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Fruit trees: do grafts or strike cuttings?  RSS feed

 
John Macgregor
Posts: 16
Location: Cambodia
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I'm planning to sell fruit trees at markets (maybe 6-12" high), & am wondering the best way to propagate them.

The conventional wisdom is that grafts are necessary for most varieties, as you need a hardy rootstock inured to local conditions, with a high-bearing scion grafted on top of it.

There are exceptions such as mulberry & fig, but it is broadly advised not to strike fruit trees from cuttings. However I'm unclear as to the reason. Is it because:

1. The cutting won't "take" as successfully as a graft will, & you'll lose a lot of them.

or

2. You'll end up with a mature plant whose roots aren't hardy enough for local conditions, & which therefore won't thrive.

(Or both.)

I don't know anything about grafting but am reasonably confident of my abilities as a striker of cuttings (clones) - which is why I'm interested in what the rationale for the above view.

Thanks to all.
 
Wayne Mackenzie
Posts: 116
Location: Sunizona Az., USA @ 4,400' Zone 8a
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greening the desert
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Both .
 
Patrick Mann
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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Apart from disease resistance, root stocks are primarily used to limit the size of the resulting tree (super dwarf, dwarf, semi-dwarf).
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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most cultivars of fruit that are grafted are of weak roots, and weak disease resistance. as you said this is not the case with all trees. your most common trees like apples, pears, peaches and such are mostly grafted. certain things like mulberry as you mentioned will grow well on its own roots. even though people do graft mulberry.

you should look into learning to graft. it is very very easy. i learned to graft in one session from someone who knew what they were doing in 2-3 hours. i grafted 50 apple trees and had 95% success. from then on i have been grafting with high success. producing trees for pennies now instead of 20-40$.

also keep in mind a lot of permaculture plants propagate in other ways like divisions, runners, tip layering, ground layering, etc... i planted a new bed of 100 strawberries last year, and now im digging up the runners i must have well over 1000 new plants i dont have to buy. and they propagated themselves.
 
John Macgregor
Posts: 16
Location: Cambodia
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Thanks so much Jordan - very practical advice, and yes I could easily do it (there's a local grafting course here soon).

The reason I was trying to avoid grafting was that I assume you have to grow the rootstock before you can do it - which would add an extra year or two to the process.

Is that right? Where does the rootstock come from?

Thanks again.




Jordan Lowery wrote:most cultivars of fruit that are grafted are of weak roots, and weak disease resistance. as you said this is not the case with all trees. your most common trees like apples, pears, peaches and such are mostly grafted. certain things like mulberry as you mentioned will grow well on its own roots. even though people do graft mulberry.

you should look into learning to graft. it is very very easy. i learned to graft in one session from someone who knew what they were doing in 2-3 hours. i grafted 50 apple trees and had 95% success. from then on i have been grafting with high success. producing trees for pennies now instead of 20-40$.

also keep in mind a lot of permaculture plants propagate in other ways like divisions, runners, tip layering, ground layering, etc... i planted a new bed of 100 strawberries last year, and now im digging up the runners i must have well over 1000 new plants i dont have to buy. and they propagated themselves.
 
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