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New highly dwarfing cherry rootstocks from MSU - Corette series
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Crankyankee
Connecticut
78 Posts
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1
February 10, 2022 - 11:44 am

Having decided to do some grafting of my own I was confronted by the lack of availability of suitable dwarfing rootstocks, especially for cherry trees. I called a lot of wholesale growers looking for Gisela, Newroot and Krymsk rootstocks. I was only able to order Krymsk1, and those came from Raintree. 

However, in the process I discovered that Michigan State University has been developing new super-dwarfing cherry rootstocks of their own. These are called the Corette rootstocks, and there are five of them. In order of their dwarfness, small to large, these are:

Clare, Cass, Crawford, Lake and Clinton

cherryRootstockChart.jpg

https://www.goodfruit.com/pick.....rry-roots/

Until this January the Corette series were only available to the few growers who were working with MSU on their development and testing. They are now freely available wholesale though minimum orders are probably too large for hobbyists.

I was able to find a grower Oregon who did sell me a small number though it cost me a bundle to have them shipped across the continent. Shipping costs were more than the trees.

The grower is amenable to accepting an order from other hobbyists local to Portland if it they are able to put together a single bulk order of 500 trees. My cost was $3 per tree plus shipping, I would expect the same although shipping costs will be much less locally or you could even pick them up. It would require someone there to accept delivery of (or pick up) and then distribute the trees.

So, if there is any interest in doing this?

Attachments

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
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February 10, 2022 - 12:58 pm

At least one of the five listed is a selected from seedlings of the registered name 'Gisela-5' (G5), the G5 in it's own patent a triploid and unable to produce seedlings. The recent seedling patent and product from Michigan does confirm my point that G5 is the mother. Then if seedlings were produced from G5 then the program succeeded in doubling G5.

I'm envious of not having a doubled G5 in the restored state of fertility because of an inexpensive way of producing high percentages of cherry seedlings that would boost production on under-performing cherry types. There is no necessity for a highly precocious rootstock in every case though because having a self fertile cultivar on precocious stocks produce smaller fruit, per Lynn E long etc; and other more local Hood River Oregon consultants. 

It might sometimes be useful when links that are more local to the prevailing conditions here are spelled out a little better on new posts so I am correcting as we go that everything we have in the valley and west of Hood River is still applicable productivity wise because of late enough blooming of cherry trees and (wait for it) mason bees. 

Another thing that's doubly very important to say is that here G5 is a magnet for disease (see more below).

I have a whole bunch of 'pontaleb' seedling true to type cherry stocks that serve to be less disease magnets here in the valley as proven by basic classically old tests from the past here in the valley. These old classics should never be forgot. I wonder though if all of my prunus mahaleb 'pontaleb' seedlings with any G series interstems will protect the interstem. Also wondering if having a G series interstem if they were to be grafted on them will enhance precociousness.

So there is lots of interest in doing this from my standpoint of view on my end, but not anything other than going with the base of knowledge and help of things I already have. Especially out of the valley about some of those immediately east of the Cascades where it might be more of an interest to them. 

I have seen data from others and my own that 'Krymsk-5' is another western disease magnet too. Normally the graft won't last more than a month when raised improper. It must be purchased from a greenhouse and raised for several year sheltered, then established will hence forth do fine unless transplanted. If transplanted the concerns repeat themselves. 

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
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February 10, 2022 - 8:47 pm

Since Rooney mentioned the patents with respect to disease resistance, the patents say the Corette rootstocks are tolerant to several viruses based on their field trials so you may want to check out the patents if there is a concern about that.

A regards dwarfing characteristics and parentage here are my notes transcribed from a book by Lynn Long, from the patents and from a couple of other sources that I have lost track of.

From Long, Lynn, et al. Sweet Cherries. United Kingdom, CABI, 2020, page 82

Corette Series (P. cerasus hybrids)

Five new hybrid, dwarfing clonal rootstocks have recently been released b Michigan State University. Cass and Clare are complex hybrids with P. avium, P. cerasus and P. fructicosa parentage; Clinton and Crawford have P. canescens and P. cerasus parentage; and Lake has P. avium and P. fructicosa parentage. In evaluations conducted in Oregon and Washington states, tree vigors on these rootstocks were all smaller than Gisela 5, more in line with Gisela 3 size. Relative to apple rootstocks, the Corette rootstock series ranges in vigor from Bud 9 or M.9T337.

In an earlier Washington trial, precocity and productivity (number of flowering spurs) was high, with Lake, Cass and Clinton exceeding that for Gisela 5. Due to this prolific flowering, fruit grown on these rootstocks may need to be thinned to achieve acceptable fruit size and quality. However this may enable growers to more consistently produce optimal yields. This Washington trial found Lake, Cass and Clare advanced in ripening by 4 days compared to Gisela 5.

