Force low graft to grow on hawthorn?

Hi from Sweden! I’ve been following this forum from over the Atlantic for a while, thanks for the inspiration and input :-). I tried grafting quince onto our wild hawthorns last year. Two out of 12 grafts made it. And now I would like to boost them so that there is some speed to the whole thing. They sit at the bottom of the approx. 2m high hawthorn tree. I am considering cutting the tree above the top graft (30cm up from the roots). But is there a better way? Last year there was minimal growth on the grafts that took. I think it’s because of apical dominance (is that what it’s called?). That tree only wants to grow upwards, and won’t waste much energy at the bottom of the trunk… There is something called Nicking, or Notching, isn’t there? We don’t speak about that too much in the Swedish fruit growers circuit, but I’ve come across the terms in English.

The hawthorn that has the Quince graft is healthy and grows rapidly. Perhaps the best option is to just cut the tree above the grafts? I’ll try to upload two pictures of the tree and the grafts.


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Heavily pruning the top of the tree will also do it to some extent, but I love quince… so cut it. :wink:

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Yes, I’ll do that. It would be interesting to get some fruit before waiting too many years, to see what the hawthorn root might do to the taste of the quince. Some people claim that fruit grafted to hawthorn becomes more bitter or unpalatable.

your best options are to

  1. either cut off or heavily prune the hawthorn part of the tree.
  2. Notch above the quince part.
  3. graft some quince higher up or on a thinker more dominant branch

Unless you want the upper portion of the tree for its appearance, I would remove all of the trunk above a manageable height, then graft the stub ends of all remaining scaffolds. You have already shown you can successfully graft it, so choose several more of your favorite varieties and make the whole tree what you really want. Once you have quince you can even add pears onto the quince interstems.
Kent, wa

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Thanks for your ideas, @Trav @oscar and @DennisD. Since I had a success rate of approx 15% with the quince on hawthorn grafts I was thinking I shouldn’t spend more energy on that combo ;-). But with your idea, DennisD, I could give it a try, and if the new grafts fail I’ll just cut the trunk above last years grafts…

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Here’s a video about grating onto branches without cutting them off.
The second method near the end is less intrusive even than the first.

Any time you graft, the more you prune the tree the more your grafts will take over.


I’m not seeing a video. Did you post the link for it?

I don’t know what happened, I thought I prayed the link.

Is in Russian but skip to about 4 minutes and maybe 17 you’ll see how she does it, And the grafts heal and you know they survived you can cut the branches off just above the graft, you I can wait for until leaves are starring to fall if you want the rootstock to have Max energy in spring.