[nafex] Grafting - nurse limbs and apical dominance

Elizabeth Hilborn ehilborn at mebtel.net
Sun Apr 19 15:32:59 EDT 2015

I am grafting to apple and pear rootstock suckers. The original grafted 
trees are gone. Last year I stripped off growth on the shoots arising 
below the graft, but had no takes. This year, I selected suckers with 
side shoots which I left to use as nurse limbs in the hope that 
increased shoot vigor would give me better results.

Question- some of the nurse limb apices are higher than the apical shoot 
of the graft. I have only found one source that suggests that one does 
not prune the nurse limb until the graft takes. But I am afraid that the 
apical dominance effect of the nurse limb will prevent my grafts from 
taking. My only thought is to 'split the difference' - to tie nurse 
limbs down horizontally.

Does anyone have experience with this issue?

Betsy Hilborn
7a NC

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