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Reverse Grafting?

 
Michael Bush
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Location: Sacramento
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I was reading a thread tonight and a thought occurred to me, not always a good idea...

The thread was about the problem using grafted trees that have dwarfing rootstock not being good for dry climates and that makes sense. I wondered about the opposite, grafting dwarf tops to full size rootstock to make a tree with a full size root structure to support a dwarf upper to maximize water intake. Or do full size trees essentially do that because the amount of water "dwarfs" them naturally?
 
Jeremy Watts
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As I understand it, its the root stock that determines the height of the tree, across the board.
 
Roger Taylor
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Location: New Zealand
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Michael Bush wrote:I was reading a thread tonight and a thought occurred to me, not always a good idea...

The thread was about the problem using grafted trees that have dwarfing rootstock not being good for dry climates and that makes sense. I wondered about the opposite, grafting dwarf tops to full size rootstock to make a tree with a full size root structure to support a dwarf upper to maximize water intake. Or do full size trees essentially do that because the amount of water "dwarfs" them naturally?


Here's some other reverse grafting
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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geoff lawton recommends planting full sized trees and keeping them small by pruning a few times a year. Limit their growth physically by clipping off as high as you can go with pruners.
 
John Wolfram
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While rootstock may have a bigger impact on the final size of a tree, certain cultivars are known for more or less vigor. If you are looking to make a small tree with big root system, you might want to stick to the lower end of the vigor scale (or just get a nice pruning saw).

Stark Bros Vigor Chart
 
Patrick Mann
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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There are a number of bizarre reverse grafting procedures. Here's another one: bark inversion. It is done for dwarfing effect and to make the tree bear fruit more quickly.


At the Arnold Arboretum one spring many years ago, Dr. Karl Sax gave a successful demon-stration of a procedure he called "Bark Inversion." He cut a three-inch-high band below the first branches around the entire trunk of an apple tree that was three years old. Then he cut a vertical slit in the band and deftly peeled the band of bark from the wood, along with as much of the cambium as possible, completely girdling the tree. Next, he scraped any remaining cambium from the exposed wood. Then he "grafted" the band back on, but UPSIDE DOWN (hence the name, "bark inversion"). This prevents the sap from descending normally to the roots. As a consequence,the roots don't get enough nourishment, and the tree's growth is slowed. Much of the sap accumulates in the top of the tree. This accumulation causes earlier bearing and larger fruits. The tree, which would normally start producing fruit in its eighth year, started producing in its fourth.

A second consequence of bark inversion is a dwarfing effect, since it causes the tree to grow more slowly. If permanent dwarfing is desired, the bark inversion treatment must be repeated several times in succeeding years.


Read more: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1795/#ixzz3ElnW8Y00
 
John Saltveit
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It actually is a fairly established orchard convention, to put an interstem in a tree. It makes sense in this case if you have a tree that you can't get to that often, or if it's windy, or for a couple of other reason. You can have a full sized, say, apple rootstock. Onto that, you can graft dwarf rootstock. Then graft any variety onto it. Then you get a tree that is stable and doesn't need to be staked. It won't be so needy in terms of water in a semi-drought. It won't get too tall to pick. I am actually doing this right now for my brother in law in Seattle, who faces a height limit on his yard, but want to have apples and not have to be out watering every day in the summer.
John S
PDX OR
 
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