Strange question.

madferret(UK 8b-9a)September 28, 2011

I'm pretty sure nobody has asked this although this being the Internet you never know.

As some may know already I've got a good few seedlings going now and I believe these may or may not bear decent fruit (that remains to be seen) but obviously being from seed they'll take anything from 7-10 years and be huge trees by the end of it.

So to my question if say in 5 years I decide they're getting too big. If I then took a cutting and either rooted or grafted that would I be able to continue as if they were of 5 years or would it reset the counter so to speak.

Also would adding a different rootstock increase or decrease fruiting age?

Hope that makes sense.



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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Every question ever thought of has been asked on the internet, LOL.

That is a good one and Ill try and answer it the best I can.

Rooted cuttings taken from mature fruit bearing trees will often flower the first year and then may or may not bloom the following year(s). Typically from what I have read is that time to bloom is determined by the amount of leaf nodes that a tree has, or had. I say had because a rooted cutting obviously doesnt have the correct number but the parent tree did, or could have, so the cutting typically doesnt have to meet that requirement before it would bloom.

Now whether a cutting from a seedling would act the same way is beyond me but in theory I think it could.

sounds like a cool experiment to try although your results may take several years to find out.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 3:45PM
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Technically a cutting/clone from a tree is the same plant/same age, so you don't gain anything or lose anything, i.e. the cutting should produce fruit at the same time as the parent. Personally I am completely against citrus from seed... unless it is just a hobby, or you don't care about getting fruit.
Get smart... start with a good grafted tree... and learn from there

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 1:00AM
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madferret(UK 8b-9a)

I've got good grafted trees but I'm the curious type who likes to grow things just to see. I'm not too bothered about the time it takes or even the fruit really. It's just like you say a hobby. :)

Thanks for the answers it's what I was expecting.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 4:08AM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

I have 2 lemons seedlings that I started about 4 years ago. I know they may not flower and fruit for years if at all but they are sentimental to me since they are the first citrus I ever had, so I keep them going. Plus I enjoy just the look of them. my grafted trees do take center stage in the garden though.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 9:32AM
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I haven't found it makes much difference to the start of flowering for a seedling. There have been a few reports that grafting may make for a slightly quicker maturity, but not all experts agree with this. There is no particular rootstock that reliably helps.
In the UK you will be growing your seedlings in pots which naturally limits the maximum size. You don't need to worry about getting 'huge trees' here!

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 5:21PM
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from what i understand, grafted plants or cuttings have the same level of maturity of the tree it came off of. thus quicker bloom/fruit.

i believe root stock helps determine the overall size of the tree and provides a disease resistant root system, but doesn't really affect when it blooms/fruits.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 12:58AM
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There seems to be some misunderstanding here. If you take a cutting from the top of your plant, that cutting will "remember" its physiological age, so if the seedling is 5 years old, that cutting will act as if it were 5 years old. However, if you take a cutting from near the base of the tree, it will behave as if it were much younger. The tree is counting nodes (points of attachment of leaves and buds) from the original seed. Your goal is to get to as high a node count as possible, since it will become mature, and produce flowers, after a certain node number is reached. So yes, if you always take your cuttings from the top of a plant, you continue to add to the count.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 3:56AM
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madferret(UK 8b-9a)

Ah ha!

I knew there was some nugget of information I was missing. It did seem a bit odd to me that any cutting would produce a plant of the same age.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 4:23AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

pruning a tree will often encourage branching and backbudding.
Despite the fact that a few nodes/internodes are removed from the tip of the branch,
several new branches (each contributing nodes/internodes of their own) generally appear
on the pruned branch. Do each of these nodes add to the overall 'count'?


    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:17AM
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Now there is another great question Josh!

Have a great day everyone.

By the way Nick, I think we are about to go into the Dungeons of fall, Josh's favorite weather!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:52AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Indeed, Fall is my favorite... ;)

However, we were over 100F yesterday. Maybe cooler today.

Have a great day, all.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:57AM
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