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Two Major structures used in Grafting Fruit Trees

Hass Avocado Seedlings in our Nurseries

Grafting is a technique that is used to combine two plants to produce the desired rootstock, providing trees with the desired fruit characteristics. Grafted plants develop resistance to soil-borne diseases such as bacterial wilt, southern blight, fusarium wilt, root-knot nematodes, and verticillium wilt. It also enables the plants to withstand harsh climatic conditions and to overcome salinity issues. The grafted part is composed of the scion (the top of the grafted plant) and the rootstock (the bottom part). Grafting success is facilitated by the propagation environment, grafting methods and grafting seasons. Greenhouses and shade net houses are common structures in grafting nurseries.

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Greenhouses

They are categorized into two; high cost and low-cost greenhouses. The high-cost greenhouse comprises of a polythene sheet set on metallic ashes. This type is easy to build and it can withstand strong winds without getting damaged. Greenhouses offer an ideal environment for grafted plants. Temperatures inside the greenhouse are higher than in the outside environment although they can be maintained at the desired level. The humidity in the greenhouses can be raised by sprinkling water even during the cold season. Since they offer a propagated environment, the success rate of the plants is high. The investment capacity determines the type of greenhouses and shade net houses required. It is effective for both small scale and large scale graft plants’ nurseries.

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Shade net houses

A systematic shade house is required for both small and large scale multiplication of graft plants. Mostly, young graft plants need a regulated environment in partial shade. Shade net houses can be easily built since only wooden poles are used to support the shade net. They allow the circulation of air and are not affected by wind. They offer a controlled environment required for the proper growth of the graft plants.

In a controlled environment, the graft plants take fewer days to sprout. These plants have a high number of leaves and grow at a faster rate. In Greenhouses and shade net houses, the grafts seem to heal quickly. The graft exposure to optimum temperature and humidity results in variations in the number of leaves of the graft plants. High humidity helps in the formation of the callus between the scion and stock and also prevents the scion from drying. Compatibility between the scion and the stock promotes cambium formation and easy union formation.

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Why Grafted Hass Avocado Is Gaining Popularity in Kenya

There is a group of farmers within Muranga County who believe that the Hass avocado is now Kenyan number one variety and that in tonnage it is destined to eventually exceed all other varieties including the Fuerte. This group points out that the Hass season compliments the Fuerte season making possible a two-variety coverage of the year as in the orange industry. Its paramount appeal to the grower for its heavy and precocious production. This fact coupled with its excellent eating and shipping quality, long season and medium size make it a profitable fruit for the entire Avocado industry.

The Hass is gaining acceptance in a wide area, possibly being suited to all avocado counties. This makes the Fuerte the “runner up” to the HASS for top rating and unless some new yet undeveloped variety hass made a spectacular rise the and it will eventually command the largest tonnage in the Kenya avocado industry.

GRAFTED AVOCADO DEMAND FOR SEEDLINGS

Hass trees are vigorous growers and easy to propagate. Trees top worked are usually very upright in growth like the parent tree but nursery trees range from moderately upright to spreading with most of them forming a rather well-balanced head. Close planting of the Hass has produced rather slender trees and some growers have considered this variety an upright tree to be planted as close as 6M by 6M apart.

This procedure has produced very heavy tonnage per acre at a surprising early age but it is undoubtedly true that these groves will have to be thinned. On deep soils, at least 7M spacing would seem to be required for mature trees. The Grafted Hass is very precocious, top worked trees usually bearing the first year and nursery trees by two years. It is quite impressive to produce so much fruit so soon and it is understandable the great grower interest that is developing around this variety. In some Counties growers are turning from the Fuerte to the Hass because of its much greater production in their localities. Although some Hass trees bear regularly there is a marked tendency with most trees to over bear one year and recuperate the next with a light crop. Unlike the old furte variety these trees will not kill themselves by continued over production. This alternation of production is usually a simple one of very heavy crops every other year. To the degree that the Hass overbears one year it will under bear the next. Occasionally trees will bear a terrific crop and will not even bloom the next year.

The Hass bloom is usually moderate in amount and comes later than the Fuerte with shorter duration. Unlike the Fuerte a healthy Hass tree limits the crop by the amount of the bloom. The flowers seem to all set and after a normal thinning retain a good crop commensurate with the amount of bloom.

GRAFTED HASS AVOCADOS SEASONS

The Hass has the longest season of any known avocado and has been demonstrated to be edible throughout most of the year. As a back-yard tree, its season is probably from March to November but commercially from May to October at in Kenya. At present, it fills the gap between the Fuerte and the other varieties bringing high prices at this time. When it is in greater supply its commercial limits will have to be determined.

GRAFTED AVOCADO MARKET

From the market standpoint, the Hass would appear to have everything. Excellent quality, popular size, small seed, good shipper, its leathery skin and long season complimenting the Fuerte. The Hass variety gives satisfaction and repeat business follows. This variety has been put to the top by Kakuzi farmers and has numbered among its members the pioneer growers of this variety and have had more experience with marketing it to date. The report says that it has consistently returned more than any other avocado. Its small size is very popular and as it comes on the market early it beats competition to a great extent.

 

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