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Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35109
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 19 7:38 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

about 10 in assorted styles onto 5 maturing rootstocks.
that covers the pear and 3 types of apple so tomorrow i have 2 more types to do

one of the rootstocks was ideal as there were 3 perfect branches that matched scion twigs so they got a rather tidy end to end angled cut and shut

the rest were a mix of slips and custom insets. some of the rootstocks are a bit gnarly

i will report back on survival etc

ps the japanese knife is ace now i have started to give it a properly sharpened edge and it has a knot whipped handle
white paper metal, beaten, tempered and given a half decent bench hone by the maker, nowt wrong with self steel if it is good quality and the right sort for that tool.

the handedness of the cut is both perfect and a bit awkward when working on a small gnarly tree in a pot cut, as a table knife for twig surgery is is fairly easy to use.
better than a centre edged blade
the angles seem about right for green bark and wood

a few days with the water stones might get a very nice edge

i was a bit dubious about it at first but i am warming to the simplicity and function.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35109
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 19 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i just found that one of the rootstocks has 2 successful grafts from last year
i was looking to see if it was a suitable host and spotted them so that makes two new trees so far, new from old and unidentified but new to this collection.
trimmed to allow the scions to thrive.

i can think of a few hundred old fruit trees round york, most are pretty easy to id once you check the relevant "popular" types from the estimated planting dates but there are some that nobody seems to be able to name so far.

if i expand a bit chances are i will hear of plenty others but for the mo i will stick to one hospital site until i get those bagged.

back to the surgeons bench


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35109
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 19 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

if i do apples and pears ( if i can ) i needs somebody to do the plums, gages and damsons and bullace.

the york historic collection is extensive and includes loads i have never seen before.
at a guess there must be a few hundred that i know of.

the hedge rows at the edge of the ridge and furrow that have survived are rich in "rustic " prunus as are remnants of estate/field hedges.

1950 years as a city and a place collects fruit tree genetics

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10545

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 19 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I know that our local country park had some crab apples identified and found they had they had some unknown varieties. You may well have the same.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35109
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 19 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i can think of a crab hedge about 100 yrs old with 30 varieties in a 100 yards.

a deliberate planting of no two the same

the small prunus things are both planted and wildings. there are lots of varieties.

the prunus cultivars in the remnants of orchards and gardens are quite varied and less than 50% identified.

york has been a international port, national road hub and a prosperous walled city for rather a long time, include a few miles around the walls and it is far more biodiverse than many patches the same size.
that goes for the full spectrum of bio ( that can find a microclimate suitable for them ) but it is very noticeable with plants that folk have cultivated or welcomed as wildings.

leaving out the roman, scandi and norman influences ( which do show in the biological census ) the trade and wealth of the middle ages until now has brought a huge selection of plants to a smallish place.
it seems plausible that many of the unknown fruit trees are locally grafted from older genetics by or for whoever planted them.

ed grafting has been around for a very long time so some of the genetics could be a lot older than the old trees,
for example the apple i recon is about 250 to 300 yrs old is a graft onto a rootstock so it was taken from a previous tree ( posh house, walled garden, just a corner of 2 walls standing, reused as part of the 18th/19th/20 c hospital grounds .)

the pear i nipped is from the same place, 3 very old trunks against the wall. possibly fan trained originally? but now a bit tall and quite stout of trunk with assorted branches.

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10545

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 19 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nice to keep the old varieties going. Some of the crosses might be interesting too. That was how the original Cox started if I remember rightly.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35109
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 19 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

pear , not grafted, perhaps timing was a major issue as the scions were 2 weeks ahead of the rootstock.

2 unknown apples from previous grafts have taken, one is now sole leaf bearer, the other has two scions as leaf bearers and has healthy flowers.
that was 2 out of twenty but not by me, i got the frankenfurter rootstocks free as part of a job lot of trees

of this seasons apples from six varieties on 6 rootstocks, 2 look healthy, 2 are struggling a bit and 2 don't look at all promising although they are still trying .

as i made several grafts to most rootstocks i would have thought that style would have been a factor.
i might have underestimated other factors such as compatibility of timing ( twigs in the fridge next time , scion vigour ( most of the donors must be well into their second century, one and the pear might be into their third ) although age is not a direct measure of scion vigour in the case of one of the very old cookers which looks well happy so far.

some of the rootstocks have been pruned for earthing up or layering so i am hoping to self raise future rootstocks but next winter i recon i will buy some nice undamaged young ones and try old onto very new.

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