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Top working apple trees

Posted by Peter Drevniok 
Top working apple trees
September 20, 2020 04:27PM
Hi all,

I top worked some apple trees this past spring.
I put 3 or 4 scions on limbs that were 3 or 4 inches in diameter.
Most of the scions took. I was very happy with the results.
I can't seem to find info on what to do for after care.
Do I let 3 or 4 scions continue growing till next year?
Do I prune out all scions next spring except for the most vigorous one?

Peter Drevniok
Maxwell Mountain Orchards
Wakefield, Quebec
zone 4b
Re: Top working apple trees
September 20, 2020 11:39PM
Peter, I don't think there is a rule - depending on where the limb is located in relation to the rest of the tree, you can probably leave 1, 2 or 3 grafts...
For my part, I graft on smaller branches, so I don't have this problem!

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Re: Top working apple trees
September 21, 2020 02:17PM
Peter, like Claude said you can leave more than one, but not for an extended period if (as I suspect) you used a rind or a cleft graft. What will eventually happen is a splitting of the limb or the graft unions as the new shoots gain in girth over the years. I like to leave mine for a few years as it facilitates healing of the (usually sizable) wound. You get a lot more callusing with a few grafts left in place. Then, remove them over the course of a few years. You may even get some fruit off a branch you will eventually prune out.
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