apple root stock/scions dying

Asked June 13, 2017, 2:30 PM EDT

I grafted ~40 apple root stocks/scions this spring and planted them in my raised beds. I did this for fun and was planning on giving most of them away to friends. This is the second year I have been grafting. Most of the new trees started very aggressively with new shoots. 3-4 weeks in they started showing signs of dying. The leaves of the root stock went first. This is Geneva 210 root stock that is supposed to be very disease resistant, including fire blight resistant. I grafted many different varieties of apples, over 15. Most of them cider apples. Most were purchased from large nurseries. A few I got from a friend who I have come to find out has a disease on one of his many trees maybe fire blight or black rot on one of his trunks. He had a few trees die over the past few years. I continue to have new buds erupting and want to be as proactive as I can in order to prevent more deaths. The other thing I should mention is that I believe I may have kept my graft rapping (commercial grafting tape) on for too long after grafting and so this may have stressed the scions somewhat. The abnormal changes started first in a Haral Red and then Honey Gold and have since spread to others, including ones that I assumed to be resistant to fire blight. Also, the root stocks are supposed to be resistant to fire blight but the leaves are still dying. The Haral Red (from the friend's orchard) had the earliest change in that its bark started turning orange and streaking and I will add a picture of that in the first upload. I am worried that I have transferred this infection during the grafting process through my whip/tongue cuts because I didn't sanitize the blade in between cuts. I plan to try a treatment in the near future and have thought about using Serenade. I did have tomatoes in these raised beds last year and there were some blight issues. I wouldn't mind a phone call if there is lengthy discussion, or e-mail works too. Phone number is 507-327-8165. Jeff Weideman

Nicollet County Minnesota apple diseases horticulture apple grafting

1 Response

hi Jeff,

i would cut your losses and remove everything and sanitize. i might not even put new rooted cuttings in that same soil. if you do want to try to salvage some i would start treating with a fireblight spray (i think agri-mycin) should work but read the label. leaving wrap on is normally not that bad to cause the symptoms that you are seeing