I read the discussion about regrowth from a root, [or the rootstock] when the grafted variety had been felled. I reversed a car into a small named apple tree and damaged the tree so badly cutting it down seemed the best option. After mowing over the stump for the last few years I was very surprised to see regrowth ! I think if the 'tree' is that determined I'd like to give it a shot....

Could anyone advise how long it takes to be able to assess the regrowth to ascertain whether the regrowth is rootstock or the grafted variety ? In the earlier discussion someone mentioned 'prickly regrowth'. I assume that this refers to crab apple type foliage which becomes spiny/thorny but only after a few years. [I think crab/wild apple species are often used for rootstocks due to their vigour.] Is it just a question of waiting ? Is it feasible to identify what you may have from the differences in leaf type or shape sooner ?

Thanks A [Scotland UK]

2 Answers 2


If the stump was cut down low enough for you to be able to mow over it, it's likely the regrowth is off the rootstock - is the growth coming from the top of the stump, or the surrounding area? If it's the surrounding area, that makes it more likely it's off the rootstock.

Even if the growth isn't from the rootstock, it will take years and years for the growth to form a tree (and only then with pruning regularly to leave just one leader) and for fruit to arrive. If the rootstock wasn't a dwarfing one, then you may end up with very large tree indeed after 25 years... Were it mine, I'd have the stump bored out instead and maybe replant another named apple tree in a different spot, or in the same spot after the area has had a year or so to settle down and to make sure there is no more growth from any smaller roots left behind.

  • Thanks Bamboo. I think you are right in all respects. The vigour and location of the regrowth indicate rootstock regrowth. Possible to try and graft a new apple onto the rootstock but never done this before. Would still leave the need to root prune the existing rootstock to get some fibrous regrowth prior to relocation. Digging it up to relocate would also be a big job. Pragmatic action is to replant a new tree and removal of stump. Thank you
    – user30831
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 9:40

Look for the graft union. With an established root system I would expect regrowth to be fast. In any case you could graft onto the shoots in spring (collect scion in winter). Especially good fun if there are several shoots rising from the stump.

  • Thanks Polypipe Wrangler. I fear that as Bamboo has stated the regrowth looks to be coming from below where a graft would be. The persistence of regrowth also tends to indicate great vigour so I am minded to feel the regrowth is from the rootstock. I have never tried grafting but it might be worth a shot - if I can find the time. Thank you.
    – user30831
    Commented Jul 5, 2020 at 9:42

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