Saturday, June 1, 2013
Flooding and new grafts
Flood water from the Neosho River has backed up over the county road and covered a portion of my young pecan grove. Two weeks ago, I grafted several young trees in that field and I was curious to see how much of each tree was submerged in the flood. In the photo at right, you can see one of my bark grafts with all the wraps poking up through the water. Its a good thing this graft union was not submerged in flood water. Over the years, we've learned that if a graft union is covered by flood water before the scion has callused into the stock, flood water will kill the graft. If the graft has healed and new growth had emerged from the scion, a new graft can often survive flooding (the sprouted primary bud often dies if submerged but secondary buds break on the scion once the flood recedes).
This picture was taken during the river level's predicted high point. Hopefully, this graft will survive and sprout new growth shortly. The good news is that all the other grafts I made this year were even higher out of the water than the one in the photo. And I've learned a valuable lesson during this flood, my tree's deer cage will also serve to keep pesky beavers at bay.