Can anyone suggest a good starting place to learn about rootstocks and grafting fruittrees? I have a lot of questions and I don't mind doing my own research, but the stuff I'm finding online is vague and repetitive.
At 15-30$ a pop for trees and shrubs being the norm, I'm looking for any way to stretch my budget.
I'm interested in learning what makes good hardy rootstock for my zone (5). Especially any wild varieties that could be used. For example, I've read that I can graft cherries to pin cherry (prunus pensilvanica) or choke cherry (prunus virginiana), of which there are plenty on my property, however, there is not much information online about the resulting tree. I will give this a try, but was wondering if anyone knows more on the subject.
Also, there is a very hardy wild apple. Can I root some cuttings from this hardy tree and then graft on another variety, or does the rootstock need to be grown from seed?
If wild rootstock isn't an acceptable resource, what other options are there?
Thanks to anyone who might point me in the right direction
I assume that if cuttings can be induced to root, you could graft onto them, with the caveat that I wouldn't think you'd get a taproot on the resulting rootstock. Antonovka apple is reputedly remarkably true to type when grown from seed, and produces a strong, deep taproot, so can be grown from seed to create rootstock. I'll be trying this next year. The local wild apple might well from seed too, since it's already adapted to conditions.
You should be able to find mulberry suitable for zone 5, which can be propagated from cuttings directly, or grafted.
Sorry, can't help on the cherry subject.
For a general resource, I believe the 'The Grafter's Handbook' is the goto.
'Theoretically this level of creeping Orwellian dynamics should ramp up our awareness, but what happens instead is that each alert becomes less and less effective because we're incredibly stupid.' - Jerry Holkins
Location: New-Brunswick, Canada
posted 5 years ago
Thanks Dillon, and hi from N-B. I really like the idea from that article, and it shows the apple will root readily, at least with his method. I can foresee much experimenting in my near future.
You'll get some variety in results, but planting random apple seed that's been stratified (cold treated so it knows it's spring now) will grow you some kind of apple. I heard someone mention the idea of pouring cidar press waste in a shallow trench and seeing what comes up from it. I'm doing an experiment where I just stomped apples that had been frozen over the winter into shovel slits in the ground. I'm hoping to grow a mixed species hedge.
There's also a method where you wrap a branch with damp sphagnum moss and check it periodically to see that it's moist. After a few months it should have grown roots into the moss. You can cut the branch off and plant it as a tree. If you like the variety, this will come true to type, or you can graft something else to it.
I don't know about over the boarder where you are, but here in Maine, MOFGA has their annual scion exchange. I went to it about a month ago and got lots of scion wood for heritage breeds, free.
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