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Flowering Crabapples refuse to grow
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Tracker
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April 5, 2021 - 5:42 pm

Hi,

I bought 6 "Snowdrift" flowering crabapples 4.5 years ago when they were about 7 feet tall. I live in coastal California 25 miles south of San Francisco. The 6 flower beautifully every year and look healthy as can be, no pests, fungi or viruses. The only thing is: they've not grown more than a half inch since I planted them. I water them regularly during the dry season, I fertilized them one year as an experiment, I sing them lullabies, but they refuse. They simply won't send out new growth. Any suggestions as to what might be going on?

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John S
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April 5, 2021 - 9:30 pm

Sounds like a virus. Have you confirmed there is no virus?
John S
PDX OR

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Dubyadee
Puyallup, Washington, USA
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April 5, 2021 - 11:34 pm

Were the trees rootbound/potbound when you planted them?  Grab a hold of them and see if you can yank them out of the ground by hand. If roots were growing in circles in the nursery pot the trees might be stunted and will not be growing much nor spreading their roots.  If so, best to pull out to do some major root pruning and replant.

Another consideration, I have arborvitaes that are 16 years old and only 4' tall.  Deer nibble all of the new growth.  I never see the deer nibbling because they come out at night. My taller arborvitae trees have the telltale hourglass shape of deer feeding. I put a chunk of Irish Spring soap bar in a sock and stapled to each treetop and that has repelled them to some degree to where the trees are starting to show growth.  Your trees being 7' tall, deer can stand on hind legs and still reach/browse the branch tips.

One last thought, are the trees filling in and becoming more densely branched and the trunk/branches growing thicker while refusing to grow taller?  If so, it's possible that they are on dwarfing rootstock and won't get much taller. If trunk and branches are not growing thicker, then probably not this explanation.

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Tracker
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April 6, 2021 - 8:01 am

John S said
Sounds like a virus. Have you confirmed there is no virus?
John S
PDX OR  

I have to admit I have no idea how to exclude that possibility since there aren't any obvious symptoms?

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Tracker
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April 6, 2021 - 8:06 am

Dubyadee said
Were the trees rootbound/potbound when you planted them?  Grab a hold of them and see if you can yank them out of the ground by hand. If roots were growing in circles in the nursery pot the trees might be stunted and will not be growing much nor spreading their roots.  If so, best to pull out to do some major root pruning and replant.

Another consideration, I have arborvitaes that are 16 years old and only 4' tall.  Deer nibble all of the new growth.  I never see the deer nibbling because they come out at night. My taller arborvitae trees have the telltale hourglass shape of deer feeding. I put a chunk of Irish Spring soap bar in a sock and stapled to each treetop and that has repelled them to some degree to where the trees are starting to show growth.  Your trees being 7' tall, deer can stand on hind legs and still reach/browse the branch tips.

One last thought, are the trees filling in and becoming more densely branched and the trunk/branches growing thicker while refusing to grow taller?  If so, it's possible that they are on dwarfing rootstock and won't get much taller. If trunk and branches are not growing thicker, then probably not this explanation.  

 

I didn't plant them myself, so unfortunately I don't know. I'll try yanking them. If that were the problem, and I pulled them out, how much cut back should I do?

I put a cage around each of the trees right after planting knowing the deer would attack them, so that's fortunately not an issue.

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sweepbjames
NE Portland, OR Cully Neighborhood
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April 6, 2021 - 12:23 pm

In addition to being pot bound, the planting hole may act as a restrictive ‘pot’ if not worked large enough (some say 3X the root ball) and if having a sufficiently clayey soil may be shovel-glazed as well.  Consider, when you’re replanting after pruning and/or detangling the the root mass, distressing the inner surface of the planting hole to facilitate root penetration. 

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Tracker
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April 6, 2021 - 1:40 pm

sweepbjames said
In addition to being pot bound, the planting hole may act as a restrictive ‘pot’ if not worked large enough (some say 3X the root ball) and if having a sufficiently clayey soil may be shovel-glazed as well.  Consider, when you’re replanting after pruning and/or detangling the the root mass, distressing the inner surface of the planting hole to facilitate root penetration.   

