Continuing Class: Chip Bud Grafting

Last summer, we not only planted a lot of fruit trees;  we also worked at making a lot more.  see

Today was a continuation of that project.

Unlike the dozen in my yard that got eaten by rabbits (and I am going to have to get creative to save) the 95 apple trees I grafted at the Adickes farm appear to be fine.

Claire made the run out there with me today, and we got through all of them with the Adickes boys help.  All were cut just above the grafts that took last year, and then the cut was sealed with pruning sealant.

The pruning sealant serves a couple of primary purposes here.  First, it prevents the sapling from drying down past the graft and killing it.  Second, it creates hydraulic pressure when the sap moves up the tree, in the same way that it hits the primary bud (if you don’t cut it off) along with all of the growth hormones the tree sends up to move growth upwards.  In this way, we are hoping to make the tree turn that grafted bud, into the tree.For about 60 of the trees we had a good system going, where one of the boys would remove the protective screen tube, I would cut the top off above the graft, Claire would paint it with the pruning sealant, and then the boys would replace the tube.

At the bottom of the hill was a lot of ice, and the boys moved off to play their own version of Crashed Ice while Claire and I finished off the shorter second row of trees.

After all of that, Jerid and I worked through their orchard, working out pruning strategies, figuring out what made it through the winter, what needed to be repaired, and ultimately, we pruned all of the saplings they planted last year.

On the way back up to the house afterwards, I got a cute shot of Junior by one of their maple tree taps.

So that was the day.  My body made it through 130+ deep knee bends and though I sure know it, I also seem none the worse for wear.  For the moment.  I will need to do the same thing to the bud grafts I did up north at the property as well.  Still need to finish pruning the big trees.  But this part of the project has moved on to its next stage.


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