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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in hearing about some of your experiences with grafting and growing apple trees.

For now I'm most interested in the selection and use of rootstock and scions.

I'd also like to know what books you might recommend on the subject.
 

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Hi,

Here is a really good forum on fruit trees, berries, etc....
Fruit & Orchards Forum - GardenWeb (lots of talk about grafting also)

From that forum, I found out a lot about this subject. I bought plant material (trees, berry bushes, grapes, etc.) from Raintree Nursery in Washington State for three years. You wouldn't believe the variety of stuff they have. Get one of their catalogs. Nice bareroot trees, etc.

One of the things I learned on Garden Web - Fruit forum is that rootstock is not so much for control of the size of the apple tree but rather growing conditions. To control the size of the tree, SUMMER PRUNE. And there is a reason for it. In other words, even a tree on semi-dwarf rootstock can get much bigger than it "should". Winter pruning actually causes water sprouts and for the tree to explode with growth the next growing season as the roots store the food for the tree over the winter and if there are less limbs, there is excess food to feed what is there.

Avoid dwarf rootstock altogether as those kinds of trees get loaded with fruit and the root system is too small to keep the tree anchored in the ground (especially if it rains). In addition, dwarf trees tend to need to have the branches propped up with lumber when the tree bears heavily or they will split. A dwarf tree will HAVE to have much of the fruit trimmed off to avoid this. I read this and also my cousin experienced her tree becoming uprooted.

Not sure how to add a link to this post??
 

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Yes, thanks. How do you put in a link? Check out my profile for all the stuff we planted in the yard. LOL
 

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There are some real good videos on apple grafting on Youtube. Just search for Apple grafting. I try real hard to graft avocados with only limites success.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, thanks. How do you put in a link? Check out my profile for all the stuff we planted in the yard. LOL

To post a link simply visit the page you wish to "link" to. I usually open the page, or object in a new tab or window.

Once on the "page" simply highlight the contents of the address bar at the top of your browser... then right-click and choose "copy".

Return to the tab or window on Beesource, click on the message window and then right click and choose "paste". It becomes second nature after a while.

Many of my postings on Beesource are simply my directing members to things they're looking for.

If you want to post a photo choose the "insert image" button above the message window and paste the image's URL int the pop-up.



jkpitts,

"There are some real good videos on apple grafting on Youtube. Just search for Apple grafting. I try real hard to graft avocados with only limites success."

Thanks for the suggestion...
 

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I put in two types of apple rootstocks and one pear last year, meaning to pick up a decent knife before spring. Main goal is to save the last apple tree out on the farm.
 

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BeeCurious: :doh: Oh, I almost did it that way. Instead I was on that page and hit the paper and pencil icon which put it on an email. That was what I copied and pasted and it didn't work.

All: Make sure you harvest about 12 inches for each scion during the mid dormant part of winter. Select healthy pencil diameter scions that are last year's growth. Store in zip lock bags with moist paper towel in the refrigerator till you use them. The scion should still be dormant when grafted to a tree branch that is starting to push growth or at least swell buds. Of course, you won't graft the full 12 inches on. You can also do things like chip or bud graft. They say that apple tree water sprouts make excellent graft material.

Oh, and graft material must be compatible with the tree or rootstock it is being grafted to. Raintree Nursery also sells rootstock.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I put in two types of apple rootstocks and one pear last year, meaning to pick up a decent knife before spring. Main goal is to save the last apple tree out on the farm.
There is an old orchard on the farm where I keep some of my hives and I'm wondering if the trees could be "renewed". I'll need to see if the owners are interested.


snip

Oh, and graft material must be compatible with the tree or rootstock it is being grafted to. Raintree Nursery also sells rootstock.
There is going to be a lot to learn.

I just reserved two books at the library:

"The grafter's handbook" / R.J. Garner

"The reference manual of woody plant propagation"
 

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Harvest scions in the spring before the buds swell. In New England that is mid March. I put the bundle in a vase in the fridge and pull a used bread loaf bag over it to keep the scions from drying out. Put a rubber band around the bag and vase to seal it well so if you knock it over it will not spill.

I have had the best luck with scions that were vigorous water sprouts. I like the host stock to be a bit larger so it can be cut by putting my knife across the cut and hitting it with a hammer. I then hold the split open with a screwdriver and adjust the scion positions. They should skew so the cambium must line up somewhere along the joint. When the screwdriver is removed the junction closes up tight holding the scions in place.