What does "shovel-glazing" mean?

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Viron
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April 6, 2021 - 7:58 pm

‘Shovel glazing’ is where a clay-rich soil is somewhat sealed by a shovel sliding across it, no longer allowing nutrients or moisture to pass in either direction.

My guess here is: an extremely dwarfing rootstock..  Crabs are naturally compact, so if grafted to a restrictive, or ultra-dwarfing rootstock, they may have already reached an equilibrium, or balance of growth. 

If so, and as I’ve recently done with an apple on dwarfing rootstock, you can try mounding some soil above and around the graft union.  Bringing the surrounding soil level up 4 to 6 inches above that union allows the top graft to naturally root, and eventually eliminates the dwarfing limitations of the roots below.  

Though rarely good to have highbred top-stock growing on it’s own roots … I’d take my chances with eventual root disease over the constant grazing and certain death by deer.

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John S
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April 7, 2021 - 10:10 am

being stunted with not other issues is a symptom of a virus.

John S
PDX OR

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Tracker
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April 10, 2021 - 12:13 pm

Viron said
‘Shovel glazing’ is where a clay-rich soil is somewhat sealed by a shovel sliding across it, no longer allowing nutrients or moisture to pass in either direction.

My guess here is: an extremely dwarfing rootstock..  Crabs are naturally compact, so if grafted to a restrictive, or ultra-dwarfing rootstock, they may have already reached an equilibrium, or balance of growth. 

If so, and as I’ve recently done with an apple on dwarfing rootstock, you can try mounding some soil above and around the graft union.  Bringing the surrounding soil level up 4 to 6 inches above that union allows the top graft to naturally root, and eventually eliminates the dwarfing limitations of the roots below.  

Though rarely good to have highbred top-stock growing on it’s own roots … I’d take my chances with eventual root disease over the constant grazing and certain death by deer.  

Thanks for that suggestion! I might just try that on one of them.

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Tracker
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April 10, 2021 - 12:14 pm

John S said
being stunted with not other issues is a symptom of a virus.

John S
PDX OR  

Any suggestions what kind that might be?

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jafar
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April 11, 2021 - 10:17 am

How many hours of direct sunlight do they get?

What did you fertilize with the one year?  Is the foliage dark green?   Was the fertilizer a significant source of nitrogen?  I'd probably start with making sure they have sun, water and nitrogen.

If you didn't plant them, you probably don't know the rootstock.  Some are extremely dwarfing which will limit growth.

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John S
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April 11, 2021 - 11:15 am

Yes, I would follow Jafar's advice first.  If, after a couple of years of checking that, you may decide that it has a virus.  In general, if a tree has a virus that creates characteristics you don't like, you generally kill the tree and buy another one. Then plant it in a different hole. There is no inexpensive way that I've heard of to check for a virus or remediate the situation.

John S
PDX OR

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Tracker
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April 11, 2021 - 2:26 pm

jafar said
How many hours of direct sunlight do they get?

What did you fertilize with the one year?  Is the foliage dark green?   Was the fertilizer a significant source of nitrogen?  I'd probably start with making sure they have sun, water and nitrogen.

If you didn't plant them, you probably don't know the rootstock.  Some are extremely dwarfing which will limit growth.  

They get sun all day. I fertilized them with fish emulsion. I believe that has a good amount of nitrogen, but I don't have the bottle in front of me. I water them once a week for one hour.

No, I don't know the root stock. But would a tree company use root stock that wouldn't allow the trees to grow at all?

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jafar
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April 11, 2021 - 5:01 pm

Do you have pictures you could share?  I'd try more fertilizer  and several times, and water until the soil is moist at least a foot deep, then water again before it gets completely dry a few inches deep.  Fish emulsion is a nitrogen source, but is slow acting.

Some trees will stop growing for the season if they go through a stretch of drought.

