Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Catkins and pistillate flowers on a new graft

   I was checking the progress of new grafts the other day when I came to a Kanza scion that had not only broken bud but was producing flowers (photo at left). Flowering on a scion is not that uncommon and occurs most frequently when using scions collected from vigorous growing trees of highly productive cultivars.
   Buds on the scion were programed to produce flowers last August, long before the scion was cut from the parent tree.  Catkins production has little impact on shoot growth but pistillate flowers can slow new shoot elongation significantly.
   Whenever I find a pistillate flower cluster on a first year graft (photo at right), I use my fingers to pitch off the entire cluster.  With the flowers removed, the scion can get back to growing a new central leader for my tree. I should get at least 3 feet of new top growth on this bark graft this summer.