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topworking

Posted by nc_orchard 7a (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 22:28

Last year I grafted a number of new varieties onto my existing trees. I used whip and tongue grafts and positioned the grafts towards the end of primary scafolds were the size of the scafold limb matched the diameter of my scion. The amount of growth from the grafted scions was little if any in some cases. Given the amount of growth they achieved, it could be a while before I ever get fruit from the grafted scions. Also, given were I grafted them, most of the growth will be beyond the height I want to limit my trees to.

I will be grafting some apricots and plums onto my peach trees this year and am rethinking my grafting methods as it seems there has to be a way to get more growth from a first year graft and have the scion positioned in a more desireable location. I have my peah trees trained to an open vase, with 4 primary scafolds originating at about knee high. Im thinking of cutting limbs back to within a few inches of the trunck and doing cleft grafts. Any thoughts/experience on best method for topworking trees.

Based on my current experience, it seems like I could get fruit quicker by planting a new tree versus grafting new varieties onto my existing trees. But I'm sure there is a better way to topwork trees ( I'm just not sure what it is).


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: topworking

Nc-orchard,

I cut my back to about 5-6 inches to the main trunk. Bark grafted 2 scions across from each other. I cut back 1/3 of the growth mid summer.

Tony


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RE: topworking

Duplicate post.

This post was edited by tonytran on Sat, Mar 30, 13 at 23:40


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RE: topworking

Commercial apple and pear growers cut scaffolds to stubs and do cleft grafts for quickest results in changing over varieties.

I like to use a vigorous water sprout near the trunk, on an existing scaffold of on the trunk itself and use a splice graft. This way I continue to get fruit on a tree I'm changing over and I spare the tree from major butchery. These grafts usually grow very vigorously but one on the trunk need to be well positioned to light.

Most of my grafting experience is with pears and apples. Peaches are a bit different because they have no real juvenile period so it can be more difficult to get grafts to grow vigorously as even when you remove fruit they are putting a lot of energy producing flower buds. Also you get fruit from a new tree very quickly so the advantage of grafting is reduced.

However, if you graft closer to the trunk and cut off the branch in front of the graft after the graft takes (if the graft is on a branch) you should get better results, I think.

I graft peaches mostly to try out new varieties that I don't want to give the space of a new tree to.


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RE: topworking

Tony - I need to learn how to bark graft at some point. It seems a lot of people use it, but I've just stuck to the Whip and Tounge and cleft graft primarily.

Harvestman - That's a really good idea. Unfortunately I've already pruned my trees, and probably don't have any suckers coming off the trunk. When you graft onto the water sprout, do you come back later and remove some of the scaffolds to allow the new variety to fill out the area?


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RE: topworking

Yes, over time the new graft replaces the wood in front of it. I use the existing branch as an anchor so I can tie down the graft as it grows.

I work mostly on estates and this allows me to gradually transform trees without affecting them too much visually but I use the same methods on my own trees just because it allows me to harvest plenty of fruit throughout the transition.


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RE: topworking

NC,

Here a video from DWN that show you how to bark graft. very simple.

Tony

Here is a link that might be useful: Topwork


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RE: topworking

One important issue is apical dominance. The less % of the tree you just cut off to put the graft on the greater height it needs to be; otherwise the tree won't feed it. I made many of my early graft additions far too low. Some of them are still struggling twigs ten years later, I get a laugh at my past self each time I look at them. All fruit trees follow these principles, with persimmons being the most extreme, low grafts there don't take. These days when I add a variety I always put it on a major scaffold. So, I am always using a bark or cleft graft. On a major scaffold you will get major growth.

Scott


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RE: topworking

Scott, I made several grafts of apples on water sprouts quite low in the tree last year and got 4' of growth. If the watersprout has greater than pencil thickness from the previous years growth it will continue to grow vigorously as a graft- especially if you clear out wood in middle of the tree to get it sun. I will use these grafts to replace the existing trees over the next 3 years.


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RE: topworking

Agreed. The main point is put the graft in a spot you know the tree is going to feed it, and that fat watersprout is definitely getting fed.

I have recently been using low watersprouts to rejuvenate peach trees. The tops can lose vigor after enough years but let a fresh waterspout eventually take over as the new tree and it will recover the vigor.

Scott


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RE: topworking

Are bark grafts OK to use on lateral scaffolds?
Is there a risk of gravity moving the scion in the graft?


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RE: topworking

  • Posted by murky z8f pnw Portlan (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 2, 13 at 13:02

megamav, if bark grafting to a lateral branch you will get more strength from the scions grafted on top of the limb. Gravity pulling on them brings them towards the limb rather than trying to pull open the graft cut.

I've also heard of using several spaced around the cut limb. As they grow out while still limber they can be woven together. Eventually they can form one limb.


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RE: topworking

murky,

Thanks, I think i'll end up cleft grafting scaffolds with a rind graft on top.

-Eric


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RE: topworking

The bark grafting video was interesting but I don't see how all that work is justified unless the tree has already gotten away from you and there are no strong vegetative shoots positioned far enough into the trees interior. And 3 grafts to be sure one succeeds! I don't see how that's efficient unless you get a very low ratio of takes.

There are certainly situations where the method would be quite useful, though.


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RE: topworking

Here is the follow up video of the bark graft by Tom Spellman 5 months later. Very Impressive growths.

Tony

Here is a link that might be useful: 5 months later.


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