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Thread: Apple tree rootstock storage?

  1. #1
    finglas is offline Seedling
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    Default Apple tree rootstock storage?

    Hi everyone

    Hope all is going well. I am looking to try grafting apple trees and i have just received the rootstocks. Although iv been reading some books and trying to learn about grafting, there is not much in any of the books (or online) about storing apple rootstocks.

    I dont yet have their final positions sorted and some will likely remaim in pots until i decide wjere to put them. The rootstocks have been delivered in a cardboard box and with a wet bag around the roots.

    What is the best way to "store" them until i can get grafting. I was thinking the best thing may be to trench or heel them in outside and let the cold keep them dormant ?

    Any help would be great as always,

    Jamie

  2. #2
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
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    This time of year you'd be fine to leave them wrapped up in their plastic, as long as you can :-
    1) keep them somewhere cool like an unheated shed.
    2) make sure the roots stay damp
    3) put them somewhere the mice can't get at them


    At other times heeling them in temporarily to a bed outside would be OK
    Lardman and finglas like this.

  3. #3
    Lardman is offline Rooter
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    It's easier to work with the rootstock in your hand if it's your first attempt at grafting, trying to do it on a small stock in the open ground isn't easy, you'll also have a couple of failures.

    I have lots of rose/hellebore pots, they're thin but deep. I put the rootstocks in these fill with 50/50 garden soil/compost keeping them in the greenhouse to bring them on a bit and then graft in the spring.

    They'll last 2-3 seasons like that and I can move them around until I have space to plant properly.
    finglas likes this.

  4. #4
    finglas is offline Seedling
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    Hi nickdub and lardman, thanks for giving me that advice.

    Looks like i have two options then, keep them in the dark cold shed and make sure they are damp, or place them in small deep pots and leave them outside?

    Decisions decisions.

    Thanks for you help again

    Jamie

  5. #5
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
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    Quote Originally Posted by finglas View Post
    Hi nickdub and lardman, thanks for giving me that advice.

    Looks like i have two options then, keep them in the dark cold shed and make sure they are damp, or place them in small deep pots and leave them outside?

    Decisions decisions.

    Thanks for you help again

    Jamie
    That's about right - and one factor which might help you in your decision is how long it will before you do the grafting. If I was in your shoes and intended to graft in the next 6 weeks I'd go for the shed option, longer than 6 weeks then you're better off putting them in pots for now.
    finglas likes this.

  6. #6
    finglas is offline Seedling
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    Thanks nick, that us great advice. I appreciate the help. I will need to have a think about when i intend on doing the grafting. Its my first time trying it so plenty of studying still to do but i think , as was recommended, i would be better bench grafting.

    Thanks again i appreciate your help. There doesnt seem to be too much information online about grafting.

    Jamie

  7. #7
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
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    You're very welcome - bench grafting is the way to go.

    I'd advise having a look on You Tube for relevant videos, as its your first time.

    A few points which may help - 1) make sure you have a suitable small knife and a way of keep it sharp like a whetstone 2) tape doesn't have to be expensive as long as it has a bit of stretch in it, electrical tape will do in a pinch 3) cut some bits of small growth from a hedge (doesn't matter what it is hazel, rose or whatever) and do a learning run making angled cuts on the ends of these off-cuts so that they fit tightly together, then use tape to bind them up - if you have an assistant that's good, as 3 hands make some operations easier.

    Good luck, Nick
    finglas likes this.

  8. #8
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    Apologies for interrupting the thread but if the rootstock is outside in the form of an existing tree when would be the best time to graft scions on ? , mine are in the fridge at present
    finglas likes this.

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