Francis M. Coe

Document Type

Full Issue

Publication Date



This paper reviews the history and status of the cherry rootstocks problem in Utah and the United States and reports 14 years' results from a sweet cherry rootstocks test orchard on open porous soil at Farmington, Utah.

Although a majority of authorities favor or recommend the mazzard root for sweet cherries, the mahaleb is also widely used and preferred by many nurserymen and growers. Many authorities condemn mahaleb stocks as being dwarfing and short lived. Two orchard tests on heavy soils in the Atlantic states decisively favor mazzard.

In the Utah test orchard, the trees on mahaleb proved to be much superior in vigor, size, hardiness, survival, and yield, as compared to mazzard, and much larger, more vigorous, better anchored and more productive after the ninth year than those on Stockton morello. Trees on morello bore fruit earlier and more abundantly the first 8 years, ripened their fruit earlier, but tended to overbear, lose vigor, were more distressed by high temperatures, and were more subject to wind damage.

Based on the results in the test orchard which agree with observations and experience in Utah, mahaleb stocks are recommended for commercial use in the typically porous gravelly orchard soils of Utah. Stockton morello is not considered promising for commercial use, but is suggested for trial for dwarf home garden trees and for heavier soils. Suggestions are offered for the future improvement of cherry rootstocks.



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