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Submerging The Graft Union?

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:25 pm
by jaicobb
I have 3 trees coming this year on Bud 9 rootstock. They should be pretty short when mature. I was wondering if i changed my mind about how large i want them to be 1.) can i plant the graft union a few inches or even a foot beneath the soil line with hopes that the top variety will root out and take over thus creating a larger or standard tree?

I've heard that this can accidentally happen, but i wondered 2.) how often does this happen for people who have accidentally created the right conditions, but maybe never saw the top variety take over.

3.) Also, does this increase the potential for the graft union to rot?

4.) any other unforeseen problems? I have the space for larger trees.

Re: Submerging The Graft Union?

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:45 am
by OrangePippin-Richard
Submerging the graft union is effectively using the "nurse-root" technique to create an own-root tree. In theory once the scion self-roots, its natural vigor (compared to the B9 rootstock) will cause it to takeover.

You won't necessarily get a "standard" tree though, that will depend a lot on the vigor of the scion. Most own-root trees are similar to semi-vigorous rootstocks e.g. MM106.

The problem with burying the graft union is that you may starve the rootstock of oxygen etc. and it may then die before the scion has a chance to self-root.