Tuesday, May 8, 2012

3-flap graft, 3 weeks later

    Three weeks ago I described how to make a 3-flap graft.  This past weekend, I found the buds on the scion greening up and  the rootstock already trying to out grow the new graft. In the photo at left, note that the buds on the scion have expanded to about one-inch-green. Below the graft are two red-tinged shoots that have already grown over 12 inches in the past 3 weeks. Reddish growth is a characteristic of juvenile tissue and is common among pecan seedlings.
    Left alone, the junvenile shoots would out-grow the buds emerging from the scion and eventually shade the scion's growth. I've even seen a sprouted scion die from lack of sunlight caused by shading from rootstock suckers. To force the tree to concentrate all its energy towards scion growth, I trimmed off all sprouts below the graft (photo at right).
    I'll be back to this tree in a couple of weeks to tie the scion's new growth to the bird perch to prevent wind damage.