View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:41 am



Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
 Hyper Growth on Apple Benchgrafts 
Author Message

Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Riverside, Southern California USDA Zone 10a
Post Hyper Growth on Apple Benchgrafts
We were quite taken aback by the growth we had our first season growing apple benchgrafts. Below are photos of the progress.

Image

Above is some benchgrafts on M7 rootstock in March of 2006. We planted them in bare dirt with no fertilizer, and did not fertilize during the year.

Image

This is one of those benchgrafts (Gala) that was snapped off Dec. 7th 2006 at the graft union by high winds (whaaa!!!) that shows the 8 feet of growth we got on it this season. It is fully branched out and probably would have borne apples next fall if it had lived. Just in case you're wondering, it was 85 degrees here today (sorry to those in the Midwest).

Image

Above is proof that this was only one season's growth. Notice that there are no growth rings, and the remains of the graft are clearly seen with the black grafting tar on both sides of the scionwood.

At this point there was still a bit of bark and cambium left on the back and it probably would have been OK if I had left it alone and just staked it in place. But when I tried to straighten it up and stake it that last little bit snapped.

I should have known that a tree growing this fast would be weaker and needed staking against the 40-60 MPH winds we commonly have in the fall. It was top heavy and the little bamboo training stick didn't give much support. Live and learn I guess.

So what's our secret to hyper growth like this? We do have fertile soil, as our house used to be a walnut grove. But I don't get nearly this much growth from the bare-root or potted trees we plant- only the benchgrafts. I have to attribute it to our long season and starting with benchgrafts with an intact root system. They always do better for us and pass up bigger trees planted from bare-root.

_________________
Kevin Hauser
Kuffel Creek Apple Nursery
Riverside, Southern California
USDA Zone 10a


Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:19 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1147
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post 
Kevin - Amazing! And thanks for the pictures. Is that growth typical of all your varieties, or mainly the Gala?

"Just in case you're wondering, it was 85 degrees here today (sorry to those in the Midwest)." --- Do they ever go dormant down there? I've been out pruning the last couple of days here in Oregon... I know you can prune with leaves on and sap up, but 85 degrees... I needed long underwear in the trees yesterday! And, do you get enough 'chilling hours' for fruit production? I've heard that's a problem the further south you get. I know the Israelis have bread apple varieties requiring much less chilling than most; do you get production from all our common varieties?

Though I benchgraft each year for the HOS, I seldom have the patients to wait for a grafted tree of my own... That growth is phenomenal! I was ready to 'argue' with you as to it being one, or two years old - but your photos and description convinced me you know what you're talking about. What type of graft did you use? Whip & tongue, or Cleft? I always use the whip & tongue, if the rootstock and scion are close to the same diameter. The cleft works, but it appears to create a weaker union, at least in 'the formative years.'

"40-60 MPH winds" --- Yes, and your fully leafedout tree looked like the perfect sail! Guess you'd best steak, or prune sooner..? I've been told the Willamette Valley of Oregon is such a wonderful area for nursery’s because of our long, mild growing season. If you've got an even longer growing season, what are so many nurseries doing 'up here?' I know we've (at least) lost our walnut, prune, and strawberry industry to California ... are our fruit tree nursery’s next..? But I've also been told the 'stress' of cooler weather gives our end product's a superior flavor compared to the large insipid fruit / nuts grown down south... Does extremely vigorous growth in infancy produce a less hardy fruit tree? I must admit touring one local nursery that actually grows trees specific to the upper mid-west. None of us HOSer’s were familiar with the varieties. Maybe, we grow 'their trees,' and you grow 'ours?' Now whose trees do 'they' grow..?

Again, thanks for the pics, and the thought of warm weather ~

_________________
Home Orchard Society Coming Events: http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/events/


Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:40 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Riverside, Southern California USDA Zone 10a
Post 
Viron:

Varieties go dormant at different times. Rescue Crab has dropped all its leaves already, but Pink Lady will not the whole winter and in fact is blossoming right now. The new leaves push the old ones out in late spring, and it still bears fine.

We do most of our pruning in summer, with only housekeeping done in the winter. Since we don't worry about tender growth getting frost damage, we pretty much graft and prune whenever we want all year round.

