[nafex] Grafting - nurse limbs and apical dominance

Jerry Lehman jwlehman at aol.com
Sun Apr 19 23:06:00 EDT 2015

If I were doing it I would cut them off. My 2nd choice would be to cut 
the tips off to reduce the apical dominance affect. I suspect if you 
pulled them over horizontally they would send up a lot of "rain shoots" 
in the long run reducing the energy to the graft.


On 4/19/2015 3:32 PM, Elizabeth Hilborn wrote:
> 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 

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