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jake85 starts with ...
Hello if i were to take a cutting from a golden dorsett apple how big would the resulting tree grow as it wouldnt have the dwarfing rootstock?
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Delaneys Creek
14th May 2017 3:07pm
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Markmelb says...
Buy yourself a dwarf apple this winter and graft it to a branch -- never ever done pome cuttings - could have disease issues etc?
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15th May 2017 9:12am
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Manfred says...
Hi Jake-
Your question got me excited because I used to try growing lots of stuff from cuttings which shouldn't work (and never did).

Hartman and Kester says "e;propagation of cultivars by hardwood cuttings is not successful but certain clonal rootstocks can be propagated by special methods described in Chapter 10. Softwood cuttings can be rooted under mist but this method is not used commercially"e;.

Chapter 10 is one of the especially boring chapters and the index didn't tell me where to look specifically, so I didn't look it up and can't recall from earlier readings. I have though, managed to get MM106 rootstock to grow from cuttings just by sticking it in a bottom heated bed in winter with some auxin. (Whatever I had on hand, never properly stored and fairly inexpertly and haphazardly applied.)

Golden Dorset is likely to be a full size apple, because one of its parents (Golden Delicious) is. Apparently the other parent isn't known, which suggests to me an accidental cross in field conditions, probably with another full-size orchard apple. That means a tree of about 10 metres height and spread in good conditions.

Auxins remain a mystery to me. I don't even trust Hartman and Kester because there is too much trial and error, even in controlled conditions, and what works in one laboratory often doesn't seem to give comparable results in another. These days I just use Auxinone, about $30 for 500ml at any good rural supplier, sometimes straight, sometimes diluted to the recommended (10:1) level. I'm sure it works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. At least they don't tell me to keep it in the crisper.

My recommendation (for what little it's worth) is to give it a go, using cuttings about twice the size of a pencil (length and thickness) in the middle of winter in a heated bed outdoors. I used to use a foam vegetable box with sand and a home brewer's heating strip. The colder outside the better.

Push a bundle of sticks into the sand and check them for roots occasionally. It doesn't do them any harm to pull them out out and have a look, remove any early successes and re-stick the rest.

Don't get too excited if your cuttings leaf up in spring, they may still not produce any roots.

Some pears work, hazelnuts do; apples, chestnuts, walnuts, medlars, peaches, almonds, persimmons and plums have never worked for me.

Whatever you do, don't try to prepare your cuttings as you would for graft scions. That never works.

Let us know how you go. If you want to try MM106 rootstock (semi-dwarfing, slightly drought resistant, woolly aphid resistant) later we might be able to work out some way for me to get some to you.
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15th May 2017 7:01pm
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