I've determined that apples don't need chilling hours to fruit, as we get about 200 hours a year, but still get Red and Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, the Winesaps, Spitzenburg, Newtown Pippin, and Queen Cox. The quality of the fruit is quite good, but of course it's better some years than others (just like everywhere else). But you have to remember we only can compare them to the store ones, not a high benchmark.

The exception is late season apples like Fuji and Pink Lady which we will pick around Christmas. The photo below is a Fuji taken last December. It still needed about two more weeks on the tree (notice the palm trees in the background).
Image
Our early winter days are hot, but with only 12% humidity the nights are dropping into the 30s giving us a 40 degree temp swing which colors them up nice, and the 8 months on the tree makes them sweet, crisp, and flavorful, better then any other I've tried.

The growth you see is pretty much typical for the ones planted in the ground as the photo below shows. All these were grafted March 2006, the ones in pots a little smaller. I either used whip grafts or cleft grafts, with a couple bark and bud grafts thrown in. Growth was the same regardless.
Image

Its hard to tell what trees will do good here. Some are from Israel and the Bahamas, but many Russian apples do well here, as does Wealthy. Seems the qualities that make them extremely hardy also helps them stand our smoking summers.

Its funny because oranges are in decline here due to high water and land prices, pests and disease, low demand, and cheap imports. The apples have had no pests or disease, and I can ship without restriction anywhere in Southern California (we have citrus quarantines up the whazoo).

_________________
Kevin Hauser
Kuffel Creek Apple Nursery
Riverside, Southern California
USDA Zone 10a


Fri Dec 08, 2006 7:59 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1147
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post 
Apple's blossoming in December; grafting at your leisure; growing: Red and Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, the Winesaps, Spitzenburg, Newtown Pippin, and Queen Cox; abundant growth, and no pests ... WOW! No wonder California filled up so fast!

Do your trees get enough natural irrigation (rain), or must you irrigate them most of the time? I realize CA gets periodically blasted by Pacific storms, as do we, but those "smoking summers" could be a problem? ...And the new leaves just push the old ones off... Fascinating! ...You ever need any 'winter help'..? (half joking~)

Guess I haven't answered your question on potted benchgrafts vs. planted out? But from the looks of it, you're the expert - not me.

Sounds like paradise! Thanks for the answers, and the pictures --- "All [our] leaves are brown, and the sky is grey" ... You've got us "California dreamin' - On such a winter's day" ~

_________________
Home Orchard Society Coming Events: http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/events/


Fri Dec 08, 2006 10:43 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Riverside, Southern California USDA Zone 10a
Post 
Viron:

Yes, there are a few flaws with paradise. Last summer was particularly brutal; June was over 100 degrees EVERY STINKING DAY that turned early apples into mush and July-August had a week up into 113 and 88% humidity (but the mountains stop the thunderstorms from blowing in, so we can only watch the clouds from here but not get any rain- only humidity).

We get about 10 inches of rain in a good year, all from Nov-April. It will not rain at all in the summer, so the drip irrigation tubes you see are manditory, and it better be on a timer because if you forget to water once, anything in a pot is crispy critters!

By the way, Williams' Pride and Scarlet Sentinal blossomed and set fruit when it was about 105, and William's Pride ripened during the hot humid heat wave with outstanding apples. It will grow absolutely anywhere.

No doubt the potted trees fared worse because the roots couldn't go as deep. Some are still 7' tall whips though, so I'm not complaining

An early Southern California developer once cracked "They're giving the land for free, but they're selling the climate".

_________________
Kevin Hauser
Kuffel Creek Apple Nursery
Riverside, Southern California
USDA Zone 10a


Sat Dec 09, 2006 9:05 am
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1147
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post 
Kevin: "Yes, there are a few flaws with paradise." -- I'm feeling better already...

"We get about 10 inches of rain in a good year, all from Nov-April." -- Did you hear what 'we' (or Portland) got? Portland just set their all-time rainfall record for the month of November, and they're always drier than the surrounding valley... I think it was over a foot of rain for Nov. alone; I know we got well over that. And, a rain record in Oregon is nothing to scoff at - there was some serious associated flooding -- again.

"humidity" -- On my last trip to San Diego I commented on the humidity; my sister (a resident) couldn't understand what I was 'feeling,' she said it was a "dry day" ... I couldn't help but wonder what a humid day felt like...?

