Harvesting Cuttings For Grafting Fruit Trees

Harvesting Cuttings For Grafting Fruit Trees
Harvesting Cuttings For Grafting Fruit Trees
Video: Harvesting Cuttings For Grafting Fruit Trees
Video: Grafting Apple Trees Onto Root Stock 2023, February
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Apple Tree in Memory of Tikhomirov
Apple Tree in Memory of Tikhomirov

Apple Tree in Memory of Tikhomirov

It is worth thinking about preparing cuttings for spring grafting in advance. Usually, they start harvesting when the leaf fall of fruit trees ends and stable cold weather sets in with frost.

The fact is that by this time the ripening of the branches ends in fruit crops, and when the cold comes, they even undergo natural hardening. If you were worried in advance about taking cuttings from these trees for further grafting, then at the end of summer you should have pinched the tops of the branches. Thus, they could mature quickly enough.

You can also do harvesting and grafting of cuttings in the spring. But often the spring grafting is not so successful if the winter was warm and the annual shoots did not freeze.

Cuttings are prepared in advance if it is not possible to stock them up in time in the spring. But remember that in the late spring period, the harvesting of the buds quickly go out of the dormant period, which reduces the time for the splicing of the rootstock and scion. In this case, the survival rate of the scion after vaccination will be lower.

What every novice gardener needs to know? First of all, the fact that the quality of cuttings and selected mother trees directly affects the survival rate, successful development and subsequent entry of grafts into fruiting.

Cut the cuttings only with a sharp secateurs.

Cuttings are cut from trees that are not affected by viral, bacterial or fungal diseases; they should not have clutches of pest eggs. You need to take cuttings from those trees on which you annually do health-improving pruning. It makes no sense to use cuttings from unproductive trees, even if they are of some special varieties.

For cuttings, growths are used from the top of the tree or from straight branches that are located on the southern or southwestern side of the crown. Such branches have matured better and already have well-formed buds. This is especially true of cherries, which have a bushy type of fruiting, since the harvest on it is formed on the growths of the last year.

Apple cuttings
Apple cuttings

Apple cuttings

Cuttings 40–70 cm long and 0.6–1 cm thick at the base are best taken from the upper third of the branch - there are growths of the last year with short internodes. Such length of branches is especially important for cherry trees - on the first 20-25 cm of their shoots there are generative buds, and after grafting these cuttings will be able to give only flowers, therefore, such grafts often die quickly. You also need to know that in stone fruit crops, the number and density of flower buds increases with a decrease in the growth length.

Pome crops also have their own characteristics. It is better not to take cuttings from trees with flower buds of a mixed type (vegetative-generative), shoots from such material will be weak.

It is not recommended to harvest cuttings from top shoots that have grown inside the crown from dormant buds on perennial branches. The problem is that grafts from such cuttings begin to bear fruit somewhat later than those made from conventional shoots. But if there is not enough grafting material, then cuttings from top shoots can be used. You just need to take into account their characteristics and be prepared for a delay in fruiting.

The harvested cuttings must be collected in bunches and provided with labels indicating the species and variety of the fruit tree. If there are few cuttings, then they can be stored in a regular refrigerator, closer to the freezer. They are also well stored in dry basements. The temperature there should be from +2 to -2 ° С, and the best option is 0 ° С. If possible, in the basement a bunch of scions should be placed in perforated plastic bags with sand, the sand should be moistened to a depth of 10-12 cm. But first, the cuttings should be soaked in a 0.1% solution of the fungicide Fundazol for 5 hours to avoid appearing on them mold.

If the winter is snowy, then the scion material can be stored in piles. And so that the kidneys do not get wet and do not die, especially in stone fruit, the cuttings must be wrapped or packed with plastic wrap. The snow pile is compacted from all sides so that rodents do not get to the plants. The entire storage period must be monitored so that the cuttings do not dry out, do not freeze, and are not affected by mold. The increased temperature can also harm - the buds will begin to germinate ahead of time.

This is especially true for stone fruit crops: cherry, sweet cherry and apricot. When harvesting and storing cuttings early in the winter, it is better to take a little more plant material than is required for grafting. Some part may be unusable after storage.

By the way, if you buy cuttings, and do not harvest yourself, carefully examine them. Some vendors cover the branches with paraffin to better preserve the cuttings. If the branch is cut into several small parts, then so that the grafting material does not dry out, cover the sections with garden var.

"Ural gardener", No. 50, 2018

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