Friday, July 1, 2016

Be careful when pulling off stalked buds

    Yesterday, I spent the morning trimming grafts and training the scion to a nice central leader.  Just two weeks ago, I worked on these same trees selecting a single scion shoot and removing stalked buds. However, it is amazing how fast bark grafts can grow. Many grafts had grown 10 to 12 inches taller in just two weeks. Along with the new growth, the tree also developed new stalked buds (red arrows point to stalked buds in photo at right). My first step in training these grafts is to remove all stalked buds. Next, I used flagging tape to tie the new growth to the bamboo stake I already had in place.

    When I remove stalked buds I always start at the top of the scion shoot and work my way down. At some point, I will come the location on the shoot were I had removed stalked buds previously (2 weeks ago in this case). You need to watch carefully as you tear off the stalked buds. In the photo at left, the red arrow points to a stalked bud that has developed since the last time I removed stalked buds. This bud will be removed.
    The yellow arrow points to a brown scar on the stem indicating the position of a stalked bud that I removed 2 weeks ago. Below the scar is a secondary bud that is starting to grow. I will leave this bud in place to form a wide angled lateral branch. Remember, by the time a secondary bud starts to break, it will be located well below the central leader and in perfect position for lateral branch formation.