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Scions from old trees

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:44 pm
by Glingerburner
I am trying to get scions from old trees which are going back fast. They are covered in lichen and I can only find rather thin new growth of about 1.5 inches long. Is it worth trying to graft using such wood. Can anything be done for the dear old trees?

Secondly, can I use Crab Apple Malus sylvestris, nursery grown from seed, as rootstock? If so it would make experimenting much cheaper at 39p a go.

Richard

Re: Scions from old trees

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:46 pm
by Hilary Wilson
One can nearly graft a 'cats whisker' so yes, one could have a try with small thin pieces of wood.
It would work on malus sylvestris but it takes ages to grow and is very thin for a long time.
If one pruned the old trees or just cut back some branches they might make better regrowth with which to graft.
You could get some thin M26 from Acornbank to try a graft with the thin pieces of wood if the old tree is nearly dead, but graft higher than commercial growers so if it fails one can reuse it.
One can use straight pieces of old wood, but have to wait as the buds are not primed to grow and thay take time to develop.

Re: Scions from old trees

PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:29 pm
by Glingerburner
Thank you Hilary. All very helpful- and I suppose I could do a double cleft graft onto thicker rootstock, using thin scions..

Since it looks as if it is going to be an early spring, do you think:
1. I am too late to cut scions?
2. it is too early to start grafting ?
3. I should just try and graft newly cut scion wood onto rootstocks anytime in the near future?

I have had a go with the Malus sylvestris rootstock - We have been planting hedges so I have seconded some of the crab apple plants. I've also had a hash at bench-grafting Filberts and Cobnuts onto the hazel rootstocks, using scions cut yesterday from Kentish Cob, Cosford, Pearson's Prolific and Red Filbert. What do you reckon my chances of success, bearing in mind there is obviously some growth activity with both the rootstock and the scionwood?

I apologise for so many questions.

Richard