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Apple stakes are growing!

 
Renate Howard
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I pruned my apple tree that had gorgeous delicious apples last fall and then used some of the sticks I had pruned off to mark where I was planting comfrey roots. I was checking how many of the comfrey plants are coming up and what do you know - two of the sticks are growing leaves!!! I'm so happy! I'll definitely try this again next year!

Anyway, I'd love some big (standard) apple trees for the pasture so I'm thinking I'll let them grow this summer and in the fall when they go dormant I'll move them to the pasture and fence them off to keep them safe.

Any flaws with this idea? I'd put a 3 foot collar of mulch around them to smother the grass and help them grow without needing to compete with grass roots (and possibly move some comfrey roots to the area at the same time).
 
Jennifer Smith
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That is way cool. Please keep us informed. Do you think the comfry had anything to do with it?
 
Renate Howard
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I don't think the comfrey had anything to do with it - most of the comfrey (2 inch root cuttings) hasn't even started growing yet. I kept a pig there for several months so maybe the pig manure/added soil richness helped. I read up on it and only a few types of apples root from cuttings, among them "Prairie Spy" which may be what we have. Tho most people don't think apples will root from cuttings so maybe not many people have poked fresh apple sticks into the ground and left them long enough to give them the chance to root so they just don't know??

Many years ago I pruned back an overgrown boxwood hedge and used those cuttings as stakes for my peas. Nearly every one of them rooted and started growing.
 
Henry Jabel
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Renate Haeckler wrote: I read up on it and only a few types of apples root from cuttings, among them "Prairie Spy" which may be what we have. Tho most people don't think apples will root from cuttings so maybe not many people have poked fresh apple sticks into the ground and left them long enough to give them the chance to root so they just don't know??


Do you know the other varieties that do it too?

I would be interested to know what size tree would develop from your cutting, so report back in a few years!
 
Lance Kleckner
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A lot of different cuttings can leaf out, but does not mean cutting has rooted and growing. Let us know how it works out later this year, I've heard the same thing that apples can be difficult to root.
 
Henry Jabel
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Lance Kleckner wrote: A lot of different cuttings can leaf out, but does not mean cutting has rooted and growing. Let us know how it works out later this year, I've heard the same thing that apples can be difficult to root.


Also brings in to question what size the tree would be if it works.

I assume when the tree is grafted the rootstock is basically a different variety that grows to specific size. Or are my assumptions wrong on this?
 
Lance Kleckner
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It would just grow up as standard size then, and take longer to fruit. Some of the rootstocks used frequently dwarfs the tree and produce sooner in life, that is the main advantage, the disadvantage is less vigor with those type of rootstocks.
 
K. Johnson
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Very cool. I am interested to know exactly what time of year you made the prunings. For many stem cuttings it can make a big difference. Some species like big leafy spring cuttings and some need to be cut in the dead of winter when they are totally dormant. It sounds like you cut them in the fall ? - were the leaves turning color, or fallen or even gone dormant? If they are now just leafing, but not rooting, as suggested above, I say don't give up - instead take cuttings this year at the same time or later, then dust the stem bases with a rooting hormone called Rootone that comes in tiny bags at most nurseries.

This has me wanting to search out my Plant Propagation textbook. If I find it and something worthwhile, I'll post.

Boxwood are widely known to root from cuttings, though I don't know the details. It's great if you want a shrubby low hedge. They can be pruned into square cubes, if you're into that sort of thing . We have heavy deer pressure here and deer Do Not eat them.

Keep us posted! Water them when the soil dries out. Avoid fertilizer for now - maybe a light compost top dressing? Photos?
Kathy J.
 
K. Johnson
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Hi again - I googled "propagating apples from cuttings" and there are a number of headlines. Lots of naysayers!
FYI ‘hardwood cuttings' mean cut while the trees are dorman, ‘softwood cuttings' means in the spring when they are tender and leafed out. From a quick overview, it looks like both methods can work, though softwood cuttings can require top misting and heated warm rooting medium, which gan get involved and invite mildew etc I'm going to try some hardwood cutting with some rooting hormone powder this fall, by golly!

Have a look at these:
http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=54355

http://www.homeorchardsociety.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1830

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/propa/msg1017194222610.html

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http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=54355

This from one of the posters:
"The way I do it is a little time consuming but I get 100% a success rate.First you get get your little jiffy pot ready (the kind of pots made from organic material) cut down the side and to the center drain hole on the bottom to allow you to open it from the side like a book.Find a new shoot on a branch and at the base of the shoot go back 1/2 inch on last years wood ,I then take a sharp knife and cut out a 1 inch section of bark leaving 1/8 inch or more "feeder" section still connecting the main branch to the shoot (this will allow nutrients to continue until the shoot roots).I then make some small nicks on the 1/2 inch section and put IBA rooting powder on that section, open up the jiffy pot and slip it over the branch. I then fill the pot with moist regular potting soil and seal it up by wrapping it with clear plastic wrap. Some varieties root much quicker than others but in about 4 to 6 weeks you should start seeing roots poking through the pot.I have used this method on plum and peach with good results as well."

Kathy J.
 
Renate Howard
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I used hardwood cuttings taken around March (still cold here and they were fully dormant). They were thinner than my thumb but thicker than a pencil. I have no idea if they have roots or are just growing a few leaves - the buds opened and there are a few leaves on them but not making fast growth the way even bare root nursery trees would (of course they started with no roots at all so that could explain a lot). We've had hot days (to almost 90F) and the leaves have remained and not wilted, but they're in heavy clay soil. It's very rich from the pig having been there.
 
David Livingston
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Prtoblem is that you never will know how big the tree will be until it stops growing .
David
 
Renate Howard
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I'm pretty sure it would be a full-sized (standard) tree without the dwarfing rootstock. For a forest garden, pasture tree, etc. that's what I want. The dwarfing rootstocks take away from the vitality of the tree, and who knows they may inhibit the nutritional value as well.
 
Tim Southwell
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On the same topic, I was cutting back dead raspberry stalks last fall, and using the 'chop and drop' approach to mulching the garden, they simply laid on the ground. In December, I strawed over the garden. This spring (April / May), when removing the straw to sow seeds, I noticed the dead raspberry stalks were sending up 1-3" shoots. Totally didn't expect, but have since relocated them into the soil, and will see how they fair this year.
 
Evelyn Mitchell
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Location: Central, Eastish Missouri, St Robert in Pulaski Co. was in SE Michigan, South of Detroit, Suburbian
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Hi Renate,

You wrote, "Many years ago I pruned back an overgrown boxwood hedge and used those cuttings as stakes for my peas. Nearly every one of them rooted and started growing." I thank you very much for that post. I am in the process of moving, (when not sure) and I am planning to take as many of my shrubs as I can. I have two beautiful Boxwood's so I am taking cuttings from them now to start their roots. I am taking more to try selling them too.

I put a cutting in water to see if it would work that way, but so far it just puts out leaf's. I am trying soil and rooting powder this weekend. The temp is going to be very cold and I read somewhere that it was a good time to take hardwood cuttings from shrubs, Grapes, and Holly's. I asked Juliet, the lady who's selling the Book on Permaculture in Pots, about the soil mixture to use in her thread; I can't rattle off the ingredients without going back to it. But I think I'm good on that.

I'm also starting veggies for my summer garden so starting everything in pot's this year, which may be their home for the whole year depending on how things go.

Evelyn

Okay here is the thread I got it from my email; http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/44201#349711

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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