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Rootstocks made simple

Fruit trees are usually grafted – that is, the top, fruiting part of the tree is attached to roots which control the size and other factors like disease resistance. These are known as rootstocks, and it's important to choose a tree with the right rootstock for what you want to do. Here's a quick guide to those you'll find at our Poynings, Sussex garden centre:

Rootstock apples

We divide apple trees into categories. Find the perfect height of an apple tree in the list below:

  • M27: very dwarfing, growing to 1.8m: the best choice for decorative 'stepover' apples.
  • M9: dwarfing, to about 2m: the best choice for cordons.
  • M26: general-purpose dwarf rootstock, to about 3m: great for minarettes, cordons and espaliers.
  • MM106: grows up to 5m and ideal for full-sized trees.

Rootstock pear - Rushfields

Perfect pears

Pears also grow from bare roots. At Rushfields you find rootstock pear trees in different height. Which size do you want to grow in your garden? We created a list to help you find your perfect pear. 

  • Quince C: is usually the only rootstock for pears as it's suitable for almost anything. Grows to about 5m.

Find out everything about plums and damsons. The difference between plums and damsons, by the way, is less to do with the taste and more with the shape: Plums are usually bigger than damsons and have a distinct longitudinal groove. Damsons also freeze well but plums not.

  • Pixy: dwarf rootstock suitable for fans and cordons, with a height of 3m
  • St Julien 'A': the most useful for garden trees, and more vigorous than Pixy at about 5m

Bare root cherries

  • Gisela 5 and Tabel: Dwarfing, growing to about 2m, and ideal for fans
  • Colt: produces a full-sized bush tree to about 5m tall

Rootstock at Rushfields

Please ask the staff in our Poynings, Sussex garden centre for more information and advice about choosing the right rootstock for your fruit trees.

View more categories in the category Fruit