What is at the base of the trees?  If you want them to grow, I'd create a circle 5 or 6 feet in diameter with no other grass or plants, and mulch with 4-8" of wood chips.   If that sounds like a hassle, maybe try it on one of the trees and see if it does better.

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Tracker
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April 11, 2021 - 5:28 pm

jafar said
Do you have pictures you could share?  I'd try more fertilizer  and several times, and water until the soil is moist at least a foot deep, then water again before it gets completely dry a few inches deep.  Fish emulsion is a nitrogen source, but is slow acting.

Some trees will stop growing for the season if they go through a stretch of drought.

What is at the base of the trees?  If you want them to grow, I'd create a circle 5 or 6 feet in diameter with no other grass or plants, and mulch with 4-8" of wood chips.   If that sounds like a hassle, maybe try it on one of the trees and see if it does better.  

This time around I'll try fruit tree fertilizer and fish emulsion spray on the leaves and bark. Maybe that'll do the trick.

Drought hasn't been an issue for the trees since I water them regularly; besides, they haven't grown in 4.5 years regardless of weather...

As you can see, this tree is weed free and mulched, as are the others.

For the life of me I couldn't figure out how to turn the pic. It's upright on my desktop. Sorry about that.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions so far! Definitely some options here.

crab-2.jpg

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jafar
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April 11, 2021 - 8:04 pm

That looks pretty good.  I think you'd do fine to apply the fertilizer to the soil, or the water.

How many inches is 1 hour of water?

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Tracker
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April 12, 2021 - 11:40 am

jafar said
That looks pretty good.  I think you'd do fine to apply the fertilizer to the soil, or the water.

How many inches is 1 hour of water?  

Around 12".

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Crankyankee
Connecticut
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April 12, 2021 - 11:47 am

I looks healthy. It flowers abundantly and, since Snowdrift is known to be fertile, I assume it sets fruit. Once an apple tree starts producing like this it stops growing. If it has done so since you bought it then that is the reason and then I have to wonder - why it is so precocious?

Could it be on a super-dwarfing rootstock like EMLA-27?

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Tracker
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April 12, 2021 - 7:10 pm

Crankyankee said
I looks healthy. It flowers abundantly and, since Snowdrift is known to be fertile, I assume it sets fruit. Once an apple tree starts producing like this it stops growing. If it has done so since you bought it then that is the reason and then I have to wonder - why it is so precocious?

Could it be on a super-dwarfing rootstock like EMLA-27?  

None of these trees ever have had more than four or five teeny tiny apples, appr. a fifth of an inch. ??

What does "precocious" mean in this context?

I have no clue what the root stock was...

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John S
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April 12, 2021 - 8:11 pm

Precocious means early to fruit. For example, taking 2 years instead of say, an expected 4 or 5.

John S
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Crankyankee
Connecticut
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April 13, 2021 - 5:26 am

Twelve inches of water per week is rainforest magnitude watering. I wonder if your fish emulsion is being washed away as fast as you apply it.

I think your path of least resistance is to do as Viron suggests and bury the bud unions so they root out above the graft.

The only absolute solution is to replace them. As a middle ground you could purchase an assortment of rootstocks and graft your snowdrift onto them.

https://raintreenursery.com/co.....-rootstock

Zone 6a in the moraines of eastern Connecticut.

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Tracker
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April 13, 2021 - 7:52 am

Crankyankee said
Twelve inches of water per week is rainforest magnitude watering. I wonder if your fish emulsion is being washed away as fast as you apply it.

I think your path of least resistance is to do as Viron suggests and bury the bud unions so they root out above the graft.

The only absolute solution is to replace them. As a middle ground you could purchase an assortment of rootstocks and graft your snowdrift onto them.

https://raintreenursery.com/co.....tstock  

I completely misunderstood your question, then. Each tree has a ring of Netafim drip line around it along the crown outline. 24 hours after watering, when I push one of those metal T-shaped rods down into the soil, which gives you information about how far down the moisture is, that is when I find good, crumbly, moist-ish soil, at the 12" level. That's what I meant.

