Burying the graft

ElektronOctober 6, 2013

I recently acquired a couple John Pair Sugar Maples. These trees are approximately 18" and they were grafted onto standard Sugar Maple stock.

I live in Texas and have wanted a drought hardy Sugar Maple for some time. I was wondering if it would be beneficial in this case to bury the graft of these trees and allow the scion to root, which would result in a much more drought tolerant root system coming from the Caddo Maple part.

I understand that a trees root flare usually should be exposed at planting and that grafted trees usually have a more desirable rootstock. However, in my case I am wanting the drought hardy characteristics of the Caddo Maple top.

Should I plant the tree deep and try to root the scion, or just plant the trees at the normal level?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I was wondering if it would be beneficial in this case to bury the graft of these trees and allow the scion to root,


roots are made to go in the ground..

trunks are in the air ...

we often discuss telephone poling of trees planted to deep ... when we discuss tree that are failing ....

you are presuming.. the trunk will root .. rather than bud.. and budding is what it should do above the root flare ......and that it will root before it rots ... thats a leap in my book ...

if i had two ... i would do one each way ... and prove me/us wrong ...

you cant have that big of an investment in an 18 inch tree..

we only learn stuff.. by experimenting... and you have been elected ...

i do recall some guy.. perhaps a conifer theorist.. who back 20 or 30.. or 40 years ago .. who did this... he swore by his success .... but the trade did not follow the idea.. and it has been lost to history ... maybe one of the tree nerds recalls who [and conifers are trees] ....


    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 7:24AM
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May be successful with some species and not with others.
I have buried low graft unions on 'tender' mulberry selections here - to provide a 'fall back' option when (not if) the scion variety is frozen back.
Had that experience 3 years in a row with 'Pakistan' - and it would re-grow vigorously. Finally dug it up and potted it to take to my dad, who was 2 zones warmer, but misplaced and lost it somewhere along the line before I got it to him.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 2:54PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

My limited understanding with the Caddo sugar maple ecotype is that the drought-heat tolerance has a lot more to do with the physiological properties of the leaves than the roots. It may or may not make much difference what the rootstock is, my understanding is that, much like some of the non-Caddo cultivars like 'Legacy', the leaves are presumably thicker and transpire less, making them more tolerant to drought.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 3:00PM
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I knew about the leaf advantage of the 'Caddo' for my area, but wasn't sure about the difference in the roots when compared to standard acer saccharum. If anyone has any knowledge on this I would love to know.

If there really isn't any difference between the two root systems, then I will probably just plant the trees with the graft above the soil. If I do decide to plant with the graft below the soil, I will try it with one first to see how it does.

Thank you for the replies.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 6:41PM
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