I've been wondering about pruning and gathering scions. I was taught many years ago by my dad that you wait till February to prune and do it near President's Day. As I prune I want to collect some scions to graft on to a buddy's tree from that needs a little work.
When do most people start pruning and/or collect scions? I see the long range forecast is calling for freezing temps in the weeks to come, so I was thinking about after that?
There is another thread with the same topic Eric. Our climate is changing. I noticed my Asian plums already with buds growing. I noticed a guy on another forum in Eugene say it is getting too late as well. The freeze soon sounds like a good time. February might be too late nowadays. It will be getting riskier with each week further that we wait. With stone fruit or quince, you don't want to do a lot of pruning when it's wet.
I have an apple espalier tree with the variety "Anne" or "Anna." It appears the buds are beginning to swell, but my other few trees are not. I live in suburban Gresham and have a few apple trees on dwarf rootstock. I am just a bit concerned about pruning now and then getting a cold snap in a week or so.
This espalier tree had tons of blossoms last year and then the tree looked like it got powdery mildew. The leaves and blossoms all dropped but came back late summer. I have sprayed it twice with a fixed copper and lime Sulphur spray.
Maybe I'll prune this tree and wait on the others?
If we want scions to stay dormant, they need to be cut soon. Like I said, stuff that is sensitive to cutting in the rain (which can cause disease) should also be cut during this current dry spell.
If it's only pruning, and not really a sensitive plant, like pears or apples, they won't need to be pruned during this stint.
I just checked on some of my scions. Some had already started flowering. These were cut before the coldest days of the year. If we wait for the coldest days of the year, it could very well be too late!
It might not be all that bad unless we hear you stored your mason bees in the fridge. (laughing)
I do wonder what other options are there in that situation. It must be plum. One might think it can be used up as budwood when plum gets into the slip. I put some all the way dormant apricot scions into the hybrid citation root at the ground two days ago. The main root as well as the full circumference of the trunk at ground level slipped. Prior to two days ago it was a very big tree almost in flowering. I can blanket up that low down very easily to avoid tonight's call for cool.
I did not check how high up slipping is occurring. Assuming plum think about waiting another week and follow something similar to this budding trick per link. I've used that for years. Come up with something similar and let us know what worked.
Actually, the cut scions that have started leafing out and flowering were pear scions. Not all of my pear scions, even though they were cut on the same dates. January, before the coldest days, but theoretically within the ever-diminishing window for cutting scions. Orcas has started to leaf out. There was one other, too, maybe El Dorado.
I feel like I'm increasing my capacity for understanding iincredibly difficult scientific concepts when I read about your techniques such as this one, Rooney. I'm still just not quite up to the level to really understand it very well. I'll keep trying, though.
I will never object to those when they think February is a good month to collect pome fruit wood. You can collect at Christmas when wrapped in newspaper. It's better in February only because of shelf space in the fridge. The deep freezer section isn't the best for the same reason either, although it's possible in specially handled circumstances in the deep freezer. It's better to place scionwood in the lowest most usually coolest part of the fridge. It may even freeze water there but won't kill the wood unless the wood has already pushed too far. This even applies to prunus when under the regular foods section.
My favorite data which explains protective measures taken by fruit tree twigs to attain deep freezing dormancy is Lynn E Long's description of supercooling. Googling terms: Michigan supercooling "sweet cherry" "lynn e long"
Well, it would have worked much better with the pears at my place in January than February, even though the coldest days were in February. This is because, as I said, the later ones leafed out already and are less likely to work with w and t grafting.
One year I got some plum and Asian pear scion at HOS scion fair, that was already in full bud. I didn't think they would take, but they did. The Asian Pear was Nijisseiki and the plum was Beauty. If I recall correctly.