I might try the burying, not sure yet. I'm kind of worried about losing even one.

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Rooney
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April 13, 2021 - 8:08 am

If you really don't want to saturate the ground and do the tug test as Jafar recommended then you can always do what works with other plants, is to foliar feed. Nitrogen is the main nutrient that causes growth and too much wood chips in the hole can tie up nitrogen, as such, compete with the roots for the same nutrient. 

If the roots are really root-bound then I would dilute fish and seaweed fertilizer towards the leaves to test the root-bound theory. If it resumes growth then there all the above posted ideas by others are applicable. Even ringworms/nematodes are feeding heavily on tree roots are possible. 

The other day I was reading a new publication regarding roundworms/nematodes solutions. Inside of it one of the ideas that seemed most interesting to me is a discovery these pests are consumed by oyster mushroom hyphae. I'll find the link and paste that one.

Ah yes, it's right here;
"Pleurotus that live inside wood produce poison drops"

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Rooney
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April 18, 2021 - 4:13 pm

jafar said
Do you have pictures you could share?  I'd try more fertilizer  and several times, and water until the soil is moist at least a foot deep, then water again before it gets completely dry a few inches deep.  Fish emulsion is a nitrogen source, but is slow acting.

Some trees will stop growing for the season if they go through a stretch of drought.

What is at the base of the trees?  If you want them to grow, I'd create a circle 5 or 6 feet in diameter with no other grass or plants, and mulch with 4-8" of wood chips.   If that sounds like a hassle, maybe try it on one of the trees and see if it does better.  

I think Jafar almost nailed it in the middle part that I underlined because some trees will stop growing for the season when the bark gets a few hours of too much heat through the bark and is not shaded from it's own branches or painted white. I should have thought of that earlier but didn't think of it until protecting some of my backyard plum trees from overexposed trunks. I have also noted that walnut trees are painted in California up to until the point of sufficient shading from branches.

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Tracker
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April 18, 2021 - 5:27 pm

Rooney said

I think Jafar almost nailed it in the middle part that I underlined because some trees will stop growing for the season when the bark gets a few hours of too much heat through the bark and is not shaded from it's own branches or painted white. I should have thought of that earlier but didn't think of it until protecting some of my backyard plum trees from overexposed trunks. I have also noted that walnut trees are painted in California up to until the point of sufficient shading from branches.  

I appreciate you all trying to help me figure this out. The thing is that the trees have never grown, no matter what the weather or season. Currently it's even been consistently cool for months (daytime high ~60). The mystery continues... I will fertilize them soon, though.

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Rooney
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April 19, 2021 - 8:01 am

I did some checking around. Snowdrift crab is noted for being a pollinator apple with spread out blooming. Another site I checked shows that it's available as clone grafted on various rootstocks which makes the root type difficult to know chill hours for, but chill hours are an important consideration. For example an apple orchard in California may find a low chill clone as a pollinator as ideal grafted on a high chill root system because in California it may runt the tree which is ideal for maintenance workers and still ideal for bees. 

The problem then is you need more accumulated hours in the range of 32F - 45F (chill hours as required) to the above ground section and up to the graft in what is likely a higher elevation graft. In which case a white wrap now and if not now then through next year's dormancy may help establish this. I will alert one of the members in Monterey Bay that I have an email for to help confirm this as a problem and hopefully learn what best to do. 

Long flowering crabapples are usually inbred with lots of malus baccata which are low chill and as well smaller spreading trees. I think your best bet to get around the issue is knowing that a runted tree due to inappropriate chill hours still has normal root development. So I think you need another low chill apple grafted into as near as possible to the root (no need to remove snowdrift this year) and not use the slower form of the snowdrift for the task but rather a faster growing F1 with hybrid vigor. 

Palmetta apple is F1, is very fast, and is low chill enough to match the snowdrift just perfectly. Others in Monterey Bay may give other ideas. So don't go away quite yet.

