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 Topworking question 
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:00 pm
Posts: 20
Post Topworking question
I know its a little early, but I am planning to top work a 50 year old apple tree, changing it over to a completely new variety(or two, or three!). I have attached a picture and I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions a good approach or just a few pointers on what to do. Any help is appreciated!

Danc


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Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:51 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1166
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Topworking question
Danc,

Looks like my one thousandth post! On grafting – how appropriate!

50 years… Scions need sunlight to go vegetative. So, on an older tree, you’re going to remove a lot of material. There are two ways I’d suggest going about it: 1) gathering your dormant scion wood (likely from our HOS Spring Event) and wait until the sap flows in mid-spring to do nothing but bark, or ‘rind’ grafts. You’d take that tree down to maybe five ‘stumps’ in the clump, leaving the rest as feeders or sap-drawing limbs; then plug in some ‘inverted L’ and crown-veneer grafts. Relatively easy with some serious planning, the right equipment and well preserved scions.

2) What I’m becoming more inclined to do, or suggest, though it will add an additional year to the process (unless you do some of the ‘live whip & tongue’ grafting I’ve recently been reading about around here!), is to cut off the same trunk / branches this winter and allow them to send up their own shoots. (Either that summer, cause there’d be plenty to spare - or) The following late-winter into early spring you’d dormant graft by whip & tongue near matching diameter scions to the one year shoots. Their ‘connection’ would be natural, having sprouted from the tree itself and their success would be nearly guaranteed. And, you’d get the jump on the spring growth that waiting for the sap to rise kinda leaves behind.

And if any of that doesn’t make sense – just ask again. I did a whole bunch of top-working last spring on thirty year old apples - and learned some more. I’ll likely share that this spring at our HOS grafting classes at Clackamas Community College (the third, or “intermediate” class) … if you’re interested. The classes have filled so fast the last several years we’ve considered adding another … just register ASAP. Or quiz me here :P

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Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:00 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:00 pm
Posts: 20
Post Re: Topworking question
Im the lucky 1000 customer! Do I win anything?
Kidding aside, A lot of this makes sense. I was actually in the grafting class last year, and I would have identified with your first suggestion more, but #2 is intriguing. Can you tell me more about this ‘live whip & tongue’ grafting you mentioned? I looked around a bit and didnt see much yet, but I will continue to research and look for your reply.

Thank you very much Viron!


Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:45 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1166
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Topworking question
Here’s the thread I followed where ‘Plumfun’ describes grafting in the heat of Summer! And though I’ve never done it – it can apparently be done:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4940

It refers to the whip & tongue graft I believe, which would be the preferred graft for ‘sprouted shoots’ coming off a tree readied for serious topworking, as you’ve described above. We’ve some talented grafters in Oregon so I’m not surprised you can’t find any further info on this subject – and, I don’t know what it’s actually called, if it has a name. But there you go 8)

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Temperate Orchard Convservancy: http://www.temperateorchardconservancy.org/index.php


Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:57 am
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