Apple root systems for organic orchards: what might be the contribution of the rootstock?
Successful production in an organically managed orchard requires the tree root system to be able to access mineral nutrients from sources, which are more slowly available and distributed over a greater soil volume than is the case for orchards, which receive conventional fertilizers. Infection by arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM) is also important. Assessment of the soil conditions found under organic production allows us to identify what root system characteristics are likely to be of most importance to optimum production in organic systems. This specification of the root system can be compared with what we know about the impact of rootstock on root distribution and root activity. Using existing data from an experiment in which some or all of these root system characteristics were recorded, and how rootstock and soil management might aid the production of organic orchards is discussed.
Atkinson, D. (2018). Apple root systems for organic orchards: what might be the contribution of the rootstock?. Acta Hortic. 1217, 285-292
organic production, apples, rootstocks, root systems, soil management