Grafting AllfoodsFarm 2012

This year things got a little out of hand. I wasn’t planning on grafting so many trees. But, I ended up making 161 trees.

72 apples
69 pears
20 plums

18 of the apples are double grafted trees intended to give away as christmas present. A couple have been donated to the school where Kirsty runs the kitchen garden. And we have an opportunity to sell them at the local organic shop.

The Grafting Bench

I invited a friend to join me and show him some grafting and pruning. He lives close by and is putting a mixed orchard this year as part of his permaculture design. I told him he could save a few dollars by making his own trees. In fact it worked out about one tenth, $2 a tree rather than $20 for a maiden tree.

RootStocks

MM102 – dwarfing apple, 45% seedling size

MM106 – semi vigorous apple, 65% seedling size

D6 – vigourous pear

Myro-29C – semi dwarf plum

 

Apple Rootstocks

 

Whip Tongue Graft

The main graft we use is the whip-tongue graft. Both root-stock and scion should be roughly the same size. About the size of a pencil is good to work with.

Cutting The Scion

Cutting the tongue in the scion

The scion and stock are fitted into one another. If the scion is smaller than the stock then it is aligned so the bark matches on one side only.

 

Scion And Stock

The whole graft is taped up with grafting tape to add further strength and keep the wound clean. The tape is usually removed about 4 to 5 months later (about christmas time).

Taping Graft

 

We use aluminum tags, cut from old drink cans. I get about 10 tags from 1 can.

 

Finished Trees Ready For Planting

 Cleft Graft

The other type of graft I use sometimes is the cleft graft. Sometimes the scion is just too small to be able to make an effective whip tongue graft. This type of graft is pretty easy.

The stock is much bigger than the scion

Cutting The Cleft In The Stock

 

As with the whip graft, the bark from the scion and the stock need to match up as closely as possible.

Scion In The Cleft

The Scion Wedge In The Cleft

If you have enough scion, I put a second one in to increase the chance of success.

 

Second Scion In Cleft

 

Harwood Cuttings

I always keep the tips from the roostocks and try to grow them for the following year. They are basically hardwood cuttings which I just stick in the ground.

Rootstock Tips Can Be Grown

 

I didn’t have enough time to prepare a proper bed for the hardwood cuttings so I just sheet mulched with newspapers to keep the weeds down for a while. The strike rate isn’t high, If half of them turned out alright then I will be happy.

Rootstock Hardwood Cuttings

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