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Which direction should the scion on the rootstock face when I plant the tree?

Question

Asked by: Aziz  from Manchester, 31-Oct-2019

Which direction should the scion kink on the rootstock face when I plant it? Or doesn't it matter.

Answer

In a young fruit tree the scion (top part of the tree) will appear to grow out from the side of the rootstock, giving the tree a noticeable kink near the base.

In most cases you don't need to worry about which direction it faces, because in the longer term the stem of the tree will grow right over the top of the rootstock as it thickens.

However if you are growing the tree as a fan or espalier against a fence, it is important to take acount of it. Ideally you should plant the tree with the bulge of the scion nearest to the fence or wall.

Similarly, if you are using a permanent vertical stake, it is best to put the stake on the windward side of the tree, and plant the tree against the stake with the bulge of the scion nearest the stake.