• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Random acts of grafting

 
Sam Cook
Posts: 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just started reading about grafting fruit trees.
And know I have a hypothetical question, that may become a reality if the answers suggest any success.

Having lots of verities of scions ( fruit tree sticks )
And the technique and materials needed.
Can I just find random trees locally and start guerrilla grafting everywhere? Or are there certain trees that just won't work.

Will any hard wood do? Or does it have to be a fruit tree?
Thanks
 
M.K. Dorje Jr.
Posts: 127
Location: Orgyen, zone 8
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Basically, I would suggest that you get a good book on grafting and attend a local grafting class or workshop. These are usually held over the next couple months in the U.S. at community colleges or at your local extension service. You want to start with the easiest fruit trees to graft and the easiest techniques. The easiest trees to graft are apples scions onto apple rootstocks or pear scions onto pear rootstocks. Compatibility is crucial- you can't graft apples onto pears, for example. The species usually need to match. Dormant scions of apples and pears are collected in January or February, then held in cold storage in the fridge. In March, the scions are grafted onto the rootstock tree, just before the buds begin to open. Other types of grafting, for example chip budding, are usually used for apricots, cherries, peaches and plums and are done in the summertime. Other types of hardwoods such as walnuts can be grafted onto other walnuts, but this is much more difficult.

I collect scions this time of year. I have excellent luck using a grafting tool sold by Raintree Nursery in Washington. Check out raintreenursery.com for more info on grafting, grafting supplies, fruit varieties, rootstocks, etc. "Fruit Grafters Handbook", by Burford and Fackler, is a good primer for beginners, but nothing beats hands-on instruction. We have a Spring Propagation Fair at the local community college here in Oregon on the third weekend in March, maybe you could find something similar in your area. Below is a link to a story about guerrilla grafting- this is a cool idea for city dwellers. Good luck!

http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679037/guerrilla-grafters-splicing-fruit-bearing-branches-onto-city-trees
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Pie
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
173
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just to sate my own curiosity - what's the reason behind the "guerilla grafting" of non-fruit trees? Usually when you graft a fruit tree, you're grafting a more desirable (to you) variety on to the rootstock of something that you might find less desirable. Or you want to create a multi-fruiting tree to extend your season (several apples with staggered ripening times on one rootstock) or add variety (the ever popular "cocktail" citrus tree with oranges/lemons/grapefruit).

 
Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jen - Where I live there are a lot of ornamental cherries that are along the streets, some lining parks that are heavily used by the community and also along the street of a lower income neighborhood. I could see where it might make sense to guerilla graft onto those (I haven't reasearched and I am assuming that the grafts would be compatible) to sneak in some benefit other than just pretty trees in the spring. If you could find other trees that are ornamental that you could graft onto with productive fruiting cultivars, I think that it is a win. Now, my city might think otherwise.

I know that I have a crabapple in my back yard that is just gorgeous in the spring and a bee superhighway and I have been thinking of grafting regular apples onto it or even attempting to air layer some of it's last year's growth to give as gifts to a couple of friends and, who knows, some might just happen along the edges of that park I mentioned (if I am successful, of course). That would open up another opportunity to guerilla graft in the future.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Pie
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
173
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@Jen - thanks for the explanation. I was confused when Sam said "Will any hard wood do? Or does it have to be a fruit tree? " I guess I interpreted that to mean he was going to graft non-fruit trees with non-fruit tree grafts....

@Sam - in order for the graft to take, the rootstock and scion have to be in the same "family" (for lack of a better term). For example pears and apples are "pom" fruit and will graft to each others root stock. Stone fruit like peaches, apricots and almonds can often grow on the same rootstock - not sure about plums. Citrus will grow on the same rootstock.
 
Jen Shrock
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Apples can go on apples and crabapples
Pears can go on pears and quince
Peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots and almonds can share rootstock
Cherries go on cherries. I haven't done enough research to determine if cherry trees can cross into the realm of being grafted onto bush type cherry family plants.

It seems to me that there is something that can graft onto roses, too, but at the moment it is escaping me.

Grafting takes practice and even then, you will get fallout. I tried it for the first time last year and had a miserable amount of success, but it is something that I am determined to learn so I will continue on. I sat in on a presentation for the guy who takes care of the Seed Saver's Exchange orchard and he said that he (and he has many decades of experience) generally has about an 80% take rate, so that doesn't make me feel so bad. It takes patience, some know how and practice. There are a ton of videos and websites out there and there are also books on the subject. You will get the general idea pretty quick. It isn't hard to do, the stars (cambium layers) have to align just so and other things too.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
Pie
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
173
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Jen - my information on this subject is from many, MANY years ago - the old brain ain't what it used to be!

I have grafted citrus successfully (abut 60%). I was going to graft some peaches this fall but other issues got in the way. Pah.
 
Michael Qulek
Posts: 148
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jen Shrock wrote:Grafting takes practice and even then, you will get fallout. I tried it for the first time last year and had a miserable amount of success, but it is something that I am determined to learn so I will continue on.
Sorry that you success was so poor. My experience has been the opposite. The very first time I attempted grafting it worked like a charm. I got about 80% success on my first try. What seems to work for me is to make sure that you have green cambium pressing against green cambium for the entire length of the splice. Then wrap it really, really tight with electrical tape. It must be really tight so the two green cambial layers stay in close contact.

After my initial successes, I tried to go overboard, trying to see how many different grafts I could get on one seedling. My person best is an almond seedling with peach, necturine, apricot, and Japanese plum grafts all on one seedling! I ended up with some many grafted trees that I was giving them away to anyone at work that wanted a tree. The only thing I haven't sprouted yet is cherry. That so far has been a failure.

Getting back to Sam's original question, it's basicly like on like. That is apple scions onto apples and pear scions onto pears. I have read that you can graft pears onto apple rootstock, but my own personal experience is negative. I grafted apples onto apples, and pears onto pears, but never a cross between the two. I've read that grafting chestnuts is the most difficult and only a close personal relationship will work for grafting. Personal in the sense that to graft a scion of chestnut variety X, you need seedlings from seeds from variety X. I'm trying to layer Collosal chestnut now. Will cut the buried branch at the end of winter to see if the layered branch has rooted.
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 776
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
35
bike books chicken dog forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have heard of some pears and quince going onto wild hawthorn rootstock successfully. May look around for some of those for a guerrilla graft.
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 363
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
M.K. Dorje Jr. wrote:Compatibility is crucial- you can't graft apples onto pears, for example


Sometimes you can...Winter Banana apple is known to be compatible with pear rootstock.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic