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Q: Let The Suckers Grow?

Aug 19, 2009 -

None of my pecan trees and one Pedro walnut, various ages from 2 years to 6 years, leafed out this spring.  Instead, some of them produced suckers from the rootstock.  I have a horrible gopher problem this year and think they were what happened to the trees.   Almonds don’t appear to be damaged, nor do fruit trees. 

Question is:  What kind of tree do I get if I leave the suckers growing?

amber Says:
Aug 19th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

The suckers are actually the offspring of the roostock your pecan and walnut trees are grafted into.  The suckers will not produce the same characteristics of the trees you wanted so it would be best to replant the trees you want.  For example your Pedro Walnut might have been grafted onto NCB (Northern California Black) Walnut rootstock.  If so the sucker would grow into a 30-60ft tree that produces small thick skinned tough to crack walnuts (  Those probably aren’t the characteristics you want for your home garden!
When and if you plant new trees consider using tree sized gopher baskets.

cornville Says:
Aug 19th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Thanks for your response.  Is it possible to graft pecan or walnut onto the rootstock suckers?  They do seem to be thriving so far that is.  I’m sure that’s a specialty that is far beyond my capabilities but if I could find someone…

Kristin Says:
Aug 25th, 2009 at 1:05 pm

You can certainly graft a scion onto the suckers. Choose the strongest sucker and prune out the rest. Graft your choice of nut onto your sucker. It may be wise to graft the same or similar type that was growing on the rootstock before. You can Google grafting nut trees to see the different ways of doing it. Have fun!

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