Introduction

A place to discuss grafting, orcharding, and related topics.
Dev_Isgro
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:11 pm

Introduction

Postby Dev_Isgro » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:44 pm

Hello fellow fruit tree growers! I just joined the forum and thought that I would introduce myself. I live in maine on the border of Z3 and Z4 and have a very large collection of fig trees. I have recently been researching apples extensively as i would like to start a fruit tree orchard in the future. I am not currently growing any apples, but have started cataloguing old and dying ones from my area. Because many are very old and not growing well I was unable to find good budwood, so I have made a test attempt at rooting some young and old wood to see where that gets me. I know that it was a common practice a hundred years ago and is definitely possible. The goal would be to root and grow old varieties in containers and graft when they produce good bud wood to identify if they are seedling, seedling rootstock, or a viable heirloom apple. As the winter progresses i will try to prune a few of them to see if they will get a "last hurrah" next season and perhaps some spring air layers. Just within 50 miles of my house there are 1-200 old apples that i have seen so far, so if i can save a few and maybe find some old uncommon or disappeared heirlooms it will definitely be worth the effort! We will see what the season brings. Anyways, it is great to be here, and I am looking forward to potential exchanges in years to come.

Also just want to give a shout out to Turkey Song Experimental Homestead. I found this forum from watching his videos on youtube, started with interstem grafting and just kept watching, very informative. His Frankenfig is seriously awesome.

DaveR
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:36 am

Re: Introduction

Postby DaveR » Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:43 pm

Hello,

How do you overwinter your figs? They would surely be killed to the ground in your climate if left on their own.

I never had success rooting apple cuttings though I'll admit I didn't try very hard; air layering works pretty well, but presents obvious problems if you're trying to collect from other people's trees. You might want to reconsider grafting; apples are about the easiest trees to graft and you may have reasonable success with older scion wood even if it's not ideal budwood (last year's growth).

User avatar
aphahn
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:17 pm
Location: Westminster CO 6a
Contact:

Re: Introduction

Postby aphahn » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:23 am

Welcome!
Andy - Zone 6a Lat 39.9º N, Altitude 5390' Westminster CO ⚘ Scion List

Dev_Isgro
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:11 pm

Re: Introduction

Postby Dev_Isgro » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:43 pm

Hello DaveR and thank you for the welcome. I overwinter my figs in the cold part of my basement in containers. Right now my largest are just into 7 gallons and I think that after 10 gallons I will start root pruning just for ease of moving and storage until I am permanently settled somewhere. Technically storage of figs should be below 45°F and can go as low as 20-32°F for older trees. Mine are mostly young and I cannot help the temperature of the cold basement so I am stuck with it fluctuating between 45 and 55°F. They store just fine but are waking up earlier than I would like, just started this week, so I will have to let them hang out in the warm half of my basement 65°F until May and see how out of hand the situation gets lol. It is good to hear about the air layering, a lot of the trees are on abandoned wildlife or town property so I don't have to bother homeowners with air layering, not sure people would like that! So far my experiment is going well, no desiccation and buds are starting to break on probably 20% of the cuttings. We will see what happens from here, I figure after a month they will either desiccate or begin to root given how small they are, and if they desiccate I will either buy some rootstock to play with this year or start some seedling stock. I personally was all for grafting, but my wife was not impressed with me ordering 100 rootstocks for benchgrafting ;) Part of the idea behind rooting cuttings was that a lot of these trees haven't produced in decades, so they may be too old or triploid but chances are they are likely as not rootstock. It is worth the effort to figure it out, but it seems a shame to graft and then cut it off and regraft 5 years down the road when it proves worthless. Thank you for the tip with older scionwood, I had not realized it was a possibility so it is good to know. It would be easier to graft directly rather than air layer and grafter from the tree on its own roots in the future.

Thanks for the welcome aphahn.


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