Use a razor knife for cutting the scion into a wedge, they are cheap and the blades disposable so they are always sharp and clean. I have found that keeping the knives and screwdriver clean is essential. Bring mineral spirits into the field and keep wiping everything down after every graft. It is a bother but it is worth it.

Cover everything well with grafting wax and wrap it with plastic strips. This protects the joint from drying out and holds everything from moving. I put a dob of wax on the ends of the scions too so they do not dry out from that end either.

I make my own grafting wax from equal parts paraffin, beeswax, and baby oil. Paraffin does not shrink in the cold, baby oil keeps it from getting hard and brittle in the cold, beeswax keeps it from melting in the heat. Adjust the mix to suit your weather.

I cut shopping bags into strips to wrap the junction in. This protects it and the wax. Shopping bags degrade in the UV light and so you do not have to worry if you forget about them.

Do not put different types of apples onto the same tree unless they flower at the same time and have fruit at the same time or you will have trouble with pollination in the spring and perhaps also with the spraying schedule later.

YouTube has some great clips to help you get a feel for the process. Make sure you practice first on a pile of pruned branches because there is a real knack to getting the cuts right when trimming the scion stock.
 

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MM 111 (semi-dwarf) bears in 3 to 5 years is hardy, drought resistant, and well anchored


M 7 (semi-dwarf) is smaller than MM 111, adapts to many soils, may need support, also bears in 3 to 5 years


Bud 9 (dwarf) bears in 2 to 4 and requires support, produces large fruit, and shows drought tolerance.

seedling stock is highly variable, but can work very well if selected from a old local source, and favors full size, long lived trees.

A nice nursery close to me:

http://www.centuryfarmorchards.com/

A must have book if you are into heirloom apples (even up north):

http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Appl...=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297611544&sr=1-1

A tour of Lee's farm :
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/chatham/ag/SustAg/calhounshowandtell09.html
 

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I bought 6 varieties of pear trees bareroot with the intention of grafting all the varieties to two of them and planting those two on my dad's acreage. Didn't get around to it yet.

I have these:

Pears: Bartlett, Comice, Highland, Orcas, Rescue, Ubileen......and a pear rootstock.
Apples: McIntosh and Honeycrisp
Japanese Plum: On one tree I have Methley, Shiro, Beauty and Hollywood.
European Plum: Seneca and Victoria
Sour Cherry: Danube and Evans Bali
Thornless Blackberry: Triple Crown (sweeter than most and supposed to get 30 lbs. of fruit per plant)

Also have Illinois Everbearing Mulberry (yum), Elderberry (York and Johns), gooseberry (Captivator and Friend - both of which should be thornless), currants (Pink Champagne (yum), Jhonkheer Van Tets, Red Lake), black currant (Ben Sarek........yuck!), Crandall Clove Currant (yum), grapes (Jupiter-muscat flavor, yum) and Sweet Senduction), High Bush Cranberry, Serviceberry (Smoky which is missing?), aronia (where'd that go?)

I read about a trick for the pears (probably other fruit trees also) to help keep them small and get them to bear early.... plant them close, summer prune once they are the size you want them to be and then maintain that by summer pruning.

Winter pruning (to shape) should be done on a young tree until it is the size you want it to be, then summer pruning only to maintain size. Don't rely on rootstock to keep a tree a smaller size. Some of the fruits/berries we have aren't producing yet.
 

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I have some pear trees that seem to get “burned” by the hot summers where I live.
Their leaves really looked like someone burned the tips.
I was wandering if I could draft my pear trees, with a multiple peach, plums and nectarines on the same singles; in order to take advantage of the now 4 year old trees.
Just want to play with grafting.:)
 

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MichaBees,

There is a disease out there that is called fire blight that looks like the tip of the branch is scorched. It effects apple and pear trees. If not pruned off, it will kill the whole tree. Disinfect pruning tools with each cut. That being said, it is possible due to your location/rainfall that what you have is something different.....I don't know. Check out the link by Bee Curious to Garden Web - fruit forum.
 

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Re: blackberries, another of my intentions is to get mine trellised, they are thornless, produce fairly well for the little attention I give them.
 

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MichaBees, Fire blight cannot be "treated". Only thing you can do is prune off 12 inches below the affected part. Yes, it can spread to other trees. Burn the infected branch, disinfect the pruners before you prune and after each cut.
 
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