I have a grafted apple tree and there are a few new branches growing from the rootstock. Am I suppose to clip these? (keep the rootstock bear of any branches other then grafted ones)

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    If that is a diagonal graft near the cross-bar, then your circled shoot is not rootstock. Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 1:07
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    Apple trees are usually grafted on rootstock at the base of the trunk, not higher up, unless the tree is a 'standard' or has more than one variety of apple grafted onto the upper parts - are you certain yours has been grafted where you circled, because it doesn't look like it... the label says its a Gala, not multi varieties.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 10:44
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    ...there appear to be at least 4 varieties grafted on here. Not only do you need to prune the rootstock suckers, you'll have a constant job trying to keep all 4 going (without considerable management, these "party trees" tend to turn into single-variety of whichever one "wins" or back to rootstock if you let that win.) Keep your pruning shears handy whenever you check on it. Also, pull up that bindweed (which won't kill the weed, but if you don't keep pulling it, it will take over...)
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


You should prune all sprouts and branches from the root stock. You want to encourage the root stock to transfer nutrients up and down from the grafted scion. Any branches and leaves from the root stock can effectively discourage the graft to take. Also as @Jurp added in a comment, even after the graft takes, rootstock branches can outcompete cultivar branches and make for undesirable/shrubby canopy structure.

When you prune the root stock, try to make clean cuts just above the branch buds, to minimize stress on the tree during that stressful time when the graft is taking.

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    +1 Another reason to cut the below-the-graft sprouts is because in many cases these sprouts can out-compete the desirable branches, even after the graft "takes"; they can also turn your tree into a large shrub.
    – Jurp
    Commented Jul 19, 2022 at 22:21

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