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Old 05-04-2013, 02:50 PM   #561
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Yeah, if I trimmed everything above 8 feet, there would be nothing left but the trunk in most cases. Also, there is a fair amount of rot setting in, and at least one of them is shedding all it's bark.....I am aware of the no more than 1/3 rule, and we did go pretty heavy on them the 1st year......

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Old 05-04-2013, 04:15 PM   #562
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Yeah, if I trimmed everything above 8 feet, there would be nothing left but the trunk in most cases. Also, there is a fair amount of rot setting in, and at least one of them is shedding all it's bark.....I am aware of the no more than 1/3 rule, and we did go pretty heavy on them the 1st year......
Hmm. Well, I would maintain the lowest possible scaffold that could be established then- possibly making a new one with some younger branches and training them parallel to the ground. The shedding bark and rot is more of a problem though as it is most likely either the result of or the cause of disease or fungus. This will persist with any new trees you plant in the future unless you address it. You should consult an arborist or perhaps the local University Extension service (the latter tends to be free) and ask their advice on what to do. Typically for those types of pathogens they recommend a sulfer spray several times a year, most importantly in dormancy and just before Spring bud break. They make some organic sulfer sprays which is definitely what I would use in this case if I were you. Given that the trees are so large though (and if you are not going to salvage them) you should remover the trees and all material from them from the property, then plant your new trees and start from the get-go with the sulfer, using it specifically as directed by the Extension Service- ask them specifically if they would recommend using it in the soil in your situation to kill anything remaining in the soil.

It is extremely important to use all of these products (organic or otherwise) exactly as they recommend on the labels. The majority of the problems that we have today in regards to pesticides, fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals is over-application. This is what screwed things up with DDT. That stuff was an excellent product that worked very well when used as recommended. Problem was that everybody used the approach of "Some is good, More is better and Too much is just right". That is what screwed it all up. Over-application lead to DDT being washed off the crops and down into the watersheds where it entered the food chain. When properly applied in the correct concentrations and the proper amounts per acre the stuff would naturally photodegrade before it caused any issues beyond the target pests. You see the same thing with Roundup these days. People use the sh!t at full concentrate without dilution. It is far more effective when diluted than it is in full concentrate, and far less expensive too!

Rant over.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:32 PM   #563
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Hmmm, good info. I don't know a lot of this stuff, thanks.

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Old 05-05-2013, 03:42 AM   #564
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Hmm. Well, I would maintain the lowest possible scaffold that could be established then- possibly making a new one with some younger branches and training them parallel to the ground. The shedding bark and rot is more of a problem though as it is most likely either the result of or the cause of disease or fungus. This will persist with any new trees you plant in the future unless you address it. You should consult an arborist or perhaps the local University Extension service (the latter tends to be free) and ask their advice on what to do. Typically for those types of pathogens they recommend a sulfer spray several times a year, most importantly in dormancy and just before Spring bud break. They make some organic sulfer sprays which is definitely what I would use in this case if I were you. Given that the trees are so large though (and if you are not going to salvage them) you should remover the trees and all material from them from the property, then plant your new trees and start from the get-go with the sulfer, using it specifically as directed by the Extension Service- ask them specifically if they would recommend using it in the soil in your situation to kill anything remaining in the soil.

It is extremely important to use all of these products (organic or otherwise) exactly as they recommend on the labels. The majority of the problems that we have today in regards to pesticides, fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals is over-application. This is what screwed things up with DDT. That stuff was an excellent product that worked very well when used as recommended. Problem was that everybody used the approach of "Some is good, More is better and Too much is just right". That is what screwed it all up. Over-application lead to DDT being washed off the crops and down into the watersheds where it entered the food chain. When properly applied in the correct concentrations and the proper amounts per acre the stuff would naturally photodegrade before it caused any issues beyond the target pests. You see the same thing with Roundup these days. People use the sh!t at full concentrate without dilution. It is far more effective when diluted than it is in full concentrate, and far less expensive too!

Rant over.

