Author Topic: Multiple rootstock grafting  (Read 62224 times)

TropicalFruitHunters

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Multiple rootstock grafting
« on: January 25, 2012, 08:46:42 AM »
I wanted to share a project of mine with everyone.  Many of you from GW may remember some of this but thought I would post again since we have a much wider pool of resources now.  Everyone loves a success story and no one likes sharing failures and I'm certainly not proud of this, but we must learn from both.  Expensive and frustrating of course...but...yeah...butt.

Trying to grow all these wonderful plants in a greenhouse up here in Ohio has caused a fascination/obsession/pipedream of getting my plants to grow faster and fruit sooner.  After traveling to Thailand and scouring the web...especially Bernie Dizon's website, I was convinced that the way to do this was by multiple rootstock grafting of some of my plants...most noteably the more rare, slowest growing, and unfortunately some of the most difficult to grow...and replace!

Dizon's website swears by this method and if one believes all the articles put out in the Philippines concerning this method, then there must be something to it.  It is nothing new, many folks do it here in the states with apples and other fruit.  Joe Real, probably one of the best grafters known, does this technique with a lot of his fruit trees.

Anyways...I decided to try my hand at this method of grafting hoping to speed things along.  This was back in 2007, early in my hobby and more grafting experience would probably have been in my better interest...patience never being one of my strong points!  Again...early enough where I had lost more plants than good sense should permit.

I had a grafted mangosteen that a member from GW was kind enough to purchase from Excalibur and ship to me here.  These were rough plants.  Stunted and oddly shaped.  Slower growing than most of the seedlings I had.  I later purchased two very aggressive growing seedlings from Ong's Nursery in CA and planted them with the grafted plant.

The next candidate was a grafted mayong chid maprang obtained from Frankies.  This was my second attempt at this plant having killed the first not knowing how to recover bare rooted plants.  Unfortunately, that knowledge took more than a few attempts to kick into gear!  I purchased a few seedlings plants at Excalibur while visiting Sheehan...and later Warren.  These too were planted with the grafted plant.

The final object of my mad scientist experiment was a grafted longkong I purchased from either Sadhu or Bryan.  The plant was very tall and pretty much only had leaves up top.  Lots of room for grafting on that long, straight trunk.  Think my mangosteen was freaking slow to flush out any growth?  It was fast compared to this!  I picked up a few seedlings again from either Sadhu or Bryan and planted with the grafted longkong.

The three plants chosen for this experiment are clearly an example of fascination/obsession overriding knowledge and good sense.  I think my only grafting successes to date have been a few citrus grafts!  After several months of allowing the plants to settle in, I began.  I'd like to add here that I'm also a slow grafter.  I believe I take too long trying to make the cuts perfect perfect perfect.  Tedious really.  So armed with internet know-how and watching my Philippine DVD several times, I was ready!

The shape of the mangosteen  presented a real pain in the ass finding and preparing the graft sites.  Due to a low branch...and one of the very few the damn thing had, I opted to do one seedling at a time only doing the second one after the first graft took and healed.  This worked out well.  Both grafts eventually took and seemed to be doing well.  As time went on and after decapitating the seedlings, both continued to try and put forth new growth below the graft.  Six months or so later, one of the grafts died.  The last graft lasted about another year and it too finally died off.  While both grafts seemed to have fused with the main plant, I don't believe they ever really came together as one plant.


The maprangs.  I was able to graft both seedlings to the main plant at the same time here.  The seedlings may have been a tad small but both took fine.  After several months and a good fuse, I decapitated the seedlings.  Like the mangosteen, the grafts lasted several months or more but eventually both died off.


Longkong.  Lots of trunk room here and I used it all too!  The folks from the Philippines prepared a cut several inches in length for their approach grafts.  Well hell...if it works for them, it has to work for me!  And I'd like to point out here, and not tooting my own horn, on every single one of these grafts, I eventually had some damn good cuts and matched up the cambiums very well.  The cuts on these longkong looked like they were made for each other.  I wrapped the hell out of them, stood back, and admired my work beaming with the belief that I would soon be eating fresh longkong from my very own multiple rootstocked plant!

Unfortunately, this turned out to be an immediate failure.  No months down the road for this.  After several months of waiting, I removed the wraps only to find that neither freaking graft took.  In fact, you could see where the plant swelled between the rubber band!  Worse yet...it wasn't long after that I lost all three plants.  This was really a kick down below.


