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 grafting question 
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:35 pm
Posts: 2
Post grafting question
I tried grafting for the first time last month (apple scions onto M11 rootstock) and I just had a couple questions I was hoping to get some help with. It looks like some of the buds on the scions are starting to grow, does that mean the grafts worked? If not, how long should I wait to see if they did work? The buds on the rootstocks are starting to grow, should I remove their new leaves to encourage growth in the scion?
I'm new to both the HOS and fruit trees in general so any advice at all would be wonderful. Thank you.


Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:30 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1147
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
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lauriel; first off, here's the grafting aftercare info sheet I hand my 'customers' at the HOS Fruit & Berry Cutting (Scion) Exchange: viewtopic.php?t=273


For the time being, I'd let your scions continue to leaf out; from both scion and rootstock. Mine, about a dozen different grafts this year, are doing the same. Isn't it exciting! I've nearly come on the forum to suggest everyone watch for 'nibbling' of any kind on the new scion bud / leaves. If I notice this, I'll smear some Tanglefoot around the base of the limb / rootstock to stop (after carefully eliminating the nibbler if I see it). Tanglefoot's great stuff for stopping ants, earwigs, and everything else that's small and crawls – here you go: http://www.tanglefoot.com/products/barrier.htm

As the leaves develop from the rootstock I'd (and this is simply my opinion - other's might say ‘rub them off now’) let a nice pair form where ever they'd like, then pinch out the tip/s, leaving those leaves to help feed / shade the rootstock. But don't let them get past 2 sets of leaves and compete directly with the scion above.

It's late enough in the season that the green you see is most likely viable leaf from your scion/s. If it dies, it will happen fast; that means (to me) the connection never took and the bud/s were only 'feeding' off the energy stored in the scion.

I hope you check in with progress reports and / or questions.

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Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:42 am
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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:35 pm
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Thanks for all the good info! I am really excited about it, I was beginning to think that none of the grafts took. I didn't expect them all to work since it was my first time doing it, but getting three out of seven is good enough for me. They're in containers at the moment and I can't wait to put them in the ground, but I was thinking it might be best to wait a few months. They still look so fragile and I don't want to risk losing them.
I am trying to create a small espalier fence of apples in my front yard. I guess it's a bit much to try for someone just getting into fruit trees, but I'm giving it my best.


Sat Apr 28, 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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You're welcome :) Be patient with all the grafts, some may take a bit longer. And remember, you can always graft again to that rootstock; next year, or late this summer (Budding), if their growth is vigorous.

In pots, the tinder rootlets have begun to grow. No matter how careful I am, that pot-ball inevitably bursts and crumbles - taking with it the tender tips of those new roots. If the pots are a good size, five or more gallons, I'd say they're good for the summer. But I'd transplant them to their permanent locations this fall, to eliminate any chance of a hard freeze penetrating the 'above ground,' if potted roots.

With perpetual deer problems, I marvel at (if envy) those who espalier... as you've got to start somewhere and sometime - it sounds as if you have! One good thing about the growth rate of apple trees... they give you ample time to plan!

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Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:54 am
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