redhaven' on 17 different rootstocks. Floral buds obtained from trees in these plantings will be evaluated at least three times during each dormant period for resistance to low temperature injury. In other studies, air root pruning techniques for rapid propagation of pear and apple trees is being developed. Air root pruned trees will be evaluated for caliper, branch and root system development, and precocity.

Progress 01/01/07 to 12/31/07

OUTPUTS: In 1999, two apple rootstock trials were planted at the University of Missouri Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center, New Franklin, Missouri. These trials included 11 dwarf and and 7 semi-dwarf rootstocks grafted with a Fuji scion. Rootstock suckering, tree survival, percent tree leaning, trunk circumference, fruit yield, average fruit weight, and cummulative yield efficiency are recorded annually. However, during April 4 to 10, 2007, an unprecented freeze occurred. The freeze came after the third warmest 21 Mar. through 3 Apr. period on record and was followed by the coldest 4 Apr. to 9 Apr. period on record (since 1898) in Missouri. On 7 Apr. 2007, the temperature at the Research Center dropped to -7.3C. From 4 to 9 Apr., temperatures were below freezing for 67 hours. At this time, flowers in the rootstock trials were mostly at the full pink stage. Nearly all flowers were killed. The few surviving flowers were not pollinated due to adverse climatic conditions following the freeze. Thus, there was no fruit harvested from these trees and the only data recorded were rootstock suckering, percent tree leaning, tree survival, and trunk circumference. During the year, numerous freeze-related media releases were provided to the public, as well as crop loss assessments. A new planting was established in March 2007 at the Research Center with two cultivars (Suncrisp and Fuji) on three rootstocks (M.27, M.9, and B.9) to determine the relationship between blackheart injury in the xylem of trees and fruit yield over a ten year period. PARTICIPANTS: Michele Warmund is the NC-140 project leader in Missouri. This project is partially supported by the Missouri Apple Merchandising Board. Other NC-140 collaborators include Curt Rom (Univ. of Arkansas), Cheryl Hampson (Agriculture Canada, Scott Johnson (Univ. of Calif.), Ron Godin (Colo. State Univ.), Kathy Taylor (Univ. of Georgia), Paul Domoto (Iowa State Univ.), Mosbah Kushad (Univ. of Illinois), Peter Hirst (Purdue Univ.), Joseph Masabni Univ. of Kentucky), Wesley Autio (Univ. of Mass.), Renae Moran (Univ. of Maine), Ron Perry, (Michigan State Univ.), Emily Hoover (Univ.of Minnesota), Michael Parker (North Carolina State Univ.), Win Cowgill, (Rutgers Univ.), Steve Castagnoli (Oregon State Univ.), James Schupp (Penn. State Univ.), Gregory Reighard (Clemson Univ.), Matthew Whiting (Wash. State Univ.), and Kevin Kosola (Univ. of Wisconsin). This research trial was used for graduate and undergraduate training and results were presented at field days. TARGET AUDIENCES: Target audiences were homeowners and commercial fruit producers. This research trial was also used for graduate and undergraduate teaching and research opportunities. Results are disseminated via the University of Missouri Extension Service. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: None

Trees on CG. 4013 and CG.5179 rootstocks survived after exposure to high winds during stormy June weather at a young age. After 9 years of evaluation these rootstocks were the only ones included in this experiment that would be recommended for planting in Missouri. Rootstocks such as G.16, Supporter 1, 2, 3, and 4, CG.4814, CG.5202, and CG.7707 would not be recommended due to their poor survival and performance. The evaluation of these rootstocks has shown that Fuji on CG. 4013 or CG.5179 are productive and would enhance profitability of apple production in Missouri. Additionally, this study has identified several maladapted rootstocks that would be unprofitable for Missouri growers.


