Apple tree growing thorns

ladycrofter

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Highland
Saw this at a friend's 🤪, burr on the side of an apple tree throwing out thorn-bearing water shoots. Not a crab apple, good sized eating apples but unknown variety. Well above any graft point. Whatever is happening?!?
 

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DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Hawthorn seed grown in a crack in the bark and taken root?
I had a holly tree grew in an apple tree once. I pulled the holly tree out carefully and transplanted it into the wood where it grew into a big tree. The oldies said I’d be cursed forever for moving a holly tree.😆
 

Wisconsonian

Member
Trade
Thorns aren't that unusual on apple trees. Those could be spurs from the pics, I can't tell if they had leaves on them or if they're hard and sharp like thorns. And that could easily be the rootstock, if it was grafted as a bigger tree, by a hobbyist.
 

ladycrofter

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Highland
Thanks so much for the replies. We'll investigate further when I'm back there. The tree is so old and fissured that I didn't look too closely for the graft union.
Intersting about the seed taking root! There have been hawthorns come up in pots in the garden occasionally.
 

TheTallGuy

Member
Location
Cambridgeshire
Some apple trees do bear thorns, although it's rare in the domestic varieties. Sometimes there's a bit of regression present in offshoots - particularly from the graft regions. It's also possible for side shoots to "abort" on rapidly growing stems - this often leaves a thorn like structure.
 

2wheels

Member
Location
aberdeenshire
Hawthorn seed grown in a crack in the bark and taken root?
I had a holly tree grew in an apple tree once. I pulled the holly tree out carefully and transplanted it into the wood where it grew into a big tree. The oldies said I’d be cursed forever for moving a holly tree.😆
some of your posts suggest you are indeed cursed. :D
 

TheTallGuy

Member
Location
Cambridgeshire
Grafts usually need to be within at least the same genus to survive & often with the same species to thrive/be productive. Thus, grafting of pear (pyrus) onto a plum (prunus) is most unlikely to work, likewise with apple (malus). Even within a genus can be very variable as to whether the graft will take - this is not due to DNA exchange, but to do with the compatibility between the two sides of the graft of the base tissues and the vascular structures.
 

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