Rootstocks for stone fruits in South Africa

P.J.C. Stassen
Soil conditions in the stone fruit producing areas of South Africa are extremely varied. Many soils are poor, sandy and contain plant-parasitic nematodes. In the Little Karoo region, the soils are generally of medium potential, calcareous and contain moderate to high numbers of plant-parasitic nematodes. There are also low-lying areas in which high winter water tables may persist into spring. In combination with fluctuating temperatures, these conditions may cause tree die-back. Production under such conditions necessitates the use of rootstocks that can lower risks, promote adaptability, whilst complementing the scion cultivar. Knowledge concerning the characteristics of candidate rootstocks is obtained by continuously monitoring experimental plantings in representative areas. Results obtained from existing peach and plum trials are discussed. Early nectarines (Prunus persica) growing on poor sandy soils containing moderate numbers of plant-parasitic nematodes in low chill regions performed better on Flordaguard than on other potential rootstocks. In low-lying, ridged and adequately drained sandy soils, plum trees (Prunus salicina) performed well on Maridon. On high pH soils containing high numbers of Criconemoides xenoplax (ring nematode), plum trees performed best, in terms of yield and fruit weight, on GF 677, Atlas and Cadaman.
Stassen, P.J.C. (2016). Rootstocks for stone fruits in South Africa. Acta Hortic. 1130, 457-462
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1130.68
Prunus salicina, Prunus persica, sandy soils, high water tables, calcareous soils, plant-parasitic nematodes

Acta Horticulturae