"They're giving the land for free, but they're selling the climate." -- I'd considered asking about land prices ... but didn't think it polite..? Bet they're not still "giving it away?" On my tour of San Diego a lot of things became clear. We started at the 'outer ring' of the most recent development; with a rattlesnake alert, and cacti over the back fence. Even with the humidity, beyond the wall of my Sister's backyard it looked like a moonscape, her entire neighborhood was 'artificial.' If anyone were to pull the plug, it looked as though it might toast - and blow away. Their weather reports reflected the same; there were 3 'rings,' extending from the original bay, going up in good ten degree intervals out to her neighborhood.

As we got closer to the original city, she'd periodically point out a cabin-like bungalow selling for a couple million, and finally -- next to the bay - it was paradise! But coming from the Oregon hills that I had, the multitude of people, combined with the 'man made' feeling of everything, it was a bit overwhelming. The first place I visited after returning home was the most peaceful Orchard I knew; that of a now past friend, Helen Webb of Yamhill. If I didn't kiss the ground ... I sure felt like it! I've photos of wagging my young daughter around that day; it was mid September, going into what I call "Septober" - and the 'reason to live in Oregon.'

Thanks again for the banter, you've given me a better perspective on CA than I had; please keep us posted!

_________________
Home Orchard Society Coming Events: http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/events/


Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:35 pm
Profile

Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Riverside, Southern California USDA Zone 10a
Post 
Viron:

Let's see- land prices: A modest older house (1965) on a 1/4 acre lot in a working-class neighborhood about 1-1/2 hour commute from your job goes for about $450,000. A new tract home in a plowed-under orange grove starts at $700,00 and has a tad longer commute since it is a crunch just to get to the freeway. Mind you that even if you pay cash for a $550,000 home, your property taxes alone are over $500 a month.

Twenty years back Riverside set aside the land along a historic boulevard as a "greenbelt" that was to remain orange groves and agricultural. Since then, water prices skyrocketed, demand dropped, and disease moved in the monoculture orange groves. Some were turned under to make way for wholesale nurseries (considered agricultural). Others were turned into 5-acre mcmansions, allowed if they plant three rows of orange trees along the boulevard.

Image

But this last year. a warm wet spring made for small fruit size. The remaining packing house in the region deemed them unsalable, and the entire city-wide crop fell on the ground and rotted. If you're a landowner paying $5k-$6k a year just in water costs to keep your orchard, it doesn't take much incentive to accept the generous million dollar offer some developer came up with.

Image

The humidity you felt in San Diego is from the ocean, and if its humid then you're still getting some temperature-moderating effect from the cold Pacific. A few miles inland and you're in the desert with 100 degree plus temps. As you can see from the first photo above, to escape the heat we go to the local mountains that boast an 11,500 foot peak and has all the ice, snow, and misery you've come to love and expect in the Northwest.

So take comfort in your green Oregon hills, your nature, and your four seasons, and come to visit in January (its downright glorious then). We'll humor you when you ooh and aah about the palm trees at the airport, if you'll humor us when we come to Oregon and see the tiny "Christmas trees" growing by your highway and remark how cute they are (to you they're weeds in your garden).

Applenut

_________________
Kevin Hauser
Kuffel Creek Apple Nursery
Riverside, Southern California
USDA Zone 10a


Sat Dec 09, 2006 5:25 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:54 am
Posts: 88
Location: Essex, England Zone 8
Post 
Pretty impressive applenut. Do you grow any traditionally low water requirement plants such as olive, pomegranate, pistachio etc?


Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:54 am
Profile WWW

Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Riverside, Southern California USDA Zone 10a
Post 
Tahir:

No we don't. I guess growing up here you lose interest in the typical fruits, just like the northerners trying to grow palms and citrus.

_________________
Kevin Hauser
Kuffel Creek Apple Nursery
Riverside, Southern California
USDA Zone 10a


Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:06 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:54 am
Posts: 88
Location: Essex, England Zone 8
Post 
Yeah, I can understand that. I'm hoping to plant a few acres of olives next spring.


Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:40 am
Profile WWW
Pome News Editor

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:23 pm
Posts: 95
Post 
Look at more dwarfing rootstock.
Ted


Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:13 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 11 posts ] 

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: