I planted a threadleaf maple tree years (decades!) ago. At a certain
point, I noticed it was starting to revert to root stock (which is not
threadleaf). I never did anything about it and it's way too late now.
So, just to educate myself, WAS there in fact any way to reverse
that root stock takeover, if caught early enough?
If so, how?
First, you have to identify where the graft is. It may be a slight
change in the thickness -- a swelling or thinning -- of the trunk or a
strange bend in the trunk.
Then, if you see any shoots (suckers) from below that point remove them.
This includes any suckers from the roots and not just suckers from the
base of the trunk. Instead of cutting them away (which might result in
even more shoots from the stub), try to pull or break the suckers away.
This should also be done for other grafted and budded woody plants,
especially roses. Only roses that are "own root" -- grown from rooted
cuttings -- are exempt. Peaches, dwarf and semi-dwarf citrus (and
possibly non-dwarf citrus), and grapes are others that require attention
to removing suckers.
Also note that some woody plants send up suckers from their roots even
if they have not been grafted or budded. This is true of poplars
(aspen, cottonwood, etc), crepe myrtle, Brazilian pepper, and (to a
small extent) liquidambar. You can get quite a thicket from some of
these if suckers are not controlled.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
On Tue, 26 Jan 2010 14:09:10 -0800 (PST), Higgs Boson
I would not think this is much different than a grafted rose. Remove
any new growth below the graft. Of course, it is better to check
this once or twice a year. If your grafted part is still alive, you
got a chance.
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