successful grafts that don't grow

jbclem(z9b Topanga, Ca)September 17, 2012

I have a pretty good ratio of grafts that take on apple, plum, apricot, and pear...but I've also had some of these grafts that grow a bit the first year, and then never leaf out the second and third years. They just sit there, the wood looks alive and there are buds, but nothing happens. Or they might poke out a few small leaves...but no more. In contrast, other grafts send out nice shoots the first year (6+ inches) and leaves.

I've been wondering if applying gibberellic acid might give a boost to these sluggish grafts.

Does anyone have any suggestions that I can try with these sleepy grafts? And what could be causing this problem?


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alan haigh

Because Topanga is my beloved home town I feel I should at least try to help you out here, although, when I was caring for fruit trees there several decades ago, I didn't even know what grafting was.

Grafts take best, by far, on vigorously growing trees with grafts placed on upward, vigorously growing shoots- except when trees are ruthlessly cut to stubs and cleft grafts are placed on those stubs.

Grafts can be slowed by hormones sent down from higher up on the branch. To stop this downward flow scoring can be done where a sharp saw is used to cut into the cambium on the trunk just above the branch that holds the graft.

Here grafts can be slowed by aphids and leaf hoppers to the point where they just dry up and die or runt out. Runted out grafts can become spur bound where all energy goes into making flowers and fruit. Even picking off flowers early doesn't necessarily return such grafts to vigorous growth but that's what you have to do. Presumably, if a graft survives on a healthy tree it can eventually be coaxed to vigorous growth.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 9:04AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Cherry tree damage from storm
Top third of cherry tree snapped off by falling limb...
Is it just me or have my plum tree buds gotten bigger lately?
I have a bruce plum tree that i planted last september. It...
Apple varieties evaluations 2005-2015
Hi some people here several months ago asked for a...
Scott F Smith
avacado seed help ASAP
So I chose the damp paper napkin method to get my seed...
Trisha Stewart
Can Apples grow in the tropics?
I was wondering if apples could really be grown in...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™