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grafted apple tree growth/planting depth?

12 years ago

About 6 years ago I planted a honeycrisp and a macintosh in my yard. They were 24 inches tall then. They are now 6 and 7 feet, and have not yet flowered. I was starting to get irritated by this so I went and pulled up the mat around it to get a look at the soil. I noticed root coming out from above the graft, very fine, and less than 8 inches long. I know the graft is supposed to stay above ground so this doesn't happen, apparently the accumulation of grass clippings has held enough moisture around the graft for it to sucker like that.

Is this the reason for the apparent slow growth? I know soil conditions could be a factor as well, but other trees grow like weeds in my yard. If I clip those roots off and remove a little dirt to lower the soil level will that reverse this? Or, just how do I handle this and help these trees grow better?


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