M.9 (Malling 9) Apple Rootstock
Rootstocks are generally used to control the size of the tree, so that apple trees can be grown in a smaller area. They also have pest resisting abilities. M.9 was released from East Malling Research Station, England and is the most dwarfing rootstock used commercially for high density plantations worldwide. Tree on this rootstock reaches a height of 8-10 feet and starts bearing fruit after 3-4 years. Apple trees raised on M.9 rootstock has poor anchorage and requires permanent support.
- Tree size of standard on non spur 35%
- Tree size of standard on spur 20%
- Anchorage Poor
- Root Suckers Slight
- Fruit Bearing Age 2-3 yrs
- Precocity Very Early
- Distance between trees non spur 6-10 feet
- Distance between trees spur type 3-6 feet
- Resistance to Collar Rot High
- Resistance to burr knot Medium
- Resistance to Wooly-Aphid Low
- Permanent support Required
M.9 is a dwarfing rootstock, which produces a tree size approximately 25-35% of full sized standard tree. It should be planted on fertile and well drained soil. Wood of this root stock is brittle and has shallow rooting, so a permanent support is required. Tree support used is generally 10 feet high, 8 feet above the ground and 2 feet below the ground. Malling 9 is not drought tolerant, irrigation is required at frequent intervals of time under drought conditions. It should not be grown on light soils where irrigation facility is not available. An Apple tree on this rootstock bears good sized fruit and is extremely productive and precocious. Tree has well exposed branches and limited wood which favors the production of large sized fruit and excellent color.
In Himachal Pradesh many apple growers has started planting clonal rootstocks, instead of seedling rootstock. M.9 is being chosen by many progressive growers of the state for High Density Plantation system. M.9 root stock requires special attention than seedling rootstock. It should not be planted as filler trees inside an orchard. M.9 is planted in a row with a row distance of 10-14 feet and plant distance of 4-8 feet. As it is not tolerant to drought, one should install DRIP/SPRINKLER irrigation system prior to planting. Malling 9 is a dwarfing rootstock, so the cultivar having good growth characteristics should be chosen. It has poor anchorage so they should be avoided in areas with high wind velocity.