grafting on young pear shoots

copingwithclayJune 23, 2012

I have begun topworking an ancient pear tree with a 2 ft thick trunk. The dead wood, unwanted big limbs, and too-thick-to-graft-on branches were chainsawed off a couple months ago, leaving many 3/8" to 1" thick branches that I started to graft on this week.Since the major haircut, the tree has been sending out about 40 new green shoots. I clipped off all the shoots except about a dozen that are great candidates for development into future fruit-bearing branches. These 3 to 4 ft long shoots already have white,hard core wood, but the thin, green, flexible, moist bark is far away from becoming the thicker, tan or gray bark that I usually do bark and cleft grafts on. I imagine that the flexible bark would be easy enough to do T-buds on, but I prefer scions on this project. Rather than waiting till next March to graft the dozen greenbacks, I am interested to try this year.Does anyone out there do cleft grafts on the green-barked suckers after the core wood becomes hard? ?

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