Breeding Apple Rootstocks

  • James N. Cummins
  • Herb S. Aldwinckle


The ancient art of grafting makes it possible to fuse two or more different genetic entities into a single tree. Grafting permits the selection of a scion for its horticultural excellence and its adaptations to the aboveground environment—its capacity to produce high quality fruit ripening at a particular season and to survive the vicissitudes of weather and pests. About 250 years ago, apple growers began to recognize that grafting also permitted the selection of specific rootstocks for their capacities to influence favorably the productivity characteristics of the scion cultivar and for their abilities to survive the edaphic, climatic, and biotic components of the rootstock environment. Thus the 2- or 3- or 4-part tree can more easily possess diverse favorable attributes than can a fruiting cultivar on its own roots.


Powdery Mildew Fire Blight Apple Scab Apple Rootstock Fire Blight Resistance 
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Copyright information

© The Avi Publishing Company, Inc. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • James N. Cummins
    • 1
  • Herb S. Aldwinckle
    • 1
  1. 1.New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Agriculture and Life SciencesCornell UniversityGenevaUSA

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