We have examined the effect of medium-pH on rooting using 1-mm slices cut from stems of apple microshoots. Before autoclaving, the pH of the rooting medium was set at various pH values between 4.5 and 8.0. During autoclaving, the pH drifted in particular in the alkaline region. Additional changes occurred during culture and the range set at 4.5–8.0 had shifted to 5.2–6.0 after autoclaving and 3 weeks of culture. When 10 mM 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid (MES) had been added as buffering agent, the pH was stable when set at 5.0–6.5. Highest rooting was achieved at pH ∼5.3 with and without MES (pH measured after autoclaving). This maximum did not correlate with highest auxin uptake. MES inhibited adventitious root formation during the initial phase of root formation when the meristemoids are being formed (ca. 30% reduction at 10 mM) but was promotive during outgrowth of the meristemoids to roots (30% increase at 10 mM). Inhibition and promotion by MES were not related to its buffering action as they were observed at all pHs.