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Apple Tree Problem??

Posted by rgvnewf z5 NL,Canada (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 22, 12 at 17:45

I am new to growing apple trees so I don't know if this is a problem or not. I planted two apple trees in the summer of 2011 (Richelieu and Yellow Transparent). These trees were planted in an area that I was planning on seeding with grass seed. When my soil was spread (about 4-5 inches), the grafts on the trees were covered by soil (I originally had them above the ground level, but did not take into consideration the soil to be spread for seed). We have had an exceptional growing season where I live, however these trees have not put on any new growth and the only leaves are on the tips of the branches. These are young trees, only 4-5 feet tall. Is the graft being buried harming the trees and preventing growth. What should I do. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

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RE: Apple Tree Problem??

I would guess and hope that your trees will be alright and will probably grow more next year. I don't think covering the graft unions is hurting anything right now, although in the long term I do think you'll want to uncover the graft unions to prevent the trees from growing too large. If the grafts are covered with soil, the wood above the grafts may take root and you'll essentially have 100% height seedlings instead of whatever rootstock you actually intended to have. What I might consider doing is moving back a lot of the soil from around the base of the tree to uncover the graft union, and then fill this up with a little gravel immediately adjacent to the trunk to allow drainage, and cover the rest (a circle of perhaps 2-3 feet radius) with wood-chip mulch. So then you'll have drainage to keep the graft union dry and prevent rooting of the scion, while providing a beneficial weed-free zone over the young roots. How does that sound?

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