From the patents and my notes:

Clare, Cass - germinated from open pollinated seeds collected in Pázmánd, Fejér county Hungary. The seed parent appeared to be a natural species hybrid of unknown complexity among three species within the Prunus subgenus Cerasus section Cerasus Koehne that are native to the collection region and cross naturally in the wild. The three species are P. avium (sweet cherry), P. cerasus (Morello cherry) and P. fructicosa Pall. (Mongolian cherry). The paternal parent is unknown.

Clinton - a new variety of Prunus cerasis L. x Prunus canescens Bois variety from open pollenated GiSelA®5 seeds.

Crawford - a new and distinct variety of cherry that has as its seed parent the Hungarian Morello cherry Újfehértói Fürtös (Prunus cerasus) and as its pollen parent GiSelA®6 (Prunus cerasis x P. canescens). [ Újfehértói Fürtös is an Hungarian Morello cherry commercialized in the USA as Balaton.]

Lake - germinated from open pollinated seeds collected in the hillsides surrounding Budapest, Hungary. The seed parent appeared to be a natural species hybrid of unknown complexity among two species within the Prunus subgenus Cerasus section Cerasus Koehne that are native to the collection region and cross naturally in the wild. The two species are P. avium (sweet cherry) and P. fructicosa Pall. (Mongolian cherry). The paternal parent is unknown.

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
629 Posts
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February 10, 2022 - 9:37 pm

Thanks. 

The two of those that are chosen of GiSelA®5 and GiSelA®6 have a good chance of inheriting problems in the valley here due to bacterial. That's what we see in Krymsk-5 too. They are never concerned on spending enough patent application money on the bacterial issues that kill cherry trees from Hood River to here and the coast because the cherry industry moved away from us long ago. We have to tackle these things ourselves the way we hopefully are.

I have both the parents in my yard that crossed to each other which resulted in GiSelA®5 and 6. The diploid parent was under a very healthy cherry tree. The tetraploid (had two) wasn't grafted and each died back. Only one came back. I look forward to finding a good way for us here in the valley to replace the tetraploid parent with something more resilient to bacteria in order to fix better disease resistance and the bacterial resistant sweet cherry 'F12/1' might be a good enough candidate. It would be better to find something better than this F12/1 because it's not precocious, but precocious inherits usually through the female. So it might not matter. But thankfully the French line of 'Pontaleb' (p mahaleb) could be really good and (however sadly) too wide a cross to make. The latter is as healthy in my yard as the F12/1.

I love patents and reliable authors that include patents.

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
78 Posts
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February 10, 2022 - 10:02 pm

>> The two that are decendants of GiSelA®5 and GiSelA®6 have a good chance of inheriting problems in the valley here due to bacterial.

To be precise about it they have: either a 25% chance or a 50% chance of inheriting 'disease magnetism' depending on whether the bacterial susceptibilities are due to recessive or dominant genes and whether those genes are heterozygous or homozygous; or a similar range of probability with greater spread of probabilities within that range if the susceptibilities are due to more than one gene.

The seed parent in the case of Crawford, Újfehértói Fürtös (Balaton), is a commercially champion in its native Hungary. On this basis alone it might be worth trying out unless you are aware that it has already been run through your disease gauntlet.

I am most excited about Clare and Cass. I grow cherries on Newroot-1 and Gisela-3 and they are a just bit too tall for my purposes. I want to maintain my trees at head height and my arbors are set at about 66 inches. I need to prune to keep things under that height. I'm hoping these new rootstocks will reduce that maintenance burden.

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
629 Posts
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February 11, 2022 - 12:33 am

I edited my needed referral for the five clones two minutes according to the edit history before you copy-pasted.

It might be impossible to breed GiSelA®5 and it's sibling GiSelA®6 together because gametes derived from triploid plants form imperfect pairs as you would know from rose breeding. To that end I do have GiSelA®s and again both these siblings being a triploid. The GiSelA®5 upon first flowering had fruited. That was about the last year it happened even though it's flowered profusely every year. Then later I found this is common to happen in the first year. There are no reasons known why. There's only speculations on my part not worth mentioning because they don't add up.

RE: Your last 2 paragraphs.
Well at least you know our PNW problems. Resistance are internal factors within the tree just as much as farthest northern climates cherry trees that need to measure weather data and the microscopic pathogens akin to any change just like weather can. I will PM you the support article (very involved) that articulates most of the report I am providing on the microscopic topic.

Transgenerational effects of heat stress

You can always tell me when the conditions are such that you need some pollen from my diploid prunus canescens that was one diploid parent to GiSelA®5 & 6. Just as a possibility because it's clean but needed to be verified legally I suppose.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
518 Posts
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7
February 12, 2022 - 8:47 am

I wish I knew what rootstock are supporting my Sweetheart and Vandalay cherries.  They are not vigorous at all.  I don't have records for those.  They are about ten feet tall, and Sweetheart is falling over.  Vandalay is not vigorous and the cherries are red, but in the Raintree catalog they are black.  I would like a rootstock to regraft. I'm not willing to pay $59.99 for a tree with marginal chance of success (or any chance at that price!) but my Ranier will need a pollinator if the others die.  I suppose I could graft a scion from Vandalay onto the Ranier as a pollinator...

