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The method of root frost resistance estimation of apple rootstocks by the survival test


, : The method of root frost resistance estimation of apple rootstocks by the survival test. Journal of Fruit & Ornamental Plant Research 5(1): 1-12

A method for estimating root frost resistance of apple rootstocks by a survival test was developed. Plants were frozen at four terms; early December, January, February and March; planted in the field in April and evaluated in July. After 3 years of experiments it was determined that the best time for performing the test is late February and March and the most selective temperatures of freezing are -8 degree C and -10 degree C. Root injury determined directly on exposed roots is closely correlated with the rootstock's ability to regenerate the above-ground part. In a few cases evaluation of root frost hardiness by evaluation of shoot growth proved to be even more reliable than evaluation of root frost hardiness based on root appearance. Thus, since observation of stem growth is much easier to perform, in routine tests it is suggested that evaluation of root frost hardiness is based on stem growth rather than on root injury. Frost hardiness of the rootstocks tested changed during the season, being highest in January and lowest in December. Of the rootstocks tested, the most frost hardy were P12, P16 and P60. When the results of the test are compared with the lowest soil temperature recorded in Western Poland it is concluded that in our climate there is no danger of frost damage to the apple root system.

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