Scion Length?

carchariosJune 2, 2008

This past weekend, I grafted three scions onto a Granny Smith rootstock that I purchased at a local nursery. The scions I took from my grandparent's apple tree were approximately 12'' in length. Should I have cut them down to smaller lengths and if so, how short should they be? Will too long a scion decrease my chances for their survival?

Dean

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calistoga_al

I usually try for about 3 buds on a scion which is a lot shorter than 12 inches. If you stock was growing and you can keep your scions in the shade so they don't dry out before growth starts you should be OK. Al

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 9:45AM
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carcharios

If I've already put the scions on, can I still cut them down to 3-4 inches? Does it matter if the terminal ends of my scions have been cut off? I was initially worried that cutting off the ends of my scions would cause them to dry out faster.

Dean

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 2:44PM
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calistoga_al

No don't try and do it over. Keep it in the shade. The end of the cut scion I usually coat with what ever I used on the graft, usually Doc Farwells. For now I would not worry about that. It is more important that it does not get bumped or exposed to sunlight till the new growth is well on its way. Al

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 10:35AM
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carcharios

I have not kept the tree in the shade. It has been in indirect light in my florida room, where the humidity tends to be quite high in the spring / summer. I hope the scions have not dried out.

Also, from what I read, you are supposed to graft in the late winter. Since I grafted in late May, are my scions more likely to fail?

Dean

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 11:52AM
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calistoga_al

If your scions were kept cold(dormant)and damp(not wet)they should have been still alive(hopefully)when they were used and you have a chance at succeeding. If your grafts fail you can bud your stock during the summer if you still have access to your grandparents tree for budwood. Al

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:25AM
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carcharios

I did not cut the scions when they were dormant. Rather, I cut them 3 days before I attached them to the rootstock. During the interim before being attached, I kept the cut ends of each scion wrapped in dampened paper towels with a plastic bag around to keep the humidity up.

However, I cut off the exposed ends of each scion before attaching them to the rootstock to expose a fresh portion of the branch to the rootstock wound. I did not use the original portion that had been cut from the tree.

Dean

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 2:44PM
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calistoga_al

Dean, all you can do now it wait and see if your graft takes. If not then do the summer budding as you have the rootstock, which I presume is growing OK. Al

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 10:24AM
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