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A few newbie questions about fruit tree grafting  RSS feed

 
Posts: 8
Location: Barrie, Ontario
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Hey All!

Brand new to this forum, but I thought it would be the place to ask about tree grafting. The quick question is: can you graft scions onto branches of a tree (not the trunk) to create an array of secondary branches that create a vast array of fruit on one tree?

The details:

We purchased our house with award-winning perennial gardens and I had known nothing of gardening when we took possession about three years ago. Since then I've planted just about every possible type of fruit-bearing plant that will grow in my region, beginning with a few of those "fruit cocktail" trees. Our backyard already had two VERY old trees (apple and apricot from when the land was at one time an orchard) and I loved the concept of maximizing the variety by putting multiple fruits on the same tree. After our first winter, the almost branch of a 5-in-1 fruit tree died, and I got to thinking: can I re-graft a Hall's Hardy Almond back on the tree in a similar location, and if so, can I do that in a future year when I have the time to dedicate to experimenting with this craft?

That thought sparked the artist in me (I'm a professional nature and macro photographer). What if I could take a side-branch from the peach branch and graft it onto the main plum branch, and how about vice versa? Losing one branch at that point means I won't lose an entire variety of fruit. Maybe I could even graft a branch from our old (and sadly, increasingly hollow-trunked) apple tree onto a new Geneva apple we planted this year - keeping it going long after we'll have to cut it down. What if I could buy a bunch of compatible fruit tree scions and graft them ornamentally like a sculpture, creating a Frankenstein's Monster of a tree that would look incredibly beautiful and unique when blooming?

I've filled pretty much every corner of our yard with edibles at this point, the list is pretty much endless. The only way I can continue to add the spice of variety is to start grafting. Maybe it's just buying the tools, reading a book and experimenting on one of our ancient trees to see if something takes... but I thought I'd ask here to see what direction I should start heading in.

Attached is a photo of our gardens, year 2 of ownership. It's gotten better since then. :)
gardens2.jpg
[Thumbnail for gardens2.jpg]
Our gardens, year 2
 
pollinator
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Brand new to this forum, but I thought it would be the place to ask about tree grafting. The quick question is: can you graft scions onto branches of a tree (not the trunk) to create an array of secondary branches that create a vast array of fruit on one tree?



Yes, I grafted Fuji on granny smith just to keep the branches alive for a season and it works.

Read my article here about grafting

What if I could take a side-branch from the peach branch and graft it onto the main plum branch, and how about vice versa?


Technically should work but how successful is a bit fishy.

What if I could buy a bunch of compatible fruit tree scions and graft them ornamentally like a sculpture, creating a Frankenstein's Monster of a tree that would look incredibly beautiful and unique when blooming?


Yes will work but after couple of years one of them will take over blocking sun to the others. It is a constant maintenance.
 
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Do a search on Youtube for "Skillcult frankentree" and you'll find a variety of good videos put out by a grafting expert.  His frankentrees are dozens to hundreds of varieties on one tree.  He also covers how to graft to existing trees (primarily apples).
 
Don Komarechka
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Location: Barrie, Ontario
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Wow, thanks so very much for the feedback guys!

Gurkan, if I experiment with grafting to our older apple tree's new growth to get some fruit that I can taste and evaluate, I can make a more permanent addition to a smaller tree. Lots of possibilities, and thanks for the link! It was a huge help.

Mike, wow that Frankentree is impressive and gave me all sorts of ideas. I had no idea someone was already using the term! I really dove down the rabbit hole after watch a few videos... we have a Mountain Ash in our front yard and there are pear crosses and aronia crosses that I can graft to it to make it more useful to us as well. Medlars on apples, I could even host multiple varieties of quince on our quince tree to help make it more fertile!

I have ordered grafting supplies. A little late to the game this season in obtaining scion wood but if I can get at least one or two pieces, it can set me up with some experience for next year. Curious though... it seems scion wood is very available in the US but not so much here in Canada. People in Europe seem more willing to ship them to me than from the states!

Any thoughts of live grafting, like taking a piece of wood from our Geneva apple and then walking over to our snow apple and applying the graft with haste? Everyone says that a dormant scion is better, but I can imagine that a fast transplant like a living organ would succeed as well.

So much to think about and to get excited about. :)
 
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