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 Field Grafting Grapevines 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1147
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Field Grafting Grapevines
I had another great time (before, during and after) our HOS Fruit Tree Grafting Class on Saturday at Clackamas Community College. What a treat to find oneself surrounded by others 'nuts about fruit!' And everyone looked justifiably proud carrying away a tree they made themselves; and though our first class had more Chiefs than Indians (lucky them), the following two classes were impressive!

As I had the "Top-working" portion turned over to me, if anyone has any further questions -- you can ask them here. ...Which brings me to this topic; a gentleman asked what I knew about grafting over, or Top-working grapes? I told him that after reading the riveting information from the following link - I knew quite a bit. But rather than rely on my less than photographic memory, I told him to check here where I'd post the link on "An Illustrated Guide to Field Grafting Grapevines":

http://berrygrape.oregonstate.edu/fruit ... graft2.htm

I just watched a sobering segment on Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Oregon Field Guide," describing how global warming has shown detrimental effects on our pioneer wine grape varieties in just the last 14 years. To ‘keep ahead,’ growers are planting and grafting over their established vines to varieties that will do better at higher temperatures.

Anyway, follow the “Proceed to” links at the bottom of the text on this subject; there are several pages, and when you’re done - you'll be the Expert!

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Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:50 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:49 pm
Posts: 220
Location: Rochester, WA
Post You asked for it, you got it
Viron,

Last year I cut off a liberty above the lower level of branches and cleft grafted on some red gravenstein and it worked great. This year I am planning on doing the same to my gravenstein tree. I had mispruned it and the top shaded the lower branches. Anyway, the trunk where I will cleft graft is 3.5 to 4 inches in DIAMETER. Should I put in 2 grafts, or can I cross split it and put in 4? I will be putting back on scionwood from the same tree cause I can't get any other gravenstein wood. Will 4 grafts be too many?

Thanks

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Zone 6 or 7 - Greg in Rochester, WA.


Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:56 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1147
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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Greg; I hope I've got this right..? You're planning on removing the upper portion of a single-variety Gravenstein tree at a trunk diameter of 3.5 to 4 inches; then you'll place back on some of the same Gravenstein wood?

If the top portion of your Grav. is too vigorous, or dominant, can you live without those lower branches..? Either one or the other will become dominant; if you remove that center section, wouldn't you rather have the energy go into beefing up those lower limbs? If you successfully placed 'more Gravenstein' above them, would you not fear it over-growing again?

My trees are all "open vase" pruned, if you're going for a "central leader," you may have it ... just prune that central section to allow enough sunlight to reach the lower limbs, but leaving a "top," with associated fruiting potential.

If you insist on making this graft, that's definitely pushing the limits size wise... I'd defiantly do a 4-way cleft graft -- with some “Inverted L” bark-grafts a few weeks later, and lower. But there's still going to be a lot of surface area to heal over, and it never seems to heal tight enough to avoid rot down the center... Wish you could have made it to our classes; a description was given of this same 4-way graft - where the eventual (4) shoots are twisted tightly together where they’ll naturaly graft, forming a 'single limb.' There's a little more to it than that, but it sounded like fun :wink:

As the class seemed to debate the ultimate size of cleft grafting stock, I suggested that larger stock could be cut out, and if left alone, would send up beautiful candidates for whip & tongue grafting next spring... Letting nature do it for you! And, if you only want to retrain your 'leader' you'd have all the shoots you'd need to play with. Heck, graft something different onto each one!

That said ... I hadn’t forgotten your request regarding the "Old Gravenstein" apple tree I secured wood from:

gkowen wrote:
I'd be interested but I can't get to the scion exchange. Gravenstein's are great apples


Can you believe I forgot to bring any of that wood to those classes :roll: ? Though nobody asked... but I do plan to have it at the Scion Exchange (or I'll go home after it!). Anyway, I was going to suggest you send a private message to our Web Master, Steven, and give me your e-mail / mailing address so I might send you some of this wood..? But maybe now you won't need it?

