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grafting on exsiting tree

 
Kris Minto
Posts: 137
Location: Ottawa, Canada -- Zone 4b/5a
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Hi,

I am planning on getting an apple tree in the spring to add to my somewhat urban forest garden (food forest). I am only getting one because my neighbour already has an apple tree with the 3 in 1 he got at Home Depot. My concern is they aren't very good gardener and if the tree dies in the near future I would be required to get a second tree for cross-pollination but I do not really have to room for more.

Is it possible to grafting a different variety on an existing apple tree at any point in time for cross pollination if my neighbours apple tree does in fact die or will this method not work?

Thanks,
Kris
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 363
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Yes, is is certainly feasible to graft onto an existing apple tree. I had four unpalatable cultivars which I originally obtained as scionwood from the Central Siberian Botanical Garden in Novosibirsk, back in the '90s. I consolidated them in one tree, since I did still want to keep them around, but without taking up so much space. I grafted a couple more on this tree last year, so now there are six, plus the original crabapple, on the one tree. I was feeding them to the chickens, but have discovered that they're a great source of homemade pectin.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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Kris, Do you live in an area with lots of trees? There may be other apples around that you are not aware of. Any Crab apples ? They do not have to be right next door.
 
Kris Minto
Posts: 137
Location: Ottawa, Canada -- Zone 4b/5a
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I am not sure if there are other apple trees around since I am in a new development (two years old) and my backyard back onto a conservation land which I have not seen any Apple/Crab Apple tree. If my neighbour apple tree does die I will likely wait a year or two before doing anything since the tree will only be 8 feet tall when I buy it in the spring. I was more looking for confirmation that this is an option I could use if my Apple tree does not produce any apple.

Thanks for all of the replies,
Kris
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 363
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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No need to wait; trees can be grafted way smaller than 8 feet. You might see if they'll give you some scionwood now, and just graft it on in case. Plus you'll get some variety.
 
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