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Tracker
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April 19, 2021 - 6:53 pm

Rooney said
I did some checking around. Snowdrift crab is noted for being a pollinator apple with spread out blooming. Another site I checked shows that it's available as clone grafted on various rootstocks which makes the root type difficult to know chill hours for, but chill hours are an important consideration. For example an apple orchard in California may find a low chill clone as a pollinator as ideal grafted on a high chill root system because in California it may runt the tree which is ideal for maintenance workers and still ideal for bees. 

The problem then is you need more accumulated hours in the range of 32F - 45F (chill hours as required) to the above ground section and up to the graft in what is likely a higher elevation graft. In which case a white wrap now and if not now then through next year's dormancy may help establish this. I will alert one of the members in Monterey Bay that I have an email for to help confirm this as a problem and hopefully learn what best to do. 

Long flowering crabapples are usually inbred with lots of malus baccata which are low chill and as well smaller spreading trees. I think your best bet to get around the issue is knowing that a runted tree due to inappropriate chill hours still has normal root development. So I think you need another low chill apple grafted into as near as possible to the root (no need to remove snowdrift this year) and not use the slower form of the snowdrift for the task but rather a faster growing F1 with hybrid vigor. 

Palmetta apple is F1, is very fast, and is low chill enough to match the snowdrift just perfectly. Others in Monterey Bay may give other ideas. So don't go away quite yet.  

Just to clarify--I bought the trees for their blossoms, not for the fruit, so if they don't fruit, it doesn't matter to me (I have too many heavily fruiting other trees as it is).

Also, I wouldn't know how to begin to graft a tree, so that's totally out, but I really appreciate your taking all this time to help me solve the mystery.

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Rooney
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April 20, 2021 - 8:06 am

>> solve the mystery

Thanks, and I still woke up the second day in a row with clarity of thought on this. 

That the roots of trees are always active year round (ie. no chill required). The portion above the ground and up to the graft has chill requirements not being met, thus is part asleep year round. The 'snowdrift' crabapple above the graft that is properly flowering every year has it chill hours met or it would not be flowering at all, thus is active during the high end of the seasons and is able to supply the roots the sap requirements. 

The reason why it gels is, as I find out in lower California and southern Africa, experiments on flowering behavior even for low chill apples by Kuffel Creek nursery. My friend Larry in Oregon who was familiar helped me find his site. 

Will you give white tree wrap a shot now?

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Tracker
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April 20, 2021 - 11:00 am

Rooney said
>> solve the mystery

Thanks, and I still woke up the second day in a row with clarity of thought on this. 

That the roots of trees are always active year round (ie. no chill required). The portion above the ground and up to the graft has chill requirements not being met, thus is part asleep year round. The 'snowdrift' crabapple above the graft that is properly flowering every year has it chill hours met or it would not be flowering at all, thus is active during the high end of the seasons and is able to supply the roots the sap requirements. 

The reason why it gels is, as I find out in lower California and southern Africa, experiments on flowering behavior even for low chill apples by Kuffel Creek nursery. My friend Larry in Oregon who was familiar helped me find his site. 

Will you give white tree wrap a shot now?  

By now I can't quite follow the ins and outs of this chill hours thing anymore... do chill hours affect putting on new branch/leaf growth? Since other crab apple tree varieties in my orchard flower, leaf and fruit like crazy year after year, doesn't that mean there are enough chill hours for all crab apples (or most)? Again, I'm happy with the amount of flowers and do not care for fruit, just new leaves and branches.

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Rooney
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April 20, 2021 - 4:22 pm

I understand your delema which I think is simply to get your 6 trees kick started and above wildlife so that deer can't reach everything and kill the trees and while I'm trying to make you understand chilling hours I'll just say this, that there are individual differences in between each tree in chill requirements. While your other apple trees are well suited for your area it seems there is only an issue concerning the flowering 6.

>> do chill hours affect putting on new branch/leaf growth?

Yes.

