Propagating Rootstock

Hello Everyone. My first post.
I live in an area in BC, Canada, that has old dying apple orchards. These orchards have been abandoned and the forest is reclaiming the land. At one time in the late 1800's our first pioneers settled in the area, cleared land and planted these orchards. Some of these trees are nearing 100 years old, most of them are nearly dead. I have decided to recover some of these old trees, so last winter I collected scions from a bunch of these trees, ordered M111 rootstock, that had to come up from the United States, and grafted the scions to the rootstock. Out of 25 rootstock stems I had 15 grafts take. I had no idea if the scions I was collecting were alive or dead as the tree conditions are terrible. Of the 10 rootstock whip grafts that did not take, I bud grafted 7 of them and have kept 3 rootstock ungrafted.
As to why am I doing this? I suppose sentimentality for keeping alive the trees (clones) our ancestors based their lives and hopes on when they first moved to this remote location. Beside that, the apples that are still produced on these trees are absolutely delicious!
Now, after this long explanation here is my question. I can not get M111 rootstock imported in the small quantities I require, which is why I kept the 3 bare rootstock in hopes of being able to split the roots and grow the rootstock myself. Can I do this? If yes, how do I split the root, what time of year do I do this, how long does it take to grow a 12" rootstock stem? I chose M111 for my climate here and the root tolerates a tree in the semi-dwarf pruned condition for ease of caretaking.
thanks for your patience and help in advance
--
Billy_13


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If you are talking about splitting the rootstock in half to double it I would be leary of such surgery unless you are experienced at this. I would however be taking hardwood cuttings as well as layering many of the remaining orchard to further propragate.The instructions are all over the internet as well as in library books such as P. Thompson's " Propagator' Handbook". If not on a orchardist timeframe I would also would not hesitiate growing the rootstock out and using those for rootgrafting large branches with a view towards specimantrees or bonsai.
Here is a source that may interest you: http://derrysorchardandnursery.ca/p2_rs_at.html
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