Preparing understocks...

I have Dr Huey growing and have sourced some multiflora cuttings which I’ll grow as specimens for a ready supply of understock material and I’m trying to source ‘Manetti’ to try as well. Now I’m wondering how best to prepare the cuttings in preparation for budding (when I get to that stage later on) so that they are not forever suckering. I’ve never excised buds before and there isn’t a whole lot of information out there on how to do it so I would be grateful for any advice. If you excise the buds when preparing the cuttings does it affect their strike rate? I like to make rose cuttings with the bottom cut close to a bud which I wound and then add hormone too (been experimenting a little with willow tea with some encouraging results too) and this seems to increase my chances of them taking. If I leave that bottom bud there, however, it will sucker forever more…

I excise all buds except the top one or two. I don’t bother using hormone. Most root fine without it.

Also, I rub off the prickles on Manetti before starting them. I use 8" or 9" cuttings.

Take off the bottom bud.

The night before budding, emerse the understock in water for 1/2 hour. Do the same in the morning. It w3ants to be very wet throughout to slip easily.


How do you actually excise the bud? How dp do you have to go?

Just beneath the cambium layer. It’s ok to cut a bit deeper to make certain you get the whole bud.

Using a budding knife (wickedly sharp), you engage the cane less than 1/8 of an inch below the bud eye. Make a slight cut into the cane at an angle, about the depth of the bud eye. With a flicking wrist action, you flick the blade roughly parallel to the budstick and up, lifting the bud eye. Sometimes a piece of cambium lifts with the shield. You should cut it rather than strip the cane. It will heal. Mentally, visualize scooping out the budeye.

It takes about three budsticks to feel comfortable. Rootstocks are forgiving of beginners. The easiest mistake is have the budstick upside down, so you de-eye the top eyes and leave the bottom eyes.