[NAFEX] How not to thin apples
sdw12986 at aol.com
Sun Jul 5 17:28:03 EDT 2009
This afternoon, I was looking up in a pear tree wishing I had a way to
thin the fruit way up high. I went in ad got my WOLF Garten fruit picker
to see what I could do. It looks like this:
There is a sharp blade between the center fingers and I thought maybe I
could pop off some small fruits. It didn't work well. More often than
not, it pulled off the entire spur with all the little pears.
One more try.... Years ago I grafted Arlet to the top of an apple tree.
It turned out not to be Arlet. Two springs ago, I got some Arlet scion
wood from a different source and tried to correct the mistake. I sawed
off the "not Arlet" just above a side branch and did a bark graft with
the (hopefully) real Arlet. I left the side branch thinking it would
help heal the cut surface.
Two years later, the graft had 2 stems growing. I left them both for
now, again to get more growth to heal over the cut surface. The small
part was trying to grow several apples. I did want to try them to
confirm I had the real Arlet this time but I only needed 2 or 3.
So there I am with my fruit picker trying to pluck off most of the
apples and leave a few. *Ripp* I pulled the whole graft away from the
wood leaving it hanging by mostly bark. Crap! I ran for a ladder, some
masking tape, and the pruners. I cut off all the apples, in fact the
entire branch that had them. The other lead was the one I wanted to keep
in the long run anyway and I cut that one back quite a bit too. I
wrapped masking tape around the injured area to hold it back in place. I
got a length of bamboo stake and used that as a brace, holding that with
more wraps of masking tape. Now we'll see if it grows or wilts.
Two things keep this from being entirely disgusting:
1. If I had left well enough alone and did nothing today, the weight of
the apples and some wind would have broken it the same way later this
summer (I bet) and I wouldn't have been right there to try to fix it.
2. I grafted a side branch on a different tree with the same scion wood.
That was a splice graft and it grew far better than the bark graft. It
has a few apples too so I will still get to sample the apples from the
new scion this year.
Steve in the Adriondacks
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