have some old apples and an apricot tree in garden. they all throw up
shoots from the roots under the soil. moving house, would like to take
both with me to new garden.
Question:a) is it any use digging up these shoots to take with me - are
they likely to be the same as the parent - have no idea what variety
they are, so cant just go buy one. b) is it any good nurturing one of
these shoots so that it takes over from the parent when it dies? c) if
the answer is no to above, then why does the tree throw them up anyway?
and should i cut them down?
the spirit never dies
Try stooling em, a form of layering. although you may not have the time if
moving soon. air layering may work. If time is short you may have to take
hardwood cuttings and hope for the best.
I cut the bottom out of a old pot, wounded the shoots and them slipped the
pot over the shoots. Didn't use any hormones with this group. Filled it
with a peat mix and a bit of fertilizer compost, don't use any soil mix
that may harbor disease. this next spring I will lift the pot and cut the
lower roots, then in the nursery till it is well established.
Yes, the offspring will be the same as the parent,
Yes, start training a shoot or branch. I have a old golden plum I saved
from the garbage heap in that is in end stage counseling right now, I had
close to 80 lbs of fruit from her this year but she has terrible bark rot.
I have been training a branch to take her place and also have shoots
stooling as a back up.
As for xtra shoots you don't intend to use yes, do cut them to direct their
energy back to the parent.good luck
If either of these two trees are grafted (apple maybe and apricot less
likely), these root suckers growing from the ground do not have the
characteristics of the tree above them. If not grafted, then they do.
Best way to be sure is to cut off some twigs of new growth from them
when the trees go dormant. Place them in closed plastic bags with
damp toweling and keep them in the fridge until next Spring. Then
get some apple and peach rootstock and graft them atop. If you
haven't moved by then, plant them in pots that you can take with you
to your new home.
Propagating the shoots is only useful if they are the same tissue as you
want to bear fruit. This will be the case if these trees are not grafted or
if the shoots are from above the graft. You can frequently tell by
inspection. Mostly shoots from around the base of a fruit tree are from the
rootstock (ie below the graft on a grafted tree) and not suitable. If they
are from under the ground they are from rootstock and have probably been
stimulated to grow because at some time the roots have been disturbed by
over enthusiastic cultivation, mowing or traffic.
As I read the comments I find I told you how to do it but not I don't think
I addressed your questions all together well.
1. "is it any use digging up these shoots to take with me"?
I think so, nostalgia would be my prime purpose but apple stock @ US
nursery prices are ~25-35 USD. so for a little investment in work and a
2. "are they likely to be the same as the parent"?, my answer was yes but
as Sherwin and David pointed out, it does depend. So "Who's the
daddy"! Paternity test are expensive Dan any graft marks maybe long lost.
Also note that shoots on some citrus trees ( especially apples) don't fare
or produce as well as the parent, maybe smaller tree, maybe smaller fruit,
3. is it any good nurturing one of these shoots so that it takes over
from the parent when it dies? I believe so but I also believe in selection
of the fittest. First, ask yourself if it is nostalgia or quality and
quantity of fruit that drives these questions ?
4. why does the tree throw them up anyway? Survival.
5. should i cut them down? Again yes, to drive the energy back to the
tree unless you are going to use them.
Personally, I would use the shoots, if for nothing else, as rootstock.
As an contingency or if you are unsure if the tree was originally
grafted, I would also take cuttings( there are many cuttings, so look
them up) and try grafting or budding onto the root stock.
The American Horticultural Society's PLANT PROPAGATION book is a good
Should be available at your library.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
I'm sure David and Sherwin could give their fav resource material for
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
There is a ton of sites describing grafting of fruit trees. Just
Google for it. My club has a section on it at www.midfex.org.
If you really want to be sure you get the same fruit at your new
location, safest bet is to take a cutting from an upper branch of
'new' (last seasen's growth) in the spring and either graft it
immediately to a rootstock while the tree is still dormant. You
can alternately store the twig (scion) in a damp plastic bag in
the frig until the summer and do a bud graft onto a rootstock or
another peach tree. Chip buds are usually the easiest and most
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