I have no idea why the grafts that looked successful ended up failing.  Nor do I understand why the longkong grafts failed altogether.  Maybe I dicked around too long with the cuts and getting them put together?  I have learned that just because the graft looks like it has taken, there is no guarantee that the two plants will become one.  I really would like to try my hand at this again.  I've done a lot of grafting since 2007 and maybe, just maybe, I've learned something.

There are more pictures that go with this fiasco if you are interested.  See the link.
http://s23.photobucket.com/albums/b358/ohiojay/T%20-%20November%202007%20Multiple%20rootstock%20grafting/?start=all

I know this has already been lengthy but I found a good write-up by Joe Real on this subject and wanted to included it as well.  See below.

Not only can we multigraft several cultivars unto one rootstock, but we can certainly graft one scion cultivar and have it supported by multiple rootstocks. Skeptics call it fancy grafting without added benefits at all, while people doing this with their mango trees in the Philippines have realized benefits in some areas of the country.

Setting aside the costs of doing so, meaning, not really doing economics and commercial applications, just from the point of view of learning something new for citruses, there could be sound ecological theories as to how it could be beneficial. And this is my speculations gathered from an earlier thread that I have posted earlier and you can revisit it here, now that this rootstock forum is a good place to discuss such ideas, useful or otherwise:
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If you don't have time to look through it, this is how my speculation goes:
If you use more than one of the same clonal rootstocks for a single cultivar, that is a wasted effort. But if you use non-sibling rootstock, it would dramatically improve the whole tree's vigor and productivity due to a more aggressive root interactions and hence more efficient nutrient acquisition.

Other advantages that have been mentioned by proponents of multiple rootstocks is that you would have a wider swath of adaptability with two different rootstock types. If one doesn't perform well, the others will simply take over, increasing chances of survival or adaptation. It also minimizes chances of decline from long term graft incompatibility as the others will simply dominate the non-adapted ones.


But it is important to note that in some plants, it has been proven that plants can recognize when they are potted with their siblings or with strangers. Quote:
When strangers share a pot, they develop a competitive streak, but siblings are more considerate of each other. "The ability to recognize and favor kin is common in animals, but this is the first time it has been shown in plants," said Susan Dudley of McMaster University in Canada. After plants are potted, roots branch out to [CENSORED] up water and nutrients. But when several plants of the same species are potted together, things get a little nasty: Each plant flexes its muscles, so to speak, by extending its root growth to try and snatch up valuable resources. Unless, that is, the plants are siblings—each having come from the same mother plant—in which case they become very accommodating, allowing each other ample root space. Because the interactions between related and unrelated plants only happened when plants were in the same pot, where root space is limited, root interactions are likely what gives plants the cue that their neighbor is related. The findings, detailed in the June 12 issue of Biology Letters, may not come as a surprise to seasoned gardeners. 


When two non-sibling plants are planted together in one hole so that their roots come in contact, they would try to flex their resources to reach out the prime space within the same soil, so that whoever will dominate first, will be assured of long term success in the same piece of soil. Then this is reflected back into their above ground growth. Whoever has more established roots occupying the prime spot will be able to invest more in reaching out for the sun dominating the space. So the other one will be out-competed with another.

Now what happens if those two non-sibling plants are grafted unto one scionwood. Of course, they would still flex to out-compete each other in terms of soil space acquisition, but something here is different in that now they support only one plant which in turn support them. What happens here is that we have much more vigorous root system when two non-sibling rootstocks are used, and thus are more likely to have better supply of nutrients to the same scionwood. This is in addition to the perceived advantages of having wider adaptability and hence reliability if rootstocks of different parents are used. Thus it wouldn't make sense to do multiple rootstocks if the rootstocks are either clonal or siblings (coming from the same parents). So if ever multiple rootstocks are used, it would be preferable that the rootstocks be not of the same parents and obviously, different cultivar rootstocks are by default, not from the same parents.