I think you can do something about that though if your open to understanding that a part of each of the 6 were cultivated in another environment that provides more chill hours than you have around the trees right now. (the problem now stems from not knowing how to explain what chilling is to possibly convince you to shade everything below the graft so that that portion of the tree experiences below the 45F thresh-hold for as long as possible each year such as shading or tree white wrapping. I may not be the right person to explain these abstract principles but I enjoy trying to)

On a cell per cell basis, even in the never yet germinated seed of an apple, there is a mechanism that pays attention to accumulated length of time that the temperature is between 32F to 45F. Nobody knows what it looks like, we can't even yet determine how these signals are exactly shared across grafts.

Lets focus on the graft for a sec. Your snowdrift crab is grafted in order to keep the visual appeal to pollinators specific, and yes length of flowering is another good aspect of snowdrift crabapple. Had your crab been cultured on it's own roots via a clonal rooted cutting from a branch, a graft could as well too serve for other reasons than the pleasant aspects of flowers, such as limiting the growth and ultimate size of the tree -or- provide a fast growing story pole for a round spreading tree which (by the way) many crabapples are. Aside from appeal there's no doubt that each tree purchased in any nursery is in fact a "grafted tree" for these reasons and other convenience sakes as well.

The case of an apple/pear seed:

To make you feel comfortable that the temporary lack of growth of what an apple seed needs to experience then I can tell you what happens sometimes when an apple seed had inherited normal chill but is triggered to germinate via other internal mistakes. They are not winter chilled though still start growing in the fruit in as early as November. They grow normal roots indoors all winter and all of the next year (still no chill hours). They do not put on any noticeable verticle growth. They don't die. Once planted outside they experience the next winters length of time under the 45F mark. There forever after grow normal stems as long as every dormant season they pass through a decently cool winter.

That last paragraph is also about the craziest thing I have ever heard when I first read it which involved 15% of comice pears that after eaten in November and planted will start germinating about December. I replicated it and it worked just as I described for that weird apple explanation.

Your situation I think is weird in the way that there an intervention graft. Below the graft where the cells have not been seeing proper cool hours are sluggish still (half awake all years long). The snowdrift crab-apple is obviously above the graft that (obvious reasons) had experienced the same environment, but varies as a group of cells that speed progress towards hours, and tick as a clock much faster then the cells below the graft.

The fact is obvious that snowdrift crab is flowering, which is impossible should chill hours not been met yet.

There are interesting pictures online that show chill hours differences across grafts. It demonstrated that one part had flowered while the other half was still absent. Same as yours. If your part below was having a shoot it would never flower unless... cooooler (white wrap) etc.

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Tracker
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April 20, 2021 - 5:48 pm

Rooney said
I understand your delema which I think is simply to get your 6 trees kick started and above wildlife so that deer can't reach everything and kill the trees and while I'm trying to make you understand chilling hours I'll just say this, that there are individual differences in between each tree in chill requirements. While your other apple trees are well suited for your area it seems there is only an issue concerning the flowering 6.

>> do chill hours affect putting on new branch/leaf growth?

Yes.

I think you can do something about that though if your open to understanding that a part of each of the 6 were cultivated in another environment that provides more chill hours than you have around the trees right now. (the problem now stems from not knowing how to explain what chilling is to possibly convince you to shade everything below the graft so that that portion of the tree experiences below the 45F thresh-hold for as long as possible each year such as shading or tree white wrapping. I may not be the right person to explain these abstract principles but I enjoy trying to)

On a cell per cell basis, even in the never yet germinated seed of an apple, there is a mechanism that pays attention to accumulated length of time that the temperature is between 32F to 45F. Nobody knows what it looks like, we can't even yet determine how these signals are exactly shared across grafts.

Lets focus on the graft for a sec. Your snowdrift crab is grafted in order to keep the visual appeal to pollinators specific, and yes length of flowering is another good aspect of snowdrift crabapple. Had your crab been cultured on it's own roots via a clonal rooted cutting from a branch, a graft could as well too serve for other reasons than the pleasant aspects of flowers, such as limiting the growth and ultimate size of the tree -or- provide a fast growing story pole for a round spreading tree which (by the way) many crabapples are. Aside from appeal there's no doubt that each tree purchased in any nursery is in fact a "grafted tree" for these reasons and other convenience sakes as well.

