Top working trees

Here is the little Sweet Bough tree before and after its “variety change surgery” today. It is identified as a Hooples Antique Gold now.

I think I set 19 scions on that tree, some longer. I’m hoping it helps minimize the sprouting everywhere else…or cuts it down sooner as it will have more buds it can grow from.

Green wrapping were rind or bark grafts, orange is flagging tape protecting rubber bands for a while on cleft grafts.

Two more big trees to do! I will share pictures as I get to them.


Your orchard looks great! I’m curious how you found the Sweet Bough to taste. I know it’s early so was it mealy or blah?


It was kinda both. The tree was kind of a runt too, planted in 2013. It liked to overset, the apples tended to be soft and nothing exceptional taste wise. I expect the change will be an improvement.


Looks Great Jolene! The tree has nice structure too. Hope your grafts take off and do well!


Thank you! The other trees are much larger. I’m hoping my back will cooperate with me getting out there. Sat in the van for four hours yesterday and the results were not good.

oh, sorry to hear about your back! That’s not good. Hopefully you have a little more time to finish grafting in case you need to take a few days to get back to “normal”.
I was grafting today and wanted to continue until dark but had to quit as my fingers were numb and my parafilm was so cold it kept breaking and wouldn’t stretch. A little warm weather would be nice… and before too long I will be saying “a little cooler weather sure would be nice” :joy:

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Cold parafilm is a pain. I ran out and set a few pear grafts fri. morning and it didn’t want to stretch. Going to store it in my pocket today.

Yes I thought of that after I was done. An inner pocket rather than my outside jacket pocket might have helped. :roll_eyes:

It was a warm day today, but kinda windy at times. The wind blew the step ladder over once.

I started by finishing turning a Seckle pear into a mostly Bosc.



Second Seckle pear before.

After top working it to Aurora

Then hubby helped me cut back this large Famouse/Snow.

And I top worked it to Suncrisp. That probably took over five hours. I did NOT count the grafts.

Here it is after the bad haircut.

And after the grafting.

What I am super happy about is being pain free today. Yesterday I could barely get out of bed, and a wrong move would about drop me. Even last night my back hurt almost constantly, making it hard to go to sleep. This morning I could still feel it, but I used the inversion device and went out to graft anyway. From when I started grafting and for the rest of the day I never felt another twinge. I even climbed into the big apple tree then got back on the ladder. My feet are sore…but my back feels great! YHWH God is so amazing, and made us able to heal. I am so thankful He did too! :slight_smile:
One more tree to go.


Glad to hear you’re feeling better. It is hard enough to keep up with orchard tasks with a healthy back. Cheers!

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Thank you! I upped my water consumption yesterday, and ate more fresh veggies. It is hard to do anything with pain. If I feel this good in a couple days I’ll trim the horses feet! :smiley:

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Do you protect your grafts with paper bags or foil? They seem to be in full sun and we get 85F days here already. Also, when I top work (haven’t done a whole lot of ‘em), I usually paint the bark white as lack of canopy exposes the bark to sun scald.

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Our temp for today are a low of 46 and expected high of 74. We don’t expect problems with sun scald. Scions are wrapped and large cut ends are waxed.


I am really glad to hear you are feeling so much better! God is good!
You got a LOT of trimming and grafting done. That’s impressive. Nicely done!
Have you been unhappy with Seckle quality? Wondering why you grafted 2 over to Bosc and Aurora? I don’t grow Seckle, but a friend of mine is putting one in this week. Of course our climate is totally different than yours…


Wow, that is super impressive how much work you did! I hope your back keeps behaving.
How old was this Fameuse tree?

I was a bit sore by the end of the day, but doing well again today. Thankfully!

Seckle has a small fruit and a thick skin.they taste alright but we can a lot of fruit for later eating, I would rather have larger fruit for processing. Aurora is a Bartlet seedling as I recall, stores better then Bartlet and is recommended by people like Scott here. Bosc stores well and would probably can well too.


It really is like therapy for me. It doesn’t feel like work… .until the last few grafts. I counted down the last maybe 11. :slight_smile:
The Famouse was planted in 2013. It grew well, but only made a very few poor quality apples. Mealy, small and good for nothing.

I’m looking forward to the weekly or bi weekly re-growth pictures of the trees.


Will you show the results? Thanks :slight_smile:

Of course! It’s only been 9 days since the first. Buds are growing out on most scions, but it’s not very visible yet. I’ll post pictures next week for sure.

We have a nice pattern of weather here in the upper 70s for the next 7 days. I did several peach and nectarine grafts. I usually get good take with 70s weather.