This very same observation can be taken advantage of in another way, and would lend support to the practice of planting multiple trees in one hole if they have clonal or sibling rootstocks. Thus with clonal rootstocks application you can achieve high density plantings even in one hole, or closer together. For those using clonal rootstocks with different cultivars grafted over them, it is recommended practice for home gardeners to plant them together into one hole if you don't know how to graft. The Clonal rootstocks won't compete with each other even if they have different cultivars grafted over them. I have done multiple cultivar planting into one hole and have proven that it works and the trees are now big in my yard. The reason why it worked is because the rootstocks are either siblings or clonal and were fully cooperating with each other, and the one hole with several trees behaved exactly like the size of one regular tree. Of course you would have to know the stature of the cultivar when grafted unto particular rootstock. You would then position the more vigorous grafts towards the north, the less vigorous towards the south, and those of medium and equal vigor to the east and west.

But if the rootstocks are non clonal nor are siblings from the same mother, when you plant them into one hole, then it would be the survival of the most competitive in that one hole.

There is also a chance with specific combo that it will not necessarily work, as there is that scionwood interaction where perhaps the same plant signals, ie, hormones, are passed to the roots so that the different rootstocks in turn would be cooperative rather than competitive. But it is nonetheless exciting to find out.


Joe comments on Bernie Dizon:  Bernie Dizon is cool. He has received many achievement awards in the field of tropical fruit trees. He promotes multiple rootstock. I have also suggested to Bernie Dizon to use rootstocks that are non-siblings. Apparently, they have used any compatible rootstock they can get hold of and do multiple of them.

More from Joe:
For sure, the double rootstocks should result in vigorous scionwood growth, now that you have two nutrient suppliers, even if they are siblings. The one scionwood has to balance with the added root system, and so would grow more or balance.

The use of non-siblings would just be better if you can get them. Most likely, you need to get seeds from two sources that don't have the same seed supplier. Then when you do multiple rootstock, combine the various sources into one tree.

In what you did is never a screw up, it would help your tree, as already proven by Bernie Dizon in some of his trials, and they were not aware of the sibling status of rootstocks. Now that we have proof about more stability and vigor of non-sibling rootstocks, I would prefer that approach.

And it is never too late to add more rootstocks later on, so if you can source some seeds that you know are from a different geographic region, you can use those to add rootstocks later on.

Fruitguy

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 09:18:29 AM »
On the plus side, if the plant thing doesn't work out, you've got a future as a writer! (Seriously I enjoy your writing style!)   I'm giving you karma points for what is by far the longest post! ;) 

GwenninPR

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 12:10:28 PM »
It would be great when you finally perfect this- we will all take a class from you on "how-to".

I like your spunk- if it is worth doing- do it BIG!   Maybe the next trial will hurt less if you start with the cheap and easily replaced plants. 

HMHausman

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 12:36:31 PM »
So when can we expect the new attempts to begin??  Your past efforts are about as impressive as your anecdotal reports.....and that's pretty darned impressive.  So.....get going man....you aren't getting any younger!

Harry
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TropicalFruitHunters

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2012, 01:16:42 PM »
It's tough when you've killed nearly all of your material!!!  One grafted mangosteen from Thailand is barely holding on.  Still have a grafted mayong chid.  The longkong experiment was the last for those.  I would need some decent sized seedlings for the others.  I have seedlings of madrono, achachairu, rambutan, and durian in place for later attempts.  Seedlings that size are painfully slow.  Still smarting over the longkong failing even after four plus years. 

Jsvand5

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2012, 01:49:34 PM »
Has your Mayong Chid put put out flowers yet this year? Mine is loaded right now. Hoping to get to try a few more fruit this year.

TropicalFruitHunters

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 02:53:33 PM »
No...had massive dieback soon after putting it into the ground.  Lost 90% and probably 1/2 the trunk is dead.  Bad move apparently. 

murahilin

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2012, 11:13:44 AM »
Jay,
This post makes me want to try some multiple rootstock grafts again but at the same time is scaring me away. Maybe we can try it on Harry's maprang?

Fruitguy

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2012, 11:30:52 AM »
My sweet maprang ('Wan'?) flowered a month ago, but nothing set.  Do these plants only flower once a season, or like mango, multiple waves?

adiel

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2012, 11:44:21 AM »
Good job Jay.  This is how we come about new methods: By experimenting.  This is how we get new varieties, more disease resistance and more cold tolerant tropical fruit trees.  Sometimes it works and sometimes we just learn a lesson.  :o

Adiel 
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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2012, 03:16:51 PM »
Has anyone had long-term success with planting 2 or 3 tropical fruit trees (let's say mango, for the sake of argument) in one hole?

I'd love to see a picture of two or three ten-foot tall trees sharing one location.

