Thursday, September 1, 2011
Over the past several years, I've been preaching the importance of waiting until a young tree tells you when its ready to be grafted. Here's proof that waiting until the tree is ready yields great results. We used a bark graft on this tree in early May and have grown a strong, central-leader tree that's now over 6 feet tall (even in a drought year!).
There is one thing I want you to notice on this tree. In mid-August we removed all the wrappings from the graft union and painted that area of the tree with white latex paint. The paint prevents sun scald to the graft union (just like the aluminum foil) but more importantly the white paint gives us an obvious visual cue as to which trees have been grafted and the exact location of the graft union. In a field of 140 young trees, the white paint on successful grafts will make it easy to locate trees that still need grafting in 2012.
Grafting is the first step in training young pecans into strong, central-leader trees. To learn more about the tree training process go my 7 post series called "Training young trees" .