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Layering Apple Trees

Posted by smithjw none (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 25, 13 at 10:05

Why are apple trees propagated by grafting scions onto rootstock, when the rootstock itself is propagated by layering? Isn't it adding a step to do the grafting? Why not just layer the tree the scions are taken from and plant whole seedlings? Is it really worth it to get the properties the rootstock provides? I'm sure there's a reason it's done this way; just wondering if someone knew why. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Layering Apple Trees

and if no one here has the answer... try the fruit forum


RE: Layering Apple Trees

Some want the dwarfing characteristics or disease resistance given by a different rootstock. Others need roots that are hardy enough to handle extreme cold winters. If you want a regular tree, in a relatively mild climate, air layering would work I think. Never tried it myself though....

RE: Layering Apple Trees

They type of rootstock is very, very important. It determines or influences:

1. ultimate size of your tree
2. growth rate
3. amount and complexity of maintenance
4. ease of harvest
5. productivity
6. preciosity
7. senescence
8. hardiness
9. adaptation to different soils and soil conditions
10. drought tolerance
11. how well the tree will be anchored
12. whether the tree will need permanent or temporary support (not just how well it's anchored)
13. fruit size
14. resistance to certain diseases
15. resistance to certain pests
15. rootstock and scion graft compatibility
16. tendency to sucker
17. and I'm sure I'm leaving off something.

Also, grafting is faster and more reliable. Some apple cultivars are impossible or very difficult to layer (some are much easier).

RE: Layering Apple Trees

Yep, it's all about what the rootstock can contribute. By the way, interstock selection can be just as important as the rootstock.

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