Apple Establishment: Ellepot versus Bareroot Nursery Trees

Project goal: To determine if the Ellepot style nursery tree provides better tree establishment than a standard bare root nursery tree in northwest Michigan sandy soils.

Project description:  Ellepot trees are grown in an organic substrate inside a tray that allows for a fiberous root system to develop.  The entire root system is shipped with the tree and planted in the ground for potentially faster root development than a standard bare root tree.  In spring of 2018, we established a block of high-density Honeycrisp, Gala and Fuji in a randomized block design.  Four replications of each variety and system, Ellepot and bare root, were planted.  Yearly data has been collected on trunk circumference, tree height, and tree death/decline.  In 2020, we collected yield data including: number of fruit/tree, weight per tree, and number of fruit with bitterpit.

Project lead/collaborators:  Nikki Rothwell and Todd Einhorn

Funding sources: Michigan Tree Fruit Commission’s new planting funds

Start year: 2018

End year: 2023