Apple tree grafting

Asked September 24, 2019, 7:17 AM EDT

Last night the beavers came and cut down two of my best young apple trees. One they had cut down a few years ago but it had grown up from the bottom and was loaded with fruit. The other was another young tree which again was loaded with fruit.
In both cases the stump that is left is about 30 cm's high and the top, fruit bearing part was left. They just took a short length and chewed off the bark and also took a few apples.
My question is: is it possible to graft these branches back onto the stumps and if so when should I do it, straight away or in the spring? If in the spring, how should I store the branches? Regards and thank you in advance, Michael (Location: Poland)

Outside United States

3 Responses

No this is a bad time. Grafting usually is done by collecting wood in the winter or early spring when it has finished its chilling period but growth has not started. This allows the wood to grow and make contact with the graft before there is a need to supply the leaves with a lot of water. Budding is done in the late summer where a bud is inserted into the stock under the bark and grows the next spring. I doubt there is enough time for the graft to heal with the scion before winter sets in and the winter would kill the graft.
Do you know that the root of the trees is different than the top. Since you have 30 cm of the old graft it will grow and you will have the apples again. But the shoots coming from the ground are the rootstock and different than the top so you don't want them.

Hello Mark,

Thank you for your reply to my query and for the information.
The day after the beavers called, as there had been no reply, I decided to try grafting ti back on. I trimmed the branch as much as possible and then cut it and the scion to the same angle leaving two long tails of bark ans attached it, inserting the tails under the bark of the scion and binding the splice together with waterproof tape.
At the moment, the remaining leaves look healthy and hopefully, even if the graft does not take, the tree will sprout again from the bottom as the other one did.

Regards, Michael

Yes your message sat in someones mailbox over the weekend and they sent to me Monday. I would suggest cutting the leaves off the scion you grafted in to remove that stress. If the bark heals the bud you leave should show growth next spring.