Saturday, April 4, 2015

Planting rootstock and cutting scion wood

Today was not a very photogenic day.

Bee hives

I cleaned out a couple of bee hives that mice had gotten into.  I took no pictures.

Cutting scion wood

I cut scion wood from Shenandoah pear, Liberty apple, Illinois Everbearing Mulberry, Lena (aka, Mitchellena) and Szukis persimmon.  I took no pictures.

I really like Shenandoah pear for fruit quality but it appears to be on-the-bubble for cold hardiness here.  I have some young trees that show branch die-back where they were touching the metal of the deer cages I protect them with.

Liberty apple is cold hardy, productive and has great taste when it ripened in cool weather.  The only flaw that I see is that it drops much fruit before it is ripe because the fruit stems are not quite long enough.

Illinois Everbearing Mulberry seems to fruit from mid-June until late-August when it gets enough moisture.  It is an incredible tree.

The persimmon scion wood is to graft over a Morris Burton that I have as a "yard tree".  Morris has good quality but is not a very heavy bearer for me...nor is the fruit very big.  I will see if I can do better with Lena and Szukis.  If all goes well I will have a few experimental cultivars to graft into that tree as well.

Planting rootstock

The rootstock is the darktwig to the right of the T post and in the foreground.

I planted Bud 118 apple rootstock that I will graft the Liberty on to.  I planted twelve of them.  Basically, I was planting them into "holes" in my orchard where trees died.  I do not need twelve Liberty apple trees so I intend to top-work them to other varieties once they are above waist height.

I also plan to run about 20 of these rootstock in a row to use as "stool beds" to produce rootstock for my future use.


I took some "mushrooms" over to the Captain.  He was very surprised that I was finding mushrooms this early in the year, especially with spring being as cold and dry as it has been.

Click to embiggen.  Seasoned with black pepper, garlic and grated Parmesan cheese.

I told him that they were Chicken of the Woods, which is normally a fall mushroom.

In fact, they are chicken thighs with the meat whittled away from one end of the bone.  The bone is propped up with a toothpick while they are pan-fried at low heat.  Then the toothpick is removed.  Yes, they look like mushrooms...but they taste like meat.

Gratuitous German Shepherd picture

Hunting rabbits while "Grandpa" cuts scion wood.


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