Trouble with my Pink Lady

milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)May 26, 2013

My Pink Lady on G.11 rootstock did not fair well this last year. I got a few apples last winter. I planted it in 2010 and it did well for a couple of years. This last fall I noticed it wasn't dropping its leaves and assumed it was just slow to drop them. I actually stripped the leaves so the snow would not collect.

This spring it has not leafed out. I think now in retrospect it did not go dormant as it should and may have been killed in the early winter. The only thing green now is the trunk. It's putting out small branches down low.

Anyway, my question is regarding grafting to it. If the Pink Lady scion is not hardy enough for my winters should I cut it down to the graft and graft onto it there or could I get by with grafting 3 or 4 feet above the graft?. This would make it an interstem with Pink Lady.

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I probably don't have an acceptable answer for you, sorry. Maybe someone from Callarada (that's how my Dad used to say it) can help.

Just interested to see that Pink Lady is recommended for zone 5. Down here it is a winner as well. That's a pretty wide range. Is it a goner for sure or does waiting a bit longer for it to leaf out make sense? Waiting on a winner sure beats grafting something else.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 7:42PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Well it did make it through 2 winters so I am a bit baffled by the situation. I won't lose out if I make a new central leader. I guess I'll give it more time. There's no rush really.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 8:12PM
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I'm a BYOC person, which means I control tree size with summer pruning. My Pink Lady is on M111 and never gets taller than I can reach standing on the ground. Less vigorous dwarfing rootstocks such as G11 are not necessary or recommended with this approach. That said, I'm not sure what you would gain by grafting another scion onto a failing dwarfing rootstock.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 11:37PM
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alan haigh

I don't know if Pink Lady has proven itself in such a climate as yours. Slowness to drop leaves is a red flag about limited cold-hardiness in areas with widely fluctuating temps. Temps may have gotten too cold before the tree adequately hardened off.

I consider Pink Lady a bit of an experiment here in SE NY although I have quite a few trees in my nursery of this variety. The fruit does not dependably ripen here except maybe close to the ocean or the Hudson river. Love the fruit so I understand why you try. I'm trying it in my own orchard even though it isn't one of the better sites I manage, micro- climatewise

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 6:22AM
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