No chip bud growth

nc_orchard(7a)July 21, 2012

I did some cherry chip bud grafts about a month ago. All the grafts took and I cut the portion of the rootstock above the bud thinking I could push some new growth from the bud this year. The buds have yet to do anything. I successfully did some chip bud grafts last year and had the same issue, but thought I may get some growth from them in the following spring, but it didn'nt happen. What am I doing wrong, how do I get the buds to grow? The grafts I did this year are cherry grafts on Krymsk rootstock that I planted this spring. The grafts are not at the highest point on the rootstock as some branches have grown that are significantly higher than my graft. If I prune everything back so the graft is at the top, will that do any good?

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Never been very successful with any stone fruit other than plum, but in general grafts will remain dormant if there is very much growth above them because they are suppressed by the hormones secreted by the apical tip.

I've had some luck cutting a notch in the bark just above the branch that is grafted to, which interrupts the flow of the hormone from higher growth. I use my pocket knife to make a slice perpendicular to the axis of the trunk from which the branch grows. Make the notch by cutting a second slice ~ 3/16" wide and as deep as the bark.

Just takes a second and appears to do no harm. It's been very helpful for me on my apple, where I've had "failed" grafts emerge a full year after notching.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 7:59PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Mark is right, the bud needs to be dominant. If the stock is really big, like 2" or more, you can often get away with not having it dominate the whole tree, but it needs to dominate anything else on the same large scaffold it is on.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:30PM
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Scott, thanks for that point. I'd look forward to hearing any more thoughts you have on that, specifically, "if a bud is on a good-sized (say 2") scaffold, what influence would pencils located between the bud and the main trunk have?"

Also, I noticed that when I removed excessive top growth from my Liberty apple that all the young grafts below responded well. So that makes me wonder "how cumulative is the effect of apical dominance? Do upper branches "drain" into lower branches?"

Thanks for all your comments and help.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 10:51PM
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