Best way to handle grafted apple seedlings.

Jack Terpack

Well-Known Member
I got a question for the experts. I just received my order from Cummins Nursery.
Ahmeads Kernel
Kingston Black
Hewe's Crab
Wolf River
Wickson Crab
Yarlington Mill
Seckel Pear

They are all very nice caliper. Should I simply plant them out or is there a benefit to putting them in 5 gal. "Dirt Pots" that I just found locally? I am leaning towards growing them throughout the summer and fall on the back porch before planting them out this winter. What are your suggestions?
No expert here but getting them in the ground within a few days of arrival has worked for me. Just be sure not to let the roots dry out while you're waiting to plant them.
Out of necessity I repotted 7 gallon chestnut trees into 10 gallon fabric pots in 2017. They were in the cloth pots July-October. We planted them to their final destination in October 2017 and had 100% survival.

I planted 24 bare root apple trees in April 2017. These trees were planted to their final destination within 4 days of arrival from NWC. They not only survived but thrived. Their growth last summer was much more than I would have predicted.

Based on those two experiences, I'll always plant my trees in their final location immediately if possible. Our Chestnuts are doing fine but the shock they received during that repotting process certainly set them back a season.
First year grafting apple trees to m111 rootstocks should I plant them to final location when they go dormant this fall or can I put them in grow bags for another growing season in hopes of better success rate of a more established tree opposed to a whip
I'm with the camp that says get them planted in their permanent location asap, in a grow tube or wire circle for protection. This eliminates the chance of the roots being potbound. Use some potting soil if your dirt is poor, and if you're concerned about the trees starting well. Watering requirements are no different either way.
Plant them in their final location this fall after they go dormant is how I do it. Mine stay in rootmaker containers their first spring/summer after grafting to be babied in my yard that first summer. I plant them that first fall after they have survived the grafting process and gone dormant. Has worked well for me.
Would the water absorbing crystals or polymers added to the soil and potting mix help with survival for locations that you simply can’t get to but a few times in the summer hunting camp and house 4 hours apart and with toddlers hard to get out and water on routine basis.