A shank is a handle on which you can put a shovel, rake, hoe, scythe, pickaxe, broom, mop, ice pick. Different tools require different species, differing in size and tree species.
Cuttings are different
The shank for the shovel should be thicker and shorter than for the scythe. Perhaps, and more durable, since another effort is applied to it. This also applies to all other types of instruments.
The consumer can find a large selection in the store.
The products usually look great, since they are made in production, but in fact they may turn out to be of poor quality. A cut made from lumber, loose on bars, even taking into account the preliminary drying of the tree, has all the same drawbacks that the timber that gave rise to it had. The layers of wood that go through it don't always follow its geometry. Therefore, what appears to be a perfect product can break under severe stress.In addition, even well-dried wood continues to interact with moisture, and sooner or later it may either bend, or crack, or begin to dangle in the seat.
A stalk made from a solid tree trunk or from its straight branch of sufficient thickness serves much better.
All its wood layers are arranged symmetrically around the core and are able to harmoniously resist almost any effort applied to them.
The only drawback of a solid barrel grip is that it is unlikely to be purchased from a store.
Most likely, you will have to go to the nearest thickets and at the same time independently process the extracted material.
Suitable wood species
It should be noted wood, which has serious disadvantages. As a rule, this applies to conifers. Resin, which may start to protrude from the handle of the shovel, will not be of any use to the excavator.
The most preferred choice for making cuttings is hardwood such as birch, beech, poplar, oak.
The lightest will come from poplar, but it will also be the weakest. Best used for hoes or rakes, the oak handle will be the heaviest and most difficult to handle. But it may turn out to be "eternal". Made of beech, it is very durable, but requires protection from moisture.
A birch stalk is what we most often use.
In addition to these species, hazel, mountain ash, maple are suitable. The latter are flexible and strong enough. A beautiful stalk will turn out from an ash tree.
Procurement time and processing methods
Cuttings should be harvested in mid or late autumn, when the movement of tree sap stops. You should choose wood with a minimum number of knots, without cracks and rot. Deadwood is most preferred.
For example, for a shovel with a thickness of 40 mm, you need to prepare a tree trunk twice as thick.
After drying, it is processed with carpentry tools to the desired thickness, after which it is sanded and, if necessary, impregnated with protective compounds. Varnishes extend the lifespan of the cuttings, but impair ease of use. The hand glides over the varnish, sweat is not absorbed into the handle.
Spring harvesting of cuttings for grafting fruit
March, or rather its second half, is the beginning of pruning fruit trees. The sun is already high enough, the day has increased significantly, and one can no longer expect severe frosts. It is a good time to go out into the garden with a pruner and a garden saw to clean up the trees that have grown overgrown the previous summer. Simultaneously with pruning, you can start harvesting cuttings for spring grafting in the crown or on the rootstock you have grown. During pruning, there is enough material to select suitable cuttings.
At this time, the trees are still dormant, the buds are dormant, and there are enough plastic substances in the wood to remain viable until grafting. The grafting operation is carried out at a time when the sap flow in the tree has already begun, buds are already beginning to bloom on the grafted trees. The rootstock stalk attached to them immediately receives nutrients, and the growth process goes quite quickly. However, if the stalk is taken from a tree on which the buds have already blossomed, then the likelihood of its drying out significantly increases, even if it was immediately grafted into a new place.
Why vaccination is needed
The main purpose of grafting is a more rational use of tree resources. Indeed, often the fruiting of certain crops stops at all not because of the trunk and root system of the tree. Crown formation in old trees is difficult, young shoots are practically not formed on them and the yield is significantly reduced.
Successful apple grafting result
At the same time, the root system of the tree works more and more efficiently every year (since it is constantly increasing in size). It turns out a paradoxical situation: the roots supply the plant with nutrients, but the plant cannot use them anywhere due to the degradation of the crown.
It is at this moment that vaccinations come to the aid of the gardener. In place of the old crown, young cuttings take root, which, thanks to the feeding of a powerful root system, develop very quickly. Literally 2-3 years later, the tree begins to produce stable yields. At the usual pace, this process would have dragged on for a much longer time.
As a grafted material, either the same or a different variety or species can be used. This does not play any role - the nutrients extracted by the root system from the soil are absolutely the same for all plants.
How to procure
In order for the grafting to go as it should, it is necessary to choose the right time for harvesting, as well as to carry out the harvest itself with high quality.
To do this, you must adhere to the following instructions:
- you should select in advance the trees from which the graft will be taken
- for the stalk to take root well, you need to use only young, healthy, as well as fruitful branches of the apple tree
- the scion is made from annual shoots. If it is impossible to use one-year shoots, two-year shoots are used
- branches should grow from the lighted part of the bark
- cutting begins only after the end of the growing season or before bud break
- cuttings are not harvested from branches that grow vertically (from tops or wen)
- at the end of summer, on the selected branch, pinch the tops of the buds. This is done so that the shoots, after grafting, ripen well. But you can use regular branches too.
- ripe shoots with a diameter of at least 5-6 mm are best suited for the scion; they should have an apical growth bud and leafy lateral buds
- do not make the scion too short (about 10 cm)
- crooked, thin and damaged branches are not suitable as a scion
- it is necessary to cut off the shoots below the growth neck with a piece of two-year-old wood up to 2 cm. Otherwise, the scion may deteriorate during storage.