My suggestion: if you insist in removing that central trunk, make a level cut 8 inches above the highest of those lateral limbs. I wouldn’t even seal the cut – just let it send up shoots from the latent buds inside its bark. As each gets 6 to 8 inches high, pinch out the tips on all but those you’d like to train or graft to. Leave the rest alone! Next year, about this time, you can decide what, if anything you’d like different on that tree? Or, twist them all into a tight bundle, tie, and aim the tops into new branch positions – Art!

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Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:50 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:49 pm
Posts: 220
Location: Rochester, WA
Post Thanks for the response
Viron,

I think I like your suggestion. I have already cut the tree but I left 3 feet or so of trunk. I had planned to recut it about 8 inches to a foot above the lower branches and then graft there. I think I will let it send up its own shoots and then when I have nice pencil sized branches next year I will whip graft to those. That way there is no big opening in the tree for rot or disease. If you'd like to email me, my email is gkowen@comcast.net. I'd still like to get some good gravenstein scionwood because the apples from my tree are definitely not the 'old' variety I remember. Pies are not as good. Thanks for all your help. I planted a mini orchard in some barrels this year and am hoping that they do well. This is definitely a fun hobby.

Greg

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Zone 6 or 7 - Greg in Rochester, WA.


Wed Feb 28, 2007 11:23 am
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 415
Location: SW Washington
Post Funny you should post this link on topworking grapes
Viron, I happened upon the same web page about the time you posted yours.

I have several grape vines that I put in 2 springs ago that have yet to fruit, and I am already interested in topworking some of them. I have access to some cuttings of varieties that I think I'll like better.

I had originally intended to let my grapes fruit and then decide which I liked and which I should replace. But why wait? I figured I'll graft an additional variety to a couple of them and let them bear multiple varieties.

I'm hoping this will have the advantage of getting at least sample quantities of fruit sooner, as well as still fit within my limited space. I currently have 6 varieties planted: Venus, Sweet Seduction, Einset, Canadice, Glenora and Muscat Ottennel. I had a Gewurtz but I pulled it because it looked scrappy and I wanted to put in another blackberry.

At any rate, after looking around the best course for me seemed to be to follow Lon Rombough's suggestion from "The Grape Grower" and graft my dormant scions to green shoots. That should eliminate the need for taking the precautions against sap pressure. Besides, my vines aren't much more than pencil diameter so the technique they're showing isn't really applicable.

The other advantage I see here, compared to rooting cuttings, is that my existing vines are from Raintree and supposedly grafted onto rootstock that causes them to ripen earlier. I'm assuming this will carry over to the newly grafted varieties even with the "interstem" of the existing variety.


Fri Mar 02, 2007 12:29 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1147
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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jafarj; here again, grafting onto one year old shoots is safer than a more invasive graft lopping off an entire trunk. Seems the cleverer we get, the less invasive we are.

I haven’t messed with my grapes, and I believe all are rooted from cuttings. I've never heard of a grape rootstock that causes earlier ripening, seems we could all use that..?

When grafting their 'peffy' wood, I'd match scion diameters very close, which shouldn't be that difficult with grape vines. Just keep the competition from below at bay; as well as the neighborhood deer...

Pruning can get tricky with multiple grape varieties. I have several varieties on one large trellis, and as diligent as can be - I occasionally sever the wrong 'vine' when pruning. You might (eventually) paint that graft union a bright color, and, as I 'try' to do, follow back each vine to its trunk before making any big cuts.

Please keep us posted; then I can direct the grape-grafting questions to you :D

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Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:48 am
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Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 415
Location: SW Washington
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Viron wrote:
jafarj; here again, grafting onto one year old shoots is safer than a more invasive graft lopping off an entire trunk. Seems the cleverer we get, the less invasive we are.


Well, so far almost none of my grape growing knowlege is backed by experience.

Please correct me if I'm misunderstanding, but Lon recommends grafting dormant scion wood onto the current season's new green growth. Shoots that are not even one year old.

Raintree advertises that some of their grapes are grafted onto rootstock selected for earlier ripening which improves the odds of getting a useful crop in cooler climes. A quick Google search crops up a number of corroborating references.

My setting is suburban and fenced so I don't need to deal with deer. I'm more concerned with drifting herbicides from the neighbors as well as dogs, squirrels, and birds.


Fri Mar 02, 2007 12:14 pm
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