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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?
Thanks

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!
Claude

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Author, The New Cider Maker's Handbook
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.
Re: Top working apple trees
January 28, 2022 07:33PM
Hopefully all can see these pics I took last spring in Washington State. Growers there seem to not hesitate to replace whole blocks of the less successful varieties. You can somewhat see from observing that in most cases they leave all the grafts in place, twisting or weaving them. It makes for a somewhat messy look to the tree structure.
[docs.google.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2022 11:54PM by Don Kretschmann.
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