The case of an apple/pear seed:

To make you feel comfortable that the temporary lack of growth of what an apple seed needs to experience then I can tell you what happens sometimes when an apple seed had inherited normal chill but is triggered to germinate via other internal mistakes. They are not winter chilled though still start growing in the fruit in as early as November. They grow normal roots indoors all winter and all of the next year (still no chill hours). They do not put on any noticeable verticle growth. They don't die. Once planted outside they experience the next winters length of time under the 45F mark. There forever after grow normal stems as long as every dormant season they pass through a decently cool winter.

That last paragraph is also about the craziest thing I have ever heard when I first read it which involved 15% of comice pears that after eaten in November and planted will start germinating about December. I replicated it and it worked just as I described for that weird apple explanation.

Your situation I think is weird in the way that there an intervention graft. Below the graft where the cells have not been seeing proper cool hours are sluggish still (half awake all years long). The snowdrift crab-apple is obviously above the graft that (obvious reasons) had experienced the same environment, but varies as a group of cells that speed progress towards hours, and tick as a clock much faster then the cells below the graft.

The fact is obvious that snowdrift crab is flowering, which is impossible should chill hours not been met yet.

There are interesting pictures online that show chill hours differences across grafts. It demonstrated that one part had flowered while the other half was still absent. Same as yours. If your part below was having a shoot it would never flower unless... cooooler (white wrap) etc.  

Wow, Rooney, that's pretty amazing stuff! Thanks for spending all this time explaining this. It's fascinating. It will take some time to wrap my head around this and snoop around the internet for more info. Then I'll post again.

For the record, the trees are all fenced in. Deer are not a problem whatsoever.

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Rooney
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April 20, 2021 - 6:17 pm

Thanks again.

Nobody said this would be easy to understand that's for sure! While your trying to get wrapping your mind around try looking up "black body heat" on the internet to see how white can throw off radiation heat back away from the trunk and into the air. The reverse of black body is the heating up of the lower below the graft section of trunk to a much higher temperature during daylight hours. That damaging heat effect is not the concern in your cool area but it does directly effect duration of time below 45F because hours might be everything to you in every year you want more growth to happen. Because earlier another post I thought you said your trees must grow. In which case other than white wrap foliar feeding to bypass the lazy trunk would work too.

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April 21, 2021 - 2:38 pm

Rooney said
Thanks again.

Nobody said this would be easy to understand that's for sure! While your trying to get wrapping your mind around try looking up "black body heat" on the internet to see how white can throw off radiation heat back away from the trunk and into the air. The reverse of black body is the heating up of the lower below the graft section of trunk to a much higher temperature during daylight hours. That damaging heat effect is not the concern in your cool area but it does directly effect duration of time below 45F because hours might be everything to you in every year you want more growth to happen. Because earlier another post I thought you said your trees must grow. In which case other than white wrap foliar feeding to bypass the lazy trunk would work too.  

I get it now, and it all makes sense. So are you talking about this kind of product: and then I'd wrap only the root stock up the the graft come next fall? Or do you know of some other, more appropriate wrap?

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Tracker
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April 21, 2021 - 2:48 pm

I did some exploratory surgery to see where the graft point actually is on those trees. I had to dig down quite a bit as you can see in the first picture (I don't understand why the pics are always sideways when I attach them here). The second pic is just from a little further away. The grafting point is clearly around 2-3 inches below soil level with suckers happily sprouting, at least on this one tree. So what do I do in this situation? Dig away the soil until I'm 2" below the grafting point? Clearly it would make wrapping impossible?

While I was at it, I took a pic of this brown tip spot the trees always get every year, throughout the year, without them being fazed by it, apparently. The leaves never turn yellow, fall off or die. Does that give any pointers?

