Was top working a 20+ year old prairie spy apple today. I had a couple of them and wanted to add another crabapple for cider instead.
I will be curious to see how much vigor the tree responds with after being leafed out so much.
Yes it’s getting pretty late in the year but I’ve been wanting to do it for awhile now. Did not want to wait another year.
Been top working a couple dz apple trees myself the last few days. Trees around here are just starting to green up.
It takes a lot of time to top work those apples. You should post some pictures if you get a chance.
Yes I will try to get some pics. Although as I posted in another thread , it is supposed to get down to 23 tonight and I am worried that it might limit my chances the grafts take after all that work.
Apples will likely be ok. I have had it get that cold after I grafted them.
This morning I took pics of a few of the grafts I have been doing . Not worried much about the parent tree on most of what I have done if the grafts for some reason fail.
I noticed you used shorter scion than I usually do. I think in some instances I should cut my scion in half and get two grafts out of each one.
Most of the time, one bud on a scion will do. You can have more scions to graft that way. I usually left 2 buds per stick of scionwood.
It could really be important in certain circumstances. I did make some mulberry grafts with some really short scion a week ago, some just one bud but I wanted to use every scrap of scion I had.
Looks great! Nice job grafting.
I’ll be super interested in how those big bases react. I did this to a few trees planted 50+ years ago by my grandpa. They’re on their way out, just from old age (losing vigour etc…), so I figured that I’d give it a try. My biggest worry is how those big stumps act with diseases and such.
I like to use a bud or two as well because they grow fast and they don’t get broke off as easy early on. I’ve always thought the grafts take better if they are shorter because it takes less for the rootstock to feed them. Most of the time I cut my grafts back since they grow very fast. Some people stake their grafts which is a good way to go if you have just a few to do.
Most all the grafts in my pics are one bud. And yes on some I had limited scion wood and using one bud made it go further but for the most part it is simply easier to just use one bud.
It will be a learning experience watching how the really big cuts grow and heal over. I tried to put enough grafts per cut to keep it alive all around and will regraft any that don’t take even if it is something that will just get cut off later. Three of the trees in my pics are over 100 years old and still put on new growth like crazy every year !
Those trees are in some good soil!
If you’re into big trees, I’d take some seeds from those apples for rootstock!
I topworked an old Black Tartarian (the blackbirds ALWAYS got em early) to a Windsor last spring using this method … they leafed out well last summer.
But this spring it looks like they are all dead!
Patrick you might take a look at this thread Sweet cherry grafts - #18 by BobVance