Tim

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2012, 03:27:17 PM »
Has anyone had long-term success with planting 2 or 3 tropical fruit trees (let's say mango, for the sake of argument) in one hole?

I'd love to see a picture of two or three ten-foot tall trees sharing one location.

Harry has a 3 in one.
Tim

murahilin

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2012, 03:50:04 PM »
Harry's neighbor has a ton of 2 in 1 plantings. Different species I think too.

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2012, 06:58:48 AM »
Sheehan...why don't you attempt a multiple rootstock graft onto your Spanish Limes?

murahilin

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2012, 08:18:59 AM »
murahilin...why don't you attempt a multiple rootstock graft onto your Spanish Limes?

They seem to do pretty well in FL on their own. Maybe the air layered ones may need a seedling rootstock for some extra support but the grafted ones should be fine.

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2012, 08:43:46 AM »
I wasn't thinking for the added support but for increased vigor and speeding things up some.  Nutmeg?

murahilin

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2012, 02:12:46 PM »
I wasn't thinking for the added support but for increased vigor and speeding things up some.  Nutmeg?

Spanish limes are vigorous enough in FL. I think Harry's tree is the slowest growing spanish lime in the history of spanish limes. I think the same goes for his indian jujube. I think they prefer sandier soils so in most of FL they do well, but since Harry has more of a muck they seem to languish. Also, the weevils love the spanish lime leaves.

It may help with nutmeg since I was told that they have nutrient problems with the high ph soils. Still wouldn't be of use when the cold kills them. I hate having to protect anything from the cold. If it can't handle the cold, it deserves to die.

Fruitguy

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2012, 02:21:45 PM »
I hate having to protect anything from the cold. If it can't handle the cold, it deserves to die.

Bite your tongue!  It's crowded enough here.  We do not need all those Northerners moving down when you take away their protection from the cold!   ;) ;D

murahilin

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2012, 12:27:38 AM »
I hate having to protect anything from the cold. If it can't handle the cold, it deserves to die.

Bite your tongue!  It's crowded enough here.  We do not need all those Northerners moving down when you take away their protection from the cold!   ;) ;D

Lol. If we had winter hurricanes that would scare them away.

fruitlovers

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2012, 02:09:25 AM »
Has anyone had long-term success with planting 2 or 3 tropical fruit trees (let's say mango, for the sake of argument) in one hole?

I'd love to see a picture of two or three ten-foot tall trees sharing one location.

I did this with seedling starapple and green sapote and worked out fine. Just ends up looking like a multiple trunked tree. Sometimes they also fuse and become one if really close together.
Oscar
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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2012, 02:12:33 AM »
Jay, my guess would be that part of your difficulty comes from your location. Once you are living in Thailand i bet you get close to 100% take on grafts. When the plants are not stressed they take a lot better. But this is all good practive anyway. Also in Thailand you will have lots of willing hands to help you with all!
Oscar
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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2012, 02:21:59 AM »
Have any of you guys/girls, ever seen a scion of a veneer graft, take over all of the cambium, and envelope the entire cambium of the rootstock almost like a strangler fig? and the scion actually rooted, working its way down to soil about 4 inches from graft union??? I've seen this happen with a loquat! Weird Science! :o :)
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simon_grow

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2012, 12:15:39 PM »
After reading Ohiojay's post and checking out Bernie Dizon's website, I decided I'm going to attempt to put multiple rootstocks onto my Maha Chanok Mango.  I've already purchased a sacrificial Manilla Mango and will attempt my first mango graft soon.  I've never grafted Mango before so I'm guessing it will take many attempts but at least I don't have to top my Manilla Mango untill the graft takes. 

Ohiojay, do you have any advice?  Thanks in advance!

Simon

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2012, 02:19:52 PM »
Look up approach grafts.  That is what I was using.  There are other grafting methods also.  Get both trees planted together and oriented in a fashion to give you the best angles/places to graft.  Just make sure you match up the cambiums as well as you can and have nice, smooth cuts leaving no gaps.  When you are sure the graft has taken...couple months at least, then I normally break/bend over the top of the nurse plant above the graft.  Several weeks later I will decapitate it completely leaving nothing above the graft from that second tree.  Good luck.

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Re: Multiple rootstock grafting
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2012, 05:48:43 AM »
Hi Ohiojay,

I done an approach-tongue graft on the White sapotes!, the two seedlings with an extra root system are growing very well!


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