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Tracker
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April 21, 2021 - 2:54 pm

Tracker said
I did some exploratory surgery to see where the graft point actually is on those trees. I had to dig down quite a bit as you can see in the first picture (I don't understand why the pics are always sideways when I attach them here). The second pic is just from a little further away. The grafting point is clearly around 2-3 inches below soil level with suckers happily sprouting, at least on this one tree. So what do I do in this situation? Dig away the soil until I'm 2" below the grafting point? Clearly it would make wrapping impossible?

While I was at it, I took a pic of this brown tip spot the trees always get every year, throughout the year, without them being fazed by it, apparently. The leaves never turn yellow, fall off or die. Does that give any pointers?  

Forgot to upload...

IMG_1404.jpgIMG_1407.jpgIMG_1412-1.jpg

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Rooney
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April 21, 2021 - 9:30 pm

I can't say much on the leaf tips for sure. It may be short on a nutrient due to what we were talking about. In which case a foliar spray of seaweed like microcrop might cure it. Seaweed has all the basic nutrients that plants normally get from roots. One spray of seaweed to leaves on any plant per year is a good idea anyways.

Go back to see your picture in post 16. There should be a graft above the tree support and below the first branches even though it's invisible by now. Either white latex paint or the tree wrap as pictured, and from the ground all the way to almost the first branch.

I think all the others would agree from picture of your root suckering that something's needing help from the part your wanting to get guarded from the sun.

Maybe some year and some October when I see comice pears at shopping centers I will start showing things that can leed up to stunted growth in the seeds again. Last time was 28 years ago and internet was yet to be.

I wish everybody would load pictures because it makes it easier to assess things, so thanks again!

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ML
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April 22, 2021 - 8:20 am

 Looking at your photos . it appears to me that you have buried your trunk flare or root flare with way too much mulch and soil . The trunk of a tree just above the roots needs to breathe . Also the added mulch so far up the trunk has a tendency to trap excess moisture which is also not very healthy for a tree . So , a simple solution may be to remove some of the soil just a little bit above your trees' roots where you see the trunk start to flare out to see if that may help . Just an observation , you can correct me if I am wrong . ML

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Tracker
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April 22, 2021 - 8:23 am

Rooney said
I can't say much on the leaf tips for sure. It may be short on a nutrient due to what we were talking about. In which case a foliar spray of seaweed like microcrop might cure it. Seaweed has all the basic nutrients that plants normally get from roots. One spray of seaweed to leaves on any plant per year is a good idea anyways.

Go back to see your picture in post 16. There should be a graft above the tree support and below the first branches even though it's invisible by now. Either white latex paint or the tree wrap as pictured, and from the ground all the way to almost the first branch.

I think all the others would agree from picture of your root suckering that something's needing help from the part your wanting to get guarded from the sun.

Maybe some year and some October when I see comice pears at shopping centers I will start showing things that can leed up to stunted growth in the seeds again. Last time was 28 years ago and internet was yet to be.

I wish everybody would load pictures because it makes it easier to assess things, so thanks again!  

So seaweed it'll be! And I'll get the wrap. I guess I'm beginner enough to look for the graft in all the wrong places...

Btw, out of those 6 trees 1 looks like it's withdrawing from life by having much smaller blossoms and small leaves and just plain old looking stunted. However, the other 5 seem to be showing more growth than they ever have (which is still not much compared to my other fruit trees, but I'm delighted!).

Thanks for all your thoughts about my babies, Rooney!

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Tracker
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April 22, 2021 - 12:36 pm

ML said
 Looking at your photos . it appears to me that you have buried your trunk flare or root flare with way too much mulch and soil . The trunk of a tree just above the roots needs to breathe . Also the added mulch so far up the trunk has a tendency to trap excess moisture which is also not very healthy for a tree . So , a simple solution may be to remove some of the soil just a little bit above your trees' roots where you see the trunk start to flare out to see if that may help . Just an observation , you can correct me if I am wrong . ML  

I just did that to the one in the pic and will do it to the others. I'm sure you're right!

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