I have a 4-1 dwn apple on m111 and want to add a few varieties to it next year. I’m new to grafting and was curious what the best way would be to graft new varieties to the area in the attached picture?
New graft needs to be the highest bud on the tree otherwise it may take but never grow.
M111 that is a big tree. The easiest way to do this is to plan 1-2 year ahead. If I wanted a multi-graft tree on M111 I would train it to 4 main leaders shaped like a goblet and further divide the 4 main leaders into 3 scaffolds so that your tree end up with 12 varieties on it. The central branch always gets T1 ,T2, or tip bearing varieties and the two side branches always get T2 or T3s You can control the vigor of the T3 by nicking below the branch in order to keep the tree in balance. Your tree should be at least 20 feet across which should allow you to keep it at 6-7 feet in height. Since you are on M111 budding or grafting should be a breeze. On M111 a cleft or rind graft should give you close to 100% results (much more reliable on vigorous rootstocks than whip and tongue).
I should mention by planning our your limb structure and delaying grafting till formed you are likely using nothing. I have an M7 and I would say I get fruit the year after grafting about 10% of the time, and fruit the second year about 30% of the time and fruit the 3rd year on almost everything else (except Northern Spy …grrrrrr) it is simply a matter of the roots developing and how quickly they can push a graft.
Plan out your tree, remembering to put the heat lovers on the south and west side and the cool lovers on the north and east side. If you are not going to have temperature picky varieties, you should consider adding a slope to the tree slightly from North to South with the North side at a maximum of 7.5 to 8ft and the South side at 5 to 5.5 ft That will give you better sun penetration and an far more even ripening and fruit quality experience.
For example on my North side on my multi-graft I placed McIntosh, Macoun, Pome Gris, Cox Orange Pippin, Northern Spy among others, all noted to prefer cooler temperatures. Heat whores like Gold Rush, Gravenstein, Etters Gold go on the south side. I tend to put my more disease resistant varieties on the east side as it does not dry as quickly as the West and South side.
The fluffy one