Rabbit damage to Geneva G210 rootstock we

I planted some rootstock last spring, intending to graft, but wasn’t able to obtain the scion it wanted, so i just left it to grow. In late summer, i bud grafted ashmeads kernal to it.

Then we had a windstorm, and all its fencing blew away. Before i fixed that, something ate all the new growth (graft and all) and also ate every bud off the little tree. Probably rabbits.

I plan to graft onto what’s left this coming spring. In the meantime, should i worry about the whole thing drying out over the winter? Anything else i should worry about? Should i give up and buy more rootstock?

I’ll try to post a photo. Any advice welcome.

There’s also some deer fencing further out, not visible in the photo.

It doesn’t look girdled so it should regrow ok. Don’t forget to get some mouse/vole blocks in the rabbit wire, I’d also tie that to a small stake so the rabbit cage doesn’t blow around.

After losing both the small cage and the larger deer cage to the wind, I found my ground staples, and attached both to the ground.

It’s not girdled, but it has NO buds aboveground. I guess if I graft to it, that’s not a huge problem. Unless it dries out from all those open wounds

It will find buds even if you don’t see them. Let the strongest shoot grow out and t-bud that this coming summer or graft to the shoot you choice next spring.

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Is there a reason not to cleft graft it this coming sping? Among other things, that would seem to solve the “no buds” problem.

And honest, the critter ate every bud, plus a margin around each bud. I know that cambium can differentiate into new cells, and it might be capable of forming new buds that way, but there really aren’t any buds aboveground on this unfortunate plant.

By all means try. That’s what we’re here for, to learn. If it fails, another rootstock is inexpensive.

I have a similar-looking apple, a buck rubbed all the bark around the trunk (I took off the guard too early). I am going to cut it to the base in spring and bark graft to it. A cleft graft would also work well, in fact I might do a cleft instead.

The vigor of the stock depends on when it went dormant. Mine got eaten in mid-September and I think it will still be vigorous enough. If it was a lot earlier it may not have enough energy to get through the winter.