Ok, lets talk grafting for a minute! My understanding, as limited as that is, is that the root stock will determine the size of an apple tree and the type of tree grafted on to the root stock will determine the type of apple? If that is the case, what is the best way to get your root stock?
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:04 PM   #565
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Ok, lets talk grafting for a minute! My understanding, as limited as that is, is that the root stock will determine the size of an apple tree and the type of tree grafted on to the root stock will determine the type of apple? If that is the case, what is the best way to get your root stock?
The root stock will affect the tree size, but not 100%. If you graft a non-dwarf scion onto a dwarf rootstock you will end up with a semi-dwarf, or maybe somewhere one side or the other. Dwarf trees tend to be around 8'-10' tall when mature, semi dwarf are 12'-25'. Non- dwarf are 20'-35' or even bigger. These are very rough generalizations and can vary widely from one variety to another. The best approach is to match rootstocks with what they are intended to produce, IE: dwarf=dwarf etc.

This is all rather academic as you will generally not be able to find rootstocks that have not been grafted already, let alone scion wood to graft onto it. If you are really interested here is a great place to educate yourself http://greenmantlenursery.com/2008revision/fruit2008/apples2008.htm

I also recommend the book "The Handbook for Fruit Explorers" by Ram Fishman. Lots of great info in it (though dated). There are rare fruit collectors groups out there, and may be one near you, but I have found that the best one is the California Rare Fruit Growers Association http://www.crfg.org/ . I am not a member, but I do use their free resources.

If you can find somebody who is experienced in grafting it is a rewarding and challenging hobby indeed. Make sure you get a very high quality grafting knife that is comfortable to use (note that grafting knives are left and right-handed- this is important) and some good grafting wax (I use Trowbridge's).
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Old 05-06-2013, 01:09 AM   #566
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The root stock will affect the tree size, but not 100%. If you graft a non-dwarf scion onto a dwarf rootstock you will end up with a semi-dwarf, or maybe somewhere one side or the other. Dwarf trees tend to be around 8'-10' tall when mature, semi dwarf are 12'-25'. Non- dwarf are 20'-35' or even bigger. These are very rough generalizations and can vary widely from one variety to another. The best approach is to match rootstocks with what they are intended to produce, IE: dwarf=dwarf etc.

This is all rather academic as you will generally not be able to find rootstocks that have not been grafted already, let alone scion wood to graft onto it. If you are really interested here is a great place to educate yourself http://greenmantlenursery.com/2008revision/fruit2008/apples2008.htm

I also recommend the book "The Handbook for Fruit Explorers" by Ram Fishman. Lots of great info in it (though dated). There are rare fruit collectors groups out there, and may be one near you, but I have found that the best one is the California Rare Fruit Growers Association http://www.crfg.org/ . I am not a member, but I do use their free resources.

If you can find somebody who is experienced in grafting it is a rewarding and challenging hobby indeed. Make sure you get a very high quality grafting knife that is comfortable to use (note that grafting knives are left and right-handed- this is important) and some good grafting wax (I use Trowbridge's).
I'm not really into grafting so much as apple trees. I've been on a big apple kick lately? One of the things I really miss from when I was little was all the different fruit trees that seemed to be everywhere. Plus I'm on this thing of trying to provide all of my own fruits, veggies, and meats (or the majority of them). So a while back I decided to put out some fruit trees. I decided to start with apples. I wanted a variety that a neighbor had when I was young. In my complete ignorance of apples I just assumed it would be easy to look on the internet and find the type of apple based on how it looked and then get a few trees.

I had no idea there were over 3000 types of apples, and that there use to be over 16000. That's when I got into learning more about apples, and for some reason it was just really really fascinating. There were apples for just about everything including for storage. I also enjoy learning about how people use to live and this fit right in with that since apples, and other fruit trees, were so important at one time.

Now one of my many other hobbies is metal detecting (which also fits with the history thing), and one of my favorite spots is old home sites. I stumble across a wide variety of old plants at these old home sites, and every once in a blue moon I stumble across fruit trees including an occasional apple tree. I have a lot of respect for the old plants I find. They have survived all by themselves for quite a while so I know they are hardy and have good genes. Plus I love the thought of preserving an old variety of plant that was important to someone at some point in the past (someone planted that plant when comes from an old home site). Its sort of a respect thing for those that came before me I guess? Not to mention some of them put out the best fruit you've ever eaten.

