grafting process and training those new grafts. Because these trees were fairly large when I placed a bark graft on the central leader, I left several lower limbs on the tree to provide critical leaf area to keep the tree actively growing. For the past 3 growing seasons, I've pruned back the growth on limbs below the graft to encourage growth of the new scion (graft union painted white--photo at right). At this point, the tree's new top has begun to fill out and I can safely start removing limbs below the graft union.
directive pruning on the top of this tree.
The one large side limb I left on the tree will definately try to outgrowth the scion. It will take monthly summer-pruning sessions to keep this limb in check. By mid-summer, I'll probably have this limb cut back to half its current length. In one or two years, the entire limb will be removed back to the trunk.