Question about shoots/growth from apple tree base

johnhubbyNovember 10, 2013

I have two 8' dwarf apple trees that are about 5 years old. One is a gala and is a fuji. The gala has a TON of growth/shoots/small trees with leaves growing up from the root ball. I will attempt to post pictures. My questions is - what are they and what do I do? Leave them be? Replant them somewhere else (are they individual apple trees) ? Prune them off and clip them ? I just don't know what to do and don;t want them to hurt the tree. They are not weeds. They are coming from the same trunk/root ball.

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Here is another picture. The tree is about 8' tall and the thick shoots growing up are about 2' to 3' tall.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Johnny, Those are from the rootstocks. You need to remove them ASAP. You just want the grafted varieties to thrive and not the rootstock.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 4:49PM
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Thanks! So, everything gets clipped off down to the ground except the trunk of the main tree? Would there be any point in clipping and replanting the rootstocks individually somewhere else? i'm new to all of this. Thanks for the response.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 4:58PM
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Only if you wanted to graft new scions to them, and this requires rooting them - they won't just start growing.

Best to take them off and keep taking them off when they regrow.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 6:17PM
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    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 8:43PM
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2 things here: First not what you asked: You need to prune the main trees. Rule of thumb is that on each branch cut off 1/3 of each years new growth. You do this before the next years buds open. (find out when is best in your areas I'm in Iowa) you can see where each year starts by what looks likes a junction, or some might compare it to how the skin looks on your knuckles. I won't go into the the why's and ect of pruning in this thread. You have some time to read up on that. But read here not the web in general.

Here is what you 'can' do on the suckers. Wait until pruning time, then take your time in getting those removed, dig around them with your fingers and see how much root you can get with it without scratching the main trunk or a large root . cut those off 4" above the ground line and replant them in a pot or in the ground. It will need very damp soil to start, but don't let it be waterlogged, that will drown it. So if you get one or more to retake you can bud graft in the fall from your trees or other apple tree in your area.

None of this is complicated and you have time to get your mind around it.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 11:34PM
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