I have my bench grafts in the ground from this year. So far so good. I have a couple questions. On about 3 of my grafts, we had a late frost and it looks like that toasted the scion shoots. Should I let the sucker shoots on the rootstock grow and then next year reattempt a graft? Next question is, on one of my grafted trees, it is showing flowers, I’m assuming I should pinch those off seeing that my main goal is vegetative growth. Final question, year one, am I able to spray these young trees with surround, or copper/fungicide, or is that too harsh on them?
Flowers are a bad thing so yes get rid of those on that little apple tree. Spraying with a fugicide is fine and insecticide is fine but I would not use copper because there is no reason for that now and it has a negative impact on soil organisms that help growth. If a graft is dead and dry yes let the rootstock grow out or regrafted more scion wood on. You can’t keep pinching off leaves on rootstocks or at some point you exhaust the nutrients in the roots.
Let the root stock grow until next time if you don’t have reserve scions this season… You may need to trim it in a month to get upright growth. I’ve made successful cleft grafts years after buying the stock. Bigger roots and stronger growth: it’s a win!
Instead of waiting to next year to do a dormant graft, why not chip bud onto the rootstock that has the failed scion? I am always too busy in spring to do any grafting so all mine are chip budded late july/early August. Just a thought instead of waiting until next year to do a dormant graft on that rootstock.