New Orchard rootstock/grafting

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New Orchard rootstock/grafting

Post by AisforApple »

Greetings everyone! First time poster long time reader!

My wife and I recently bought 4 acres in the hills of North Central West Virginia. In order to start our own orchard. The 4 acres is on a north facing slope that had 30-40 years of cow exposure. Which I hope has simply amazing fertile soil :)

Anyhow, I have a few "beginner" questions that I can't seem to find an answer too. Mostly related to rootstock and grafting! I've done many of research and it seems the best idea would be to do M111/G11 interstem for my orchard. As I believe the M111 would require less watering and the G111 would keep the trees at a manageable height ~12 feet.

First question! Is their a preferred method for conducting inter stem grafting? As in should I strictly do a cleft graft on both? saddle? etc...

Second question! If I planted both root stocks in the late fall is it "ok" to begin grafting the following spring?

Third question! Is their any harm to simply plant my rootstock where the apple tree will be and simply conduct the grafting at that location? Currently I have tilled up a section and was simply going to transfer the trees after the grafting was a success.

AND of course all tips are welcome :)

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Re: New Orchard rootstock/grafting

Post by OrangePippin-Richard »

To answer your third question, grafting in situ is an excellent idea. You get a great headstart over conventional nursery trees because there is no transplant shock. However you won't get 100% success with your grafting / budding so there will inevitably be gaps, and if you want to use interstems then you are increasing the chances of graft failure.

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Re: New Orchard rootstock/grafting

Post by Vinegaroon »

You mention less water as important in your decision making, seems to me that a "nurse"ry would make your life easier. Controlling competition for at least that first season (weeds, critters, drought, disease) when your clonal rootstocks are still underdeveloped is going to be important. You could then fall plant with good expectations of success especially if you have them potted for that first summer. Sounds like a fine project you have in mind though, good luck!

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