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  #11  
Old 02-25-2012, 07:14 AM
qdmohio qdmohio is offline
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Deerfield, does the "nurse limb" need to be a certain size and/or length to serve it's proper purpose? I suppose if I did it the way you described, working one set of scaffold limbs the first year and then the rest of the tree the year after, the part of the tree you didn't work would serve as "nurse limbs" just fine, right?

Ben, in your description you leave everything under 1" growing on the tree the first year. Are those serving as the "nurse limbs"? Do you then cut all of those off the 2nd year after bark grafting the new scions onto the tree? Also, in one of your pics at the link, it appears that you cut the original limb at an angle before bark grafting on to it. What was the reason for doing that?

Does the "new" tree entirely take on the growth habit of the scion/variety that you grafted on? Despite my best attempts at training, some of the Freedom trees I want to top work have some scaffold limbs with crotch angles that aren't real great (pretty upright). In the first pic at your other link (the Honeygold), it's hard to tell from the picture if you grafted that scion onto an original limb that you basically cut back to a "stub", of if you cut that limb back flush with the trunk and somehow actually grafted the scion into the trunk itself. Can you clarify?

My wife makes candles and has big blocks of plain (unscented) parrafin wax. Could I just use that by itself, as long as it's not scorching?

Thanks for all the input.

Last edited by qdmohio : 02-25-2012 at 07:21 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2012, 07:55 AM
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Nice pics in that other thread Ben! How did that Honey Gold do? I planted a row this past year.

That little scion is about 3" in diameter and 50% of the tree now. The honeygold are a lot like ginger gold, but slightly later. They are a little more yellow fleshed, and sweeter. If someone wanted to keep yellow apples on the shelf all season, you plant pristine, ginger gold, honey gold and spur goldens...then goldrush if you can ripen them. Goldrush ripen intermittently at my place in mid Nov.

This tree, I waited 10 years to find out it is rootstock, not sure what variety, but doesn't put many apples on, and they are hard and bitter. Now half honey gold, and chisel Jersey cider.

Ben
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:36 AM
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Deerfield, does the "nurse limb" need to be a certain size and/or length to serve it's proper purpose? I suppose if I did it the way you described, working one set of scaffold limbs the first year and then the rest of the tree the year after, the part of the tree you didn't work would serve as "nurse limbs" just fine, right?

Ben, in your description you leave everything under 1" growing on the tree the first year. Are those serving as the "nurse limbs"? Do you then cut all of those off the 2nd year after bark grafting the new scions onto the tree? Also, in one of your pics at the link, it appears that you cut the original limb at an angle before bark grafting on to it. What was the reason for doing that?

Does the "new" tree entirely take on the growth habit of the scion/variety that you grafted on? Despite my best attempts at training, some of the Freedom trees I want to top work have some scaffold limbs with crotch angles that aren't real great (pretty upright). In the first pic at your other link (the Honeygold), it's hard to tell from the picture if you grafted that scion onto an original limb that you basically cut back to a "stub", of if you cut that limb back flush with the trunk and somehow actually grafted the scion into the trunk itself. Can you clarify?

My wife makes candles and has big blocks of plain (unscented) parrafin wax. Could I just use that by itself, as long as it's not scorching?

Thanks for all the input.

When you get into a healthy tree and cut back all the 1,2,3 year old wood, it freaks out pushing the suckers. The scions grow like crazy. the next winter, you need to get up in there and remove a lot of suckers that will try to grow around your scions. Another method besides cutting back to 1" wood and bark grafting, is to cut the tree back to 1" wood year one, let it sucker up, and get up there the next spring and whip and tongue graft a bunch of scions on the suckers. The omega grafting tool makes this really fast and easy. Cut the sucker back where its the same diameter of the scions you have in your pocket. Tape em, and paint the tip with goop. I have got a really good take on this method btw.

If you put a slow grower, or spur type on a vigorous wild tree, the scionwood will be superseded (shaded out) by the original tree, which will fight like hell to put out leaves. Its important to get enough good scions on there to eventually take over. If you use a vigorous scionwood, it makes it easier. Unfortunately vigor and precocity is a tough combination to find. I will put a precocious type on if given my druthers. I threw liberty out there, but and low maint, heavy bearing variety is going to best. Liberty is low vigor, and needs the original tree suckers cut back for several years. If you put crimsonking or some cider apple on a wild tree, it takes over in 1 year.
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2012, 10:35 AM
qdmohio qdmohio is offline
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Another method besides cutting back to 1" wood and bark grafting

I just want to make sure I understand what you're saying here. Are you saying that you leave any limbs from the original tree that are 1" diameter and smaller, and you cut back the larger limbs and those are the ones that you do your bark grafts onto? Then the next year, after the new grafts have really taken off and are 1 year old, then you go back and remove all those 1" and smaller limbs from the original tree that you left on the first year? Do I have that right? Sorry, but I am a bit of a visual learner so sometimes worded explanations don't make it through right away to me.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:11 PM
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I just want to make sure I understand what you're saying here. Are you saying that you leave any limbs from the original tree that are 1" diameter and smaller, and you cut back the larger limbs and those are the ones that you do your bark grafts onto? Then the next year, after the new grafts have really taken off and are 1 year old, then you go back and remove all those 1" and smaller limbs from the original tree that you left on the first year? Do I have that right? Sorry, but I am a bit of a visual learner so sometimes worded explanations don't make it through right away to me.

No, cut the small wood off, and leave only the larger skeleton of the tree.

This is normal pruning process anyway, with a mature tree.

However, normal pruning you only remove 20-25% of the small wood per year, so, over 5 years, you regenerate all the bearing wood. Apples bear on 1,2,3,4 year old wood best.

Leavie 1" and larger, removing 1" and smaller.

Any small wood you left would be a "nurse limb". A nurse limb leaves out and supports the tree photosynthesis. This has a localized effect in the tree. Therefore, nurse limbs, close to, but not shading a scion, can encourage good scion growth, and support the root.

Radical pruning on an unhealthy tree will kill it. This is nothing you do to a tree that you've just released from other competition.

Weak trees should be left with plenty of nurse limbs to avoid shocking and killing them.

In this case, start on the healthier (usually south) side of the mature tree.

There's no reason you cant make variety conversion to a 2-3 year process, depending on vigor.

I've seen trees cut right off with a chainsaw, about chest high, and crown grafted to a new variety. In this case, nurse limbs are almost always left.

Ben
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  #16  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:19 PM
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Crown grafting is/was a common way to change the variety. Keep in ming deer will stand on their hind legs to get the young scions, so make it high or protect it.

Year 1, cut it off with a chainsaw, leave a healthy nurse limb
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:21 PM
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The scions will all grow rapidly. Remove all but the strongest one, prefereably if it feathers.

leave the nurse limb, but trim it if it shades the scionwood.
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  #18  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:31 PM
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Remove nurse limb once scionwood is large enough to carry the tree.

Optionally, prune the nurse back heavily over a few years, just dont let it take over is my point.

year 3-5

If deer pressure is heavy, make the crown graft 8' off the ground, I'm telling you, for some reason deer seek and destroy this graft.

Ben
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  #19  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:53 PM
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Not my pics, but very similar.

Crown graft one year after grafting.
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  #20  
Old 02-25-2012, 12:56 PM
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Nearly healed crown graft, approx year 3-4, nurse limbs have been removed.
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