  • Reighard, G., R. Andersen, J. Anderson, W. Autio, T. Beckman, T. Baker, R. Belding, G. Brown, P. Byers, W. Cowgill, D. Deyton, E. Durner, A. Erb, D. Ferree, A. Gaus, R. Godin, R. Hayden, P. Hirst, S. Kadir, M. Kaps, H. Larsen, T. Lindstrom, N. Miles, F. Morrison, S. Myers, D. Ouelette, C. Rom, W. Shane, B. Taylor, K. Taylor, C. Walsh, and M. Warmund. 2007. Growth and yield of Redhaven peach on nineteen rootstocks at twenty North American locations. Acta Hort. 732:271- 278.
  • Autio, W.R., T.L. Robinson, B.H. Barritt, J.A. Cline,R.M. Crassweller, C.G. Embree, D.C. Ferree, M.E.Garcia, G.M. Greene, E.E. Hoover, R.S. Johnson, K. Kosola, J. Masabni, M.L. Parker, R.L. Perry, G.L.Reighard, S.D. Seeley, and M. Warmund. 2007. Early performance of Fuji and McIntosh apple trees on several dwarf rootstocks in the 1999 NC-140 Rootstock Trial. Acta Hort. 732:119-125.
  • Autio, W.R., T.L. Robinson, B.H. Barritt, J.A. Cline, R.M. Crassweller, C.G. Embree, D.C. Ferree, M.E. Garcia, G.M. Greene, E.E. Hoover, R.S. Johnson, K. Kosola, J. Masabni, M.L. Parker, R.L. Perry, G.L. Reighard, S.D. Seeley, and M. Warmund. 2007. Early performance of Fuji and McIntosh apple trees on several semidwarf rootstocks in the 1999 NC-140 Rootstock Trial. Acta Hort.732:127-133.
  • Robinson, T., L. Anderson, W. Autio, B. Barritt, J. Cline, R. Crassweller, W. Cowgill, C. Embree, D. Ferree, E. Garcia, G. Greene, C. Hampson, K. Kosola, M. Parker, R. Perry, T. Roper, and M. Warmund. 2007. A multilocation comparison of Geneva 16, Geneva 41, and M.9 apple rootstocks across North America. Acta Hort. 732:59-65.

Progress 10/01/02 to 09/30/07

OUTPUTS: In 2002, a trial consisting of 8 rootstocks was planted at 17 sites in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Redhaven was the scion at 10 sites and Cresthaven at the other 7 sites. The rootstocks tested were Adesoto 101, Mr.S.2/5, Penta, VSV-1 (Krymsk 2), VVA-1 (Krymsk 1), Pumiselect, Cadaman and Lovell. PARTICIPANTS: Similar peach rootstock trials are planted at 16 other sites in the United States and Mexico. Cooperators for other locations incule Scott Johnson (Univ. of California), Harold Larsen (Colorado State Univ.), Thor Lindstrom (Utah State Univ.), Martin Kaps (Missouri State Univ.), Terence Robinson (Cornell Univ.), Jim Schupp (Pennsylvannia State Univ.), Kathryn Taylor (USDA-ARS Georgia), Matthew Whiting (Washington State University), Brent Black (Utah State Univ.), Larry Stein (Texas Coop. Extension), Wesley Autio (Univ. of Massachusetts), Michael Newell (Univ. of Maryland), Rafael Parra Quezada (Univ. of Chihuahua), Win Cowgill (Rutgers Univ.), Diane Miller (Ohio State Univ.) and Greg Reighard (Clemson Univ). TARGET AUDIENCES: Information gained from this multi-location study has been presented at producer meetings across the United States and internationally. Research findings will also be incorporated into recommendations for plant selection in each of the states. Results will be published in the Journal of the American Pomological Society and will be available on the web site for this cooperative project. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

After five years, trees on Cadaman rootstock were similar in size and productivity to Lovell. Survival, suckering and fruit weight were problematic for trees with Pumiselect and VSV-1 rootstocks. Adesoto 101, Mr.S.2/5 and Penta all showed potential as semi-dwarfing rootstocks although mortality and suckering were excessive at some sites. VVA-1 rootstock induced dwarfing with a trunk cross sectional area 35% of Lovell. Trees on VVA-1 rootstock had fruit weight equal to those with more vigorous rootstocks, as well as the highest yield efficiency.


  • No publications reported this period