Rabbit damage to Geneva G210 rootstock we


#1

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.


#2

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.


#3

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


#4

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.


#5

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.


#6

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


#7

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.