The history of the Rootstock
The grafting of a scion onto a rootstock has a long history.
Ancient civilisations were already using this technique for the decorative botanical effect.
The first commercial application in the cultivation of vegetables developed when it became clear that rootstocks can provide resistance in a crop against certain soil diseases without a negative impact on the quality of the fruits.
By intelligently crossing different varieties, it then became possible to develop new hybrid rootstocks which were able to successfully combat diseases such as the feared corky root.
In addition, it turned out that a good rootstock gave the plant improved resistance to stress conditions as well as a more vigorous growth pattern.
Various factors blocked the success of rootstocks until the end of the 1980s: inefficient grafting techniques, the limited germination capacity of rootstocks, and the introduction of heated cultivation and substrate types.
All this changed when Japanese grafting techniques entered Europe, allowing growers to carry out grafting activities much cheaper with a much higher success rate.
Extensive research led to the development of methods for drastically improving germination capacity, the development of hybrids with new types of resistance, and the availability of new rootstock varieties. As a result of all these developments, the use of rootstocks has become an integral part of the professional horticulture sector.