Turning bad trees into good ones

A few years ago, I bought an orchard that was very heterogeneous. Most trees bloomed early in winter and their fruit set was poor. Fruit yield was not very good for many of them. That orchard was doomed not to be profitable, so a change was necessary.

In 2015, I detected 2 bitter almond trees in that orchard. I chopped them down one metre from the surface in autumn 2015. Many shots appeared in spring 2016. I selected 3 to 4 shots in mid May and grafted them. The technique I use is ring budding, as explained in the post about grafting almond trees (https://almondorchard.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/generating-trees-from-seeds/). New shots of the good variety had grown by mid June. The shots from the rootstock are carefully eliminated as they appear. Since the rootstock is healthy and the tree is strong, the shots grow very quickly and the tree may yield sweet almonds in two years.

I rejuvenated the whole orchard using this technique in 2017. It was hard work, but I consider it more sensible tan replanting the orchard. Most trees developed with vigour. Around 3 percent of the trees did not resist the practice and died. You can see bellow a tree one year after the grafting practice. The grafting point is highligted as well.

Chano_2018_09_2_Injerto 2017.JPG
September, 2, 2018. Tree grafted in May 2017
Chano_2018_09_2_Injerto 2017_2.JPG
Grafting point.

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