How do you spend your winter? Scion shopping?

Trying to get my mind off things today by browsing through singing tree’s scion list. How are you passing your winter? Anyone else scion shopping / browsing? When thoughts weigh heavy on my mind succulent sugary sweet pears are a nice distraction. Winter is back at least for a time in Kansas.


I’ve been watching Star Trek-The Next Generation.That should get me through two months. Brady


Clark, would you mind posting the whole Singing Tree listing for this year? I requested one but it never arrived.

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The list above is zoomed in on pears so I apologize for that but that is mostly what I look at. Here is the rest of the list I put together this morning. Hopefully it shows up ok because I’m in a bit of a rush on these photos.


That list looks bigger than when I last saw it. If someone has a scanner and the list I can update the scionwood resources page wth a fresh copy. I think the one there now is from two years ago.

For years I would be poring over these various scion lists, Googling varieties, reading fruit books. I am mostly finished that, only so many varieties I can cram in. So now I think about how I am going to re-organize my orchard, etc. Also the weather is warm enough (e.g. 50F right now) that it is often pleasant to get out and prune and clean things up. I love winter orchard work, no bugs/diseases/animals to fight.


Well for me, I am doing exactly what you recently stopped doing Scott. I am only two years into growing apples and am hoping to expand by 20 varieties this year. Thank you to the members who have traded and offered scions for postage.

Looking at limbertwig varieties now and may add more than a few of these. Is there a bad limbertwig variety?

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I will get my rootstocks in the last week of Feb. Warm them up for 5-6 weeks and then begin grafting. I have all my scionwood lined up.

I’m going to do things differently this year. I’m going to use a lot of bath/beach towels that are moist but not dripping wet and each graft will be rolled (one after another) until each towel is filled; covering roots and all. I’m going to then place towels into large garbage bags and rest those bags on heat mats. I should have overwhelmingly excellent callous.

I’ll check the grafts after 3-weeks to determine if any should stay in another week. Three weeks on a heat bench does it for oaks so I expect hickory will be about the same. Persimmons and pawpaws I would guess will callous in less than three weeks but that’s speculation on my part.



It isn’t getting above zero today with a stiff wind, so my orchard is on its own until spring! I have been organizing my garden records and notes, plus dividing a bunch of amaryllis bulbs. Researching to make sure I don’t miss some hot new item, and so far have resisted ordering anything for 2017 except some newly released haskaps. So far. . .


Ice fishing, hockey, tennis. . . oh, and protecting my peach trees on cold nights

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Hi Clark. Not sure what we would do all winter without catalogs and dreams :slight_smile:.

I used the last few days when we were above freezing and sunny to finish up painting tree trunks white and getting rodent guards on. Also spray anti-desiccant on the stone fruit and berries. Just in time it seems, as we got a couple of inches of snow today with highs around 20F, and they are predicting 1-2’ more snow tomorrow. Looks like that conveyor belt of moisture qwhich is hitting parts of CA is continuing over to us.

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Dax just curious why you are going for a warm callousing period. Most of what I have read calls for a cool (root cellar type temps) for a month, with the roots only in a moist medium. I have done it that way and had very good results (with apples).

I’d be concerned that warm and moist will promote molds of various sorts, as well as the roots growing into your towels.

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Brewing beer. I’m dreaming of a home-grown apricot beer one of these years, hopefully :slight_smile:
Other than that, occasionally perusing the GF forum.



You asked about limbertwigs.

I believe @hambone recently posted in another thread his preliminary results with Brushy Mountain Limbertwig and he was disappointed in its taste at his place on the Eastern Shore in Maryland.

@scottfsmith has said Black Limbertwig is a good one in Baltimore, and improves after some cold storage.

@derekamills says Kentucky Limbertwig has good flavor in Ohio.

The late nurseryman, Tim Hensley said that Myers’ Royal Limbertwig performs well in Virginia.

None of my limbertwigs have fruited yet.


Im going to order some LT’s from Derek, Thanks for the post Matt.

If I were planting Limbertwigs from scratch I’d plant: Black, more Black, Kentucky, Royal, Red Royal.

Another very, very old Limbertwig variety surfaced recently. Now called “Slemp Limbertwig”. My graft has not fruited yet. The late Tim Hensley died before he could grow it out to compare against Red LT (aka Old Fashioned, the original Limbertwig) and Royal LT.

Steve Kelly at Kellys Old Timey Apples, Big Stone Gap, Va sells scions of approx. 40 Limbertwig varieties… He even sells “Hanging Dog Limbertwig.”


I put an order in with GRIN for scions earlier. My focus now is seedlings. Starting tree seedlings under lights is a great cabin fever project for me. This year I’m growing Allegheny Chinquapins, a few Chinese chestnuts (cross between AU Buck III and AU Buck IV, and a bunch of apples and crabapples from seed. This is a tray of Wickson Crab seedlings:

Tending to these keeps my winters pretty busy.


Word of caution: I have found Allegheny Chinkapins don’t really like to be transplanted, which I suspect makes them more prone to winter injury. I’ve transplanted lots of seedlings, and have seen lots of losses. Late frosts can kill them outright too. They need acidic loam or they can struggle.

They are best moved in spring. They crave sunshine. If they get lots of sunshine, this can help them ward off other problems. They can survive in shade, but languish there.

I transplanted scores of these in lots of different locations-- all the “Golden” cultivar from Kentucky. Only a few of the bushes are thriving. Still no nuts for me yet…

Interesting…They grow wild on my place. I collected the nuts from local trees on the farm so I’m sure my clay will support them… I transplanted the ones I grew last year this past October. I wonder if the fact that the root ball is undisturbed will make a difference. I guess I’ll find out next spring. If these don’t work out, I’ll overwinter the ones I’m growing this year and plant them the following spring. I did notice that they stayed green well after the native trees went dormant and lost their leaves. I guess I’ll know next spring.

Worst case scenario I think you could grow them in biodegradable pots or newspaper so your not disturbing the roots in the future. Those peat pots have a tendency to fall apart on me but I have done it with other plants.

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My trees are all grown in a root pruning container system (Rootmaker in my case). They start in small 18s and are then transplanted to 1 gal RBIIs and finally 3 gal RBIIs. Here they were in September about a month before I planted them:

The sides of these Rootbuilder II containers completely unwrap so the root ball comes out completely intact. This air pruning container system first prunes the tap root in the 18s causing upstream branching. By the time they are planted from the 3 gal RB2s, the root ball is dense and fibrous. I’m not expecting any issues with respect to roots, but I don’t know if they will have winter dieback. If they do, I’ll simply overwinter them in my cold room and plant them in the spring next time. I’ll certainly know by then.

By the way, the ACs in the picture were started last winter under lights about this time as I’m doing again this year.