Dwarf Fruit Trees - Opinions & Help needed *Pics*

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Tori, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Tori

    Tori Gardener

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    Hello, I am quite new to growing fruit trees but I purchased a dwarf apple tree 18 months ago to keep in a large container. It has been doing well so I decided to expand and bought five different dwarf fruit trees in April. In order left to right in pic

    Stella Compact Cherry
    Gala Apple
    Plum
    Golden Delicious Apple
    Pear
    (Far Right my original Apple Tree)

    [​IMG]

    They arrived roughly 5ft tall, bare rooted and VERY severely cut back. I was surprised and disappointed by how severely; I mean they had no side branches at all! They were basically just sticks and one (the cherry tree) had been chopped off at the top as well. Never the less I soaked the roots as advised and planted them in large containers with a mixture of top soil and John Inns No.3 (also as advised). I also used Root Grow (“friendly mycorrhizal fungi”). I should point out at this stage that the dwarf apple tree I purchased a couple of years ago; I followed exactly the same procedure and it is doing splendidly (it was not from the same company and nowhere near as cut back when it arrived).

    By the end of May my original tree was looking luscious as growing well but there was absolutely no life from my new trees. The company said it may take them longer to “wake up” because they had been in cold storage. At last, over the last few weeks there has been some life but I am very concerned:

    The Cherry tree: has shoots but only at the very bottom (just above the root graft) only a small part of the tree has any green shoots – about a foot or so above the graft has shoots but absolutely nothing else any further up the 5ft tree.

    The Gala Apple: Has shoots to the side where short stumps of branches had been left and a top shoot, this looks fine to me.

    All three of the other trees (Golden delicious, plum and pear) all have green shoots growing but all from the small area above the soil BELOW the graft point! It is like the grafted tree is dead and it is trying to start again below it [​IMG]

    I have come to the conclusion that these trees are lost (except the Gala Apple) but what I really want to know is who is at fault here? Did I do something wrong? Or could they have been a dead loss when they arrived to me? I thought I did everything right and to be fair they are alive at the roots as they are all trying to grow something – just not continuing to grow as they should! I am very disappointed and the company has been no help at all and quite rude. Although I am quite new to this I have successfully kept my original apple tree healthy and producing fruit so I find it unfair of them to blame it on me assuming I killed them all not knowing what I was doing!

    I would be extremely grateful of any opinions and advice. My farther (an avid gardener) is encouraging me to argue my corner with the company. He believes they were no good when they sent them to me. What are your opinions? Please help! Many many thanks.

    P.S. I can add some closer up photos of each tree if this helps. I will go out and take some more photos soon:)
     
  2. Jenny namaste

    Jenny namaste Total Gardener

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    Hallo Tori,
    And welcome to Gardeners Corner:sign0016:
    I feel you have been sold some right pigs in some right pokes. I would be fuming too. Don't worry, others will be along to add sympathy, support and advice soon. There are a few heavy weights in the Gardeners Corner!!
     
  3. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    I say name and shame the supplier too! Charlatans!
     
  4. Tori

    Tori Gardener

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    Hi Jenny, thanks for the welcome :) and yes I am pretty mad about it!

    On closer inspection it would appear that two of the trees are totally dead above the graft. A friend of a friend advised I do a "bark test" and scrape a small bit of bark off and see if I could see any green, I did this at small intervals all the way down and totally brown all the way on the Pear & the Plum :( The Cherry is only green under the bark about a foot above the graft, the rest of the 5ft tree seems dead, and again only about a foot of green under bark on the Golden Delicious Apple.

    I am still confused as to whether it is my fault?! I have clearly kept the roots alive as they are all still trying to grow something, it's just that three of them are growing below the graft - but the trees grafted on have died! And one is only alive about a foot above the graft.... Yet ONE tree out of the five is doing fine! (The Gala Apple, second one in from the left in photo).

    fat controller: Of Course! They came from Gardening Express (.co.uk) and yes I advise everyone stay well away from them given my experience!

    Tori
     
  5. Scrungee

    Scrungee Well known for it

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    What rootstock are these dwarf trees supposed to be grafted onto?
     
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