Apple Rootstock and Graft Defority

I have a sort of weird question. I bought an apple tree from a person and he sent me another apple tree for free. However, the free tree has a really large angled difference between the rootstock and the graft. It is at least 30 degree + difference between the actual rootstock and the graft. The scion is not thin. The grafted union area is really thick and trying to bend the graft is going to be very hard to do.
I had another person said he read in a grafting book to bury the rootstock to make the scion area straight instead of making the rootstock straight and bending the scion straight(er).
I am not sure that idea sounds credible.
Thoughts on this idea?

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Are you able to post some pictures?
That’d probably help us give you better advice.

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Downside of burying the graft union is you lose all intended traits of the apple tree. In other words the dwarfing, any increased fire blight resistance etc. will be gone. I made a post about this with pear trees not so long ago.

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I would let it grow like it is. It will eventually get long enough that you can start it heading straight up.
It will always have a bend at the bottom but be straight up otherwise. It adds character :slight_smile:

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I am far from an expert, but this is the crux of my feeling too. If it is something that will likely have a thick trunk when mature, the difference will be less and less noticeable as it ages.
If you want to exploit the quirk… If you have something that you can plant it under, it will eventually look almost like it grew that way intentionally to find the sun. Just make sure it has good airflow so you don’t encourage a rot situation at the graft.
Ultimately, in the open, the tree is going to try to grow straight unless the terrain includes features that prevent it. (E.G. Really strong and persitant winds or a really steep incline with progressing slump are going to have their say.)

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This is common. The advantage is that angled trunks can help trick trees into earlier maturity at a smaller size. Straight trunks are over rated.

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I was going to take photo to post. It has been raining today all day long. It was too dark when I finally got all the new trees planted. I will get a photo and post it. Thanks for reminding me to get the photo and post it. I have some white poster board I will use to make the photo more detailed. Since it so thin the photo without the background color may not show up well.

I would not bury the grafted area. I do not want a standard sized tree. I would either make the grafted scion part the upright part ( without having to bend the scion to drastically) or the rootstock the more upright part ( in the ground).

It’s late enough that I am going into random thoughts mode, but here goes anyway: Does it matter which half of the union is angled? Rephrased, will the pseudo-maturity work regardless of whether the rootstock or the scion are the angled part, as per Mike’s identified choices directly above?

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Exactly my question. TY for rephrasing this for clarification. I will post a photo in the next day or so. As long as it is not raining. It was drizzling rain all day here. Not a lot of rain just that constant drizzle.

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I would do this and have done so personally in the past. I’m not really sure of the effect on the rootstock or roots, but you wouldn’t be fighting constantly to correct the tree angle. I’ve had good success with it.

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Here are a few photos of the tree and the angle of the scion graft. Just a reminder -the rootstock it straight in the ground.

Good points. I was also considering the fact that if I did get it sort of straightened up, if the weight of the tree was too heavy would the graft part break later on. Weight and stress of being bent.

If it were me I’d plant at an angle so the overall effect loks like the following:
… /
./
.\

So, from what you say ( correct me if I am wrong) bend the graft back to the other side so it is pointing more towards the opposite side?

No bending. Just reposition.

Do you mean repositioning the rootstock so the scion part is positioned to the left instead of so far to the right?

Currently it appears the rootstock is planted vertically while the upper trunk is at an extreme angle.

I’m recommending to reposition so that the rootstock is at an angle leaning the opposite direction of the angle the upper trunk is leaning. The tree will still appear to be visibly leaning above the graft, but it will be a gentle lean instead of an extreme lean.

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Yes, you are correct. The rootstock is vertical and the grafted part is extremely angled.
So I will reposition the rootstock to make the grafted area more vertical. I like that idea better than trying to bend the grafted area back to more vertical.
TY for all the help.

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On a related note, I have a number of two year old ‘Winter Banana’ apple grafts. Last year the leader on one flopped over to about 90° under its own weight and I did not do anything to support it. Now that sideways tree is producing a large number of flower clusters while its vertical siblings of the same age are making very few flower clusters.

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