After the scion has been cut, it must be collected in bunches according to varieties (if several trees are grafted with different varieties at once). Before that, in order for the cuttings to be stored for a long time and give a good harvest after grafting, they must be wiped with a damp cloth and sorted by size. Then the bundles must be tied with wire and be sure to hang a tag on which to indicate the variety, cut time and the place where these cuttings will be grafted in the spring (tree variety).
Video "Harvesting cuttings for grafting an apple tree"
All stages of harvesting cuttings can be additionally viewed in the video.
Ready cuttings are planted in pre-prepared spreading ridges, which are arranged in the shade (in most cases, the optimal illumination for successful rooting is 50-70%). Rooting proceeds best when the substrate temperature is 3-5 degrees higher than the ambient temperature. To create such conditions, biofuel is laid at the bottom of the ridge - horse manure with a layer of 25-30 cm, which, decomposing, generates heat and provides the cuttings with lower heating. Next, the fertile soil is poured with a layer of 15 cm, and finally, the substrate for rooting with a layer of 3-4 cm.As such a substrate, you can use a mixture of neutral peat with sand in a ratio of 1: 1 or 2: 1 with the addition of finely chopped sphagnum moss, which has moisture retaining and bactericidal properties. It is useful to shed the substrate with one of the drugs - Radiance, Baikal, Renaissance, Fitosporin to suppress pathogenic microflora. The same preparations can be used in the process of caring for cuttings, adding to the irrigation water once every 1-2 weeks.
Cuttings are planted at a distance of 5-7 cm from each other to a depth of 1.5-2 cm. On top of the ridge is covered with glass, plastic wrap or non-woven covering material in arcs at a height of 25 cm from the cuttings. Each of these materials has its own drawbacks - in the heat, under polyethylene and glass, the temperature can rise too much, and it is more difficult to maintain high humidity under non-woven covering material. For most tree and shrub species, the optimum temperature is + 20 ... + 26 degrees and humidity 80-90%. In an industrial environment, moisture is maintained by fogging machines that spray moisture at regular intervals. At home, cuttings are sprayed with water several times a day. Cuttings should be regularly inspected, and fallen leaves and loose specimens should be removed.
With the beginning of rooting, the plantings are aired, opening the film first for 1-2 hours, each time increasing the time, the number of sprays is reduced. After hardening the rooted cuttings, the film is removed. A month later, they are fed with a liquid complex mineral fertilizer.
A small number of cuttings can be rooted in boxes by adding 8-10 cm of soil and 1.5-2 cm of river sand. 1-3 cuttings can be rooted in a pot by covering with a clear cut-bottom plastic bottle. Removing the cap from the neck, it is convenient to ventilate. It is convenient to move pots or boxes with rooted cuttings for the winter to the basement for the winter.
Cuttings rooted in the cuttings are left in the ground, covered with a dry leaf for the winter, or they are dug up and stored in the refrigerator or dug in the basement, at a temperature of + 1 ... + 2 degrees.
In the spring, the cuttings are transplanted into the "school" for 2-3 years for growing, then transplanted to a permanent place.
The table shows data on the effectiveness of green cuttings in different crops *:
* The table is compiled according to the data of GBS and TSKhA.
When is vaccination time
The grafting of fruit trees is usually started in April (May), when active sap flow begins in the rootstock. For successful fusion of the cutting (scion) with the stock, it is very important that the scion is still at rest, and the stock is already in an active state.
Therefore, the cuttings are kept until the last moment in cold storage! And you need to get them out of such a shelter a day before vaccination, not earlier. An exception will be those cuttings that were stored in frozen sawdust - they "get into the light of day" with the whole frozen lump in two (or even three) days, because natural thawing takes a long time.
For the successful fusion of cuttings with the stock, it is very important that the scion is still at rest, and the stock is already in an active state.
For reference. In stone fruit crops, sap flow begins earlier, therefore, stone fruit (plum, cherry, sweet cherry) are first grafted, and only then - pome fruit (apple, pear).
How to check the safety of cuttings:
- the bark of the cutting should look fresh and smooth. If it is wrinkled or looks dry, the stalk may be dead.
- when bent, the handle should be firm and quite elastic. If, when trying to bend, the handle cracked and broke, it did not survive the winter
- when cross-sectioned, the exposed wood should be light green and fresh. If it is brown and lifeless, the grafting stalk is not suitable.
- buds should sit tightly on the handle (shoot)
- kidney scales should be smooth in appearance, elastic to the touch
- when the kidney is cut along the cut, it should be green (light green), without any brown inclusions.
To determine if the cuttings are frozen, you need to conduct a test: make fresh slices at the bottom and place in a container with clean water. If the cuttings are healthy and well preserved, the water will remain clear, and if they are frozen, the water will acquire a yellowish-brown color.
So we have considered all the stages of harvesting and storing cuttings for our future grafts. As it turned out, it is not the gods who burn the pots, everything is in our power and capabilities, there would be a desire. And it will definitely appear, you just have to think about the wonderful prospects to shoot a rich harvest from amazing apple pears and plum apricots in your summer cottage!