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Arbor Day trees as grafting stock

 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Would it be unethical to use the free trees from the Arbor Day Foundation as grafting stock for more productive varieties?

Got their mailer in today and that was my first thought when i saw their "free gifts" in return for a $10 donation and sending in the questionnaire.

Here is the list - see if you can think of anything productive that would be compatible using these as rootstock:

2 flowering crabapples
2 flowering dogwoods
2 washington hawthorns
2 american redbuds
2 goldenraintrees

ok, the flowering crabs are easy - they would be nice to graft on some disease-resistant varieties of apple like William's Pride or Chehalis

the dogwoods should make some fruit for birds unless "they" have managed to find sterile versions of these, too.  in any case a red and yellow variety of cornelian cherry as graft material should work, i think

I'm not familiar with the washington variety of hawthorn, but there are supposedly some tasty fruits to be had off some of the varieties, maybe from UK or China?  Anything else compatible with hawthorn as a rootstock?

The redbuds are supposed to be nitrogen fixers, and I've had them do ok in spots with nearly full shade, so they are not bad as they are.  Does anything eat the seeds?  I haven't ever seen bees or other pollinators on the flowers.  Can anything else be used to graft to it?

I'm not familiar at all with the goldenraintrees.  a quick search didn't bring up anything other than widely adapted to different soil types and that it flowers in summer and produces a lantern shaped seed pod.  any thoughts?


 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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you might be able to graft some large fruited hawthorn or pear to the other hawthorn..but my experience with Arbor day is their stuff is really crappy.

and in our area you only get 10 blue spruce seedlings..

i have had their trees before and they are generally tiny tiny seedlings in pretty rough shape when you get them.
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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Brenda, I have the same experiance as you.  I got the same package as SEF and they were tiny and not good looking at all, but most of them are growing for me.  Not sure what I will do with them yet.  I am pulling up silver maple seedlings out of my flowerbeds that look better.  I have potted some up and would give them to someone who wanted them. 
 
tel jetson
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not unethical in the least.  maybe not the best return on your ten dollar investment, either, but not unethical.  unless your ethics are particularly strange.
 
Brice Moss
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
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I think the folks that sent the flyer would be pleased as punch knowing that you were not only gonna actualy plant em but take care that they grow as well, me I figure o puttin mine into the nasty heavy clay hillside that last years excavation left me to help get roots established then I'll prolly murder everything but the apple trees in a few years
 
Jennifer Smith
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Location: Zone 5
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Brenda Groth wrote:
you might be able to graft some large fruited hawthorn or pear to the other hawthorn


Good to know, now I am thinking of maybe trying some pear grafts, just for fun.  First I need to get these things in the ground and growing, and buy a pear tree.  Any chance I can graft on Asian Pear?
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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I've heard similar stories from others that the trees they get from Arbor Day F are quite small.  Small trees can be a good thing for reducing the amount of transplant shock, but they definitely are vulnerable at that stage.  It would be sad if they were not shipped in good condition, considering the whole point of the foundation, but not entirely unexpected.

A pear (especially an asian pear variety) would be nice to graft on to the hawthorn.  Does anyone know if the trees are already grafted or just seedlings?

Tel - I may have some pretty strange ethics, but I think i feel ok with this one 

Brice - do you mean you would intentionally take out the others besides the apple trees, or kill them due to the growing conditions?

 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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im with everyone else, when i got my trees they were literally TINY sticks that werent too healthy. i prefer to grow my own rootstock now days for the best results.
 
Jennifer Smith
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My little Arbor day trees didn't look to be grafted.  Just painted twigs.  Painted to identify, but I lost the paper that says what color is what tree.  If you get one please post a copy?

I hope to plant seeds to become seedlings in place and graft on to them... that is my plan but so far have everything in pots. 

I had to buy trees to use to graft from.  Still have so much to learn, but have ideas and some practice.  I need to take good care of my momma plants.  Cheap to buy seed at grocery my my momma trees are as high as $50+ each already. 

My brother says to leave one low branch on all rootstock grown this way.  It may be a superior variety that is well worth keeping, maybe even naming.
 
tel jetson
steward
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Jennifer Smith wrote:
I had to buy trees to use to graft from.


join NAFEX and/or a local fruit group and you'll have plenty of folks to trade for scion-wood.  much more affordable than buying a whole tree.
 
Jennifer Smith
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tel jetson wrote:
join NAFEX and/or a local fruit group and you'll have plenty of folks to trade for scion-wood.  much more affordable than buying a whole tree.

Great, I will look into this.  So far much of my stuff has come from family, but they live in CA it gets too cold in MO for much of it...anyone need some baby avacodo trees?  How about these silver maples? ha 
 
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