Understock

Discussion in 'Maples' started by tomckey, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. tomckey

    tomckey Member

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    If I wanted to grow a variety purposely to get seeds to raise for understock, is there a particular type that is recommended? My only experiences with the maples are the three trees that I planted in the yard of my first house, which I absolutely fell in love with. I sold the house and was unable to take them with me, (the buyers offer specified that she wanted them with the house!) Now I am in my new home and am planning my new plantings, and the idea of grafting my own in a few years seems intriguing. I know that in the six or seven years I had my old ones, I never got any seeds. Do some varieties produce seeds more readily then others? I want to plan my plantings so that I can graft my own at some point in the future. Thank you for any help you can provide.
    Tom
     
  2. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Tom,

    Your choice of understock depends on which maple you plan on grafting. It must be from the same Series in the genus. Japanese maples are normally grafted onto the species - Acer palmatum (green) or Acer palmatum 'Atropurpureum' (red). I buy all my understock from Heritage Seedlings in Oregon. Much less hassel than growing from seed.


    Cheers!
     
  3. JohanAbrandt

    JohanAbrandt Active Member

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    I have a similar idea, i.e. to raise seedlings as understock, because I cant find any source for seedlings anywhere close to me. I planted my first seeds this spring, and now have 30 or so, 15-45 cm, seedlings. I planted seeds from regular Acer Palmatum, as well as from a number of cultivars, and so far the non-cultivar seedlings are by far the most vigorous. Could depend on a variety of reasons I guess.
     
  4. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Is vigor necessarily desirable? Suppose you want to graft a dwarf cultivar, or a non-palmatum species?

    Do people who sell understock select for vigor, or just sell all the seedlings?

    Surely the leaf type/color is not important for the eventual graft?

    -E
     
  5. winterhaven

    winterhaven Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    An experienced person I trust insists leaf color is very important for the eventual graft - that red should be grafted on red.
     
  6. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    And yet we frequently see red cultivars sprouting green from the base rootstock... And as a consumer there is no way to tell the eventual leaf color of the understock.

    What would be the rational for red-only-on-red? If all goes well we'll never see any leaves from the understock, and red cultivars don't usual revert to green...

    -E
     
  7. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I can think of a couple of advantages, not sure how important they are in practice.

    -Bark colour is more likely to be the same with similar coloured trees, making the graft less noticeable.

    -Gene transfer. It is possible for grafted plants to trade genes, therefore it would be an advantage if they had similar characteristics. Also, you would think that the closer the genetic makeup of the scion and rootstock, the less probability of delayed graft failure.

    In practice most nurseries will use ordinary green palmatum understock because thay are readily available, vigorous and quick to get up to size. On the other hand, I know of one nurseryman who always uses red understock, because if the graft fails to take he still has a saleable plant.

    -

    In answer to tomckey's original question, I have seen 'bloodgood' recommended as a seed parent for good quality and vigorous understock. If you are going to grow a tree for the seeds, you may as well have one that looks good.
     
  8. prairiestyle

    prairiestyle Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mr. Shep makes an interesting quote (#11) in this thread about variegated scions being grafted on both red and green understock.

    I have some red leaved culitvars (Nuresagi, Yezo Nishiki, Emperor 1) with green understock - leading me to wonder if they are affected by it - ie. would they look any different if they were growing on a red understock. As far as I can tell, they still fit their descriptions, though none of them are variegated.
     
  9. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I would guess probably the green-flowered type, since it has more chlorophyll, tends to grow more rapidly or vigorously than the red-flowered type. This would be attractive to a propagator looking to work up a batch of understock as quickly as possible, but perhaps not in the long-term interest of the tree, if it created an imbalance in vigor between root and stem.
     
  10. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mr. Shep informs us that they were able to create a red variant of a cultivar by grafting it repeatedly onto red rootstock. I'm experimenting using the same technique with Acer pseudosieboldianum as rootstock in the hopes of creating more cold-tolerant maples. Hopefully cold tolerance is a trait that can be transferred from rootstock to scion...
     
  11. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    That's really cool. I had no idea this was possible.
     
  12. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Kaspian, since you live in Maine you may be in an ideal area to test my work. It would involve planting two trees of the same cultivar - one on Acer palmatum understock and the other on Acer pseudosieboldianum understock. They would need to be planted in identical soil, light and temperature conditions; and given the exact same amount of fertilizer, etc. If my summer grafts are successful I'll have the first 5 sets of trees available next spring.
     
  13. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I'd be happy to participate in this test.
     
  14. 01876

    01876 Active Member

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    Interesting experiment, similar theory has been successfully practicing in my old country Taiwan for decades; folks there graft A. palmatum cultivars onto A. serrulatum rootstock which is a native that tolerate much warmer temperature. Those grafted A. palmatum are thriving in this sub-tropical island.
     
  15. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    That's very innovative 01876. Do you have any photos of cultivars grafted on serrulatum? How long of a dormant or leafless period do the tree exhibit?
     
  16. 01876

    01876 Active Member

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    Hey PTB,
    The dormant period typically starts from late December to mid February (about 45 to 68 F)
    Here is a photo of a fresh cleft grafted A. palmatum Purple ghost on a one year old A. serrulatum taken from my buddy who runs a backyard nursery in Taiwan.
    If you want to see more pictures, you can check out his blog. http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/johnnyhsyu0927/archive?l=f&id=14

    Joe
     

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  17. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Thanks 01. Fascinating.

    It's the 2nd time i viewed your friends blog! Right after I saw your previous post I googled "serrulatum/palmatum graft" or something close and it led me there.

    Hope your friend is managing the weather disaster OK.
     

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