Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sometimes it takes a little time

    This past spring I received some scions from a potentially good seedling tree growing in IL. I grafted a scion onto a tree in my yard so I could keep a close eye on the graft's progress. 3 weeks after grafting, the tree was suckering profusely but the buds on the scion showed zero movement. So I stripped off all the suckers, trying to force the graft to push. A couple weeks later the primary bud on the uppermost bud started to push, but the suckers had also restarted.  So again, I removed all new growth below the graft thinking with just a little more push, my graft will take off.
    A few weeks later it was time to check the progress of  my grafts. I looked at my new graft from IL and found that the new shoot on the graft, that had so much promise, had lost all its leaves and was starting to wither. Now the primary bud nearest the graft union was starting to push. Again the suckers below the graft were coming on strong and again I stripped them off the tree.
    A few weeks later, I looked hopefully at my slow-poke graft. This time the lower shoot was starting to wither and the secondary bud under it was starting to push. What is going on with this tree? One thing is for sure--the understock was determined to grow. It was early August at this point but I was determined to make this graft grow. So I stripped all the suckers off for the 4th time.
    Now it's early September and my little IL graft is finally growing normally. But this graft is only one foot in length compared to the 4 to 5 feet of new growth I've seen on my other grafts this year. The suckers have stopped and it seems like this tree is finally decided it will accept the graft. Now let's hope the graft survives the winter. It looks like some trees might require a little more effort to get grafted.