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Does grafting interfere with seedling maturity?

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TheGivingTree:
If I graft onto a side branch leaving the main branch alone, will the fact that I grafted the tree slow down its ability to mature and fruit from the main branch (not grafted)?

My goal is to graft onto side branches and receive named varietal fruit without interrupting the fruiting of the seedling varieties for selection purposes. Can I have my cake and eat it too?

simon_grow:
Yes, it will likely affect the growth rate and thus the time it takes to fruit. Seedling fruit trees naturally go through a juvenile period where they grow vegetatively and likely wonít fruit until they reach a certain age or size or both.

If you graft mature scion onto a small seedling, there is a good chance the grafted branch will fruit significantly earlier than the non grafted main trunk of the seedling.

When a tree holds fruit, it pulls a significant amount of energy from the main tree and the smaller the seedling tree, the more it will slow down the growth of the tree.

You may want to let your seedling grow much larger before grafting mature scions onto it.

If you have a large and mature tree of whatever species you want to test out, consider grafting multiple seedling selections on their large and established tree. Because the tree is large and established, the grafted seedlings will grow faster and may fruit a bit sooner.

Simon

Mike T:
The age of the rootstock in terms of time needed to go through juvenile phase is unlikey to change due to what is grafted on to it. Once it matures and has the resources to fruit it should be independent of whatever scion you put on.

sc4001992:
I agree Mike, I found that it's ok to graft onto side branches of a seedling tree and not effect the trees maturity and time to fruit.
Just as long as you don't touch the central leader (main) branch and let it grow without cutting until it has enough leaf nodes until it fruits. Works for me on all my seedling loquat trees.

I found this out when I grew my two Hawaiian avocado seeds out, one was left alone without cutting the central leader trunk and it actually had good tasting fruits in 7 yrs. The other seedling that was growing even faster (vigorous) than the first one reach 15 ft in 3yrs so I started to cut down the central branch to 10 ft each year, it took 18 yrs before this tree had it's first fruit and it was just an ok tasting fuit so I ended up chopping it back to 4 ft and top worked it with some good varieties (Sharwil, Jan Boyce, Ismael).

simon_grow:

--- Quote from: Mike T on May 11, 2021, 05:18:43 AM ---The age of the rootstock in terms of time needed to go through juvenile phase is unlikey to change due to what is grafted on to it. Once it matures and has the resources to fruit it should be independent of whatever scion you put on.

--- End quote ---

Absolutely agree. Original poster just beware that if you graft mature scion onto a seedling side branch, if the side branch fruits and you allow it to mature fruit, it will definitely slow down growth rate of the central leader of the seedling.

For small fruit like Surinam Cherries, probably no big deal but if youíre talking about something big like a mango, you may see a significant decrease in vegetative growth rate of the seedling central leader.

All the research Iíve post in the past has shown that it is the scion that affects the effective sexual maturity however grafting seedling scions onto a vigorously established rootstock will increase growth rate of any scion regardless if itís seedling or mature scions and thus increase precocity.

Simon

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