Notching to remove apical dominance

I plan to perform bud grafts onto the shoots of a peach grown in fan shape espalier and onto the trunks of apple trees grown as espalier.
I am concerned that these grafts may not take due to apical dominance. I have read that apical dominance may by eliminated by making a notch half way around and above the graft. Have any of you had success doing this?

I’ve done this for years with almost all my grafts because it can make a real difference. There are some good threads on the subject, but my short version is pretty much the way you describe it. I’ve never gone half way around, though - I just make sure the notch overhangs the bud on each side, and that the cut is deep enough to take out the cambium. The cut will heal over in a season or so.


Same here only go about less than 1/3 around, just enough to include the full width of bud. Use a hacksaw blade seems to work best, have several growing this spring on plums
Kent wa


Can also be useful to get a dormant bud to sprout on a branch or trunk.

My actual “formula” for the length of the cut is 3x the diameter of the bud or scion it’s to affect. So a cut above a 1/4" bud would be 3/4". If you’re replacing a branch on a growing tree with a new variety you would cut 3x the diameter of the branch to which you’re grafting. That may be more than needed, but it seems to work for me.

I had a fine tooth Silky pocket saw that I use (Silky Pocket Boy 170) but sometimes I’ve gotten by with just the sharp blade of my nippers. It’s one of those “just do it - you’ll see” things.


I just found this article: A New and Expeditious Mode of Budding from 1811. (A New and Expeditious Mode of Budding - PMC) The author tied a ligature above and another below the bud and, once the bud was attached, removed the lower ligature. This caused the buds to “vegetate strongly”.
Has anyone tried this?

I don’t know why tying below the bud would help, but there’s a lot I don’t know.

I have tried ligating branches to encourage fruiting. That works at least some on pear. I inadvertently “discovered” it when a line I’d used to pull a branch down had cut into the bark all the way around. One year I tried using radiator hose clamps but never saw an advantage from that experiment on three branches, and I never followed up.

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I’ve seen videos from Daley’s Nursery where they demonstrate cincturing (slashing in a vertical angle) to dwarf a tree and induce fruiting, so I suppose it is the same concept of just slowing the flow of nutrients.

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