With all that said, I figure I need to learn about grafting. It would be easy enough to get a cutting from some of the old trees. I also figure some of them would make really good root stock since they are very hardy trees. That's why I was wondering about about root stock and the best way to get root stock.

Thanks for the links and info. And please feel free to pass along anymore info that might apply to what I'm wanting to do here, which is have a variety of old and rare fruit and nut trees.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:20 PM   #567
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Bought two steer calves.

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Old 05-07-2013, 02:39 AM   #568
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Bought two steer calves.
How do you fit those on the steer axle????
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:59 AM   #569
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How do you fit those on the steer axle????
Smart ass....
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:19 AM   #570
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I'm not really into grafting so much as apple trees. I've been on a big apple kick lately? One of the things I really miss from when I was little was all the different fruit trees that seemed to be everywhere. Plus I'm on this thing of trying to provide all of my own fruits, veggies, and meats (or the majority of them). So a while back I decided to put out some fruit trees. I decided to start with apples. I wanted a variety that a neighbor had when I was young. In my complete ignorance of apples I just assumed it would be easy to look on the internet and find the type of apple based on how it looked and then get a few trees.

I had no idea there were over 3000 types of apples, and that there use to be over 16000. That's when I got into learning more about apples, and for some reason it was just really really fascinating. There were apples for just about everything including for storage. I also enjoy learning about how people use to live and this fit right in with that since apples, and other fruit trees, were so important at one time.

Now one of my many other hobbies is metal detecting (which also fits with the history thing), and one of my favorite spots is old home sites. I stumble across a wide variety of old plants at these old home sites, and every once in a blue moon I stumble across fruit trees including an occasional apple tree. I have a lot of respect for the old plants I find. They have survived all by themselves for quite a while so I know they are hardy and have good genes. Plus I love the thought of preserving an old variety of plant that was important to someone at some point in the past (someone planted that plant when comes from an old home site). Its sort of a respect thing for those that came before me I guess? Not to mention some of them put out the best fruit you've ever eaten.

With all that said, I figure I need to learn about grafting. It would be easy enough to get a cutting from some of the old trees. I also figure some of them would make really good root stock since they are very hardy trees. That's why I was wondering about about root stock and the best way to get root stock.

Thanks for the links and info. And please feel free to pass along anymore info that might apply to what I'm wanting to do here, which is have a variety of old and rare fruit and nut trees.
I am still looking for a variety I used to love as a kid. It was in Mendocino (old apple growing country not too far from Ettersburg where Greenmantle is located). These apples were plum red skin with snow white flesh until they ripened and turned red inside. When they were fully ripe, the flesh was blood red and they were as sweet as sugar cane. I have seen red flesh apples (Pink Lady is a common one) and several are offered by Greenmantle, but none like I remember. One day I am going to go to that old orchard I visited as a kid and look for that tree in the fall when it is bearing its fruit. The problem is that it is way out in the boonies in Mendocino County where there are a lot of marijuana growers. It can be dangerous poking around out there. That is my quest as far as apples are concerned.

There are so many good and well established rootstocks available for apples that I don't see the point in growing my own, but to each his own on that. What I would do would be to get a rootstock (probably the most common one out there, "Domestic Apple Seedling") and then use that as the foundation for grafting on the different varieties you run across that you find interesting. The DAS rootstock is a full-size tree, so you can graft anything onto it and it will grow genetically true fruit to the tree you took your scion wood from. It sounds rather simple, and the most difficult part is learning how to make good, survivable grafts. Best to learn how to do as many as you can find. I know how to do several, but use the whip-and-tounge most often. Bud grafts are useful for later in the season and when you don't have good scion wood caliber match. As to learning how to graft well, I found it was best to be taught. I met a kid who is quite the master at it a few years ago and he has taught me well in the art.

Getting your cuttings should be done when the trees are well into dormancy (late December or through January). Then pack them in wet paper towels and a plastic ziplock bag then put it into the fridge until spring. You can also graft green wood and buds straight off in the spring, but being successful is difficult for me. Look through Youtube for some videos on it.
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- Mohandas Gandhi, an Autobiography, page 446.
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