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John S
PDX OR
2514 Posts
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8
February 13, 2022 - 8:33 pm

I have just been using seedling pie cherry stock to graft onto. Works for me.

JohN S
PDX OR

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
629 Posts
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February 14, 2022 - 8:54 am

If I am right I am starting to see that Daniel W is saying he lives in an inhospitable environment and yet dwarfing rootstocks of the right types won't kill cherry trees. At least compared to lower elevated Portland OR that draws less precipitation from the clouds, more heat units etc in comparison to Battleground WA where his experiences go. It was the previous owner of Raintree in Morton WA that had equivalent and even worse conditions compared to Battleground and the Morton area that Sam would test for disease were part of what Gary Moulton had to look at in monies spent in Mount Vernon WA to help local orchards there. 

Sam was really the guy with the outreach and journalist experience skills which helped him draw an audience. He consulted nursery men to try dwarfing GM-9 and GM-61, of which were prunus canescens, and in return Mount Vernon never matured the way it originally intended and feedback if these (at the time) "newest" dwarfing cherry rootstocks were fairing good enough. The data could still be coming and my own 'early burlat' cherry/ p canescens combo cultivar in the heights on porous soils and high summer stress fared very well in neglected conditions compared to other fruiting trees that I have seen up here during years that the local cherries were torn by what looked like what James said Tonya observed on his mume apricot one year. 

The 'early burlat' was easy to keep a good low spread and would take the pruning without disease. It helped me decide to remove the whole thing at the graft to promote some growth from the roots. Which is happening now. I have prunus canescens scions at this time.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
518 Posts
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10
February 14, 2022 - 4:25 pm

John S said
I have just been using seedling pie cherry stock to graft onto. Works for me.

JohN S

PDX OR

  

John, I should try that.  My Montmorency and Surefire cherries certainly give a lot of seeds to grow.  

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John S
PDX OR
2514 Posts
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11
February 16, 2022 - 10:24 pm

Daniel-or anyone else-

How are your surefire cherries doing? The flavor on mine is very good. It has not grown into a very large tree, but I am hoping.  It is good enough that I want to see what it grows into.

John S
PDX OR

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
518 Posts
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12
February 17, 2022 - 7:15 am

John S said
Daniel-or anyone else-

How are your surefire cherries doing? The flavor on mine is very good. It has not grown into a very large tree, but I am hoping.  It is good enough that I want to see what it grows into.

John, I like it a lot.  My other mature tart cherry is Montmorency, similar age tree.  Both are much smaller trees compared to sweet cherries on typical rootstocks.  Maybe 15 feet tall?  I do prune back the tops a bit.  I love Montmorency cherries and probably grew up with them, although my parents just called them "cherries".  So they are a sentimental favorite.  But, to be objective and honest, in my yard the Surefire cherries are a little bigger, redder skins, a little more flesh, and the tree is a little more productive.  Location-wise, the Montmorency is in a location that is more dry in summer.  Last summer, I got enough cherries from each tree to freeze about five pie fillings each, plus a batch of jam.  I think they would be good dried, too.

I don't know their life expectancies.  Both trees are about 12 years old.  I bought another Surefire, but discovered a truly black wild or feral cherry with wild cherry flavor and some sweetness, but size between tart and sweet cherry, growing by the roadside.  Last year p I took some scion (courtesy of county road maintenance crew efforts) and grafted onto the newer Surefire, so it may be converted over to that, at least partly.  I have a one-year old Meteor cherry, obviously no fruit yet to compare.

Montmorency cherries are truly a heritage fruit.  They were developed in the Montmorency Valley in France in the 16th century.  It wouldn't surprise me if some are not true clones, but rather seedlings from Montmorency lineages.  Not Montmorency per se, but tart cherries as a species were cultivated by ancient Greeks in 300 BC, and Romans introduced them to Britain by about 100 AD.   They are a tetraploid, natural occurring hybrid possibly between Prunus avium and Prunus fruticosa.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
629 Posts
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February 17, 2022 - 10:28 am

I had Surefire. I have never had any fair flavor comparisons to make so it was interesting to see comparisons to Montmorency. I have Schattenmorelle now which has more intense tart for pie than my old Surefire did. Surefire was very late for flowering which attracted more pollinators in my yard and I also remember large crops. But to my dismay there were cherry fruit flies and in a lab test one of the pollen born virus kinds were detected in it so I took it (surefire) out. 

Today I have young sweet cherry trees and Schattenmorelle. It's the latter where I get enough cherry fruit fly infections from to deter me of propagating it further.

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