Sunday, March 02, 2008

Apple grafting. Reworked tree.

This is the tree before reworking it. This is a "miniature" Golden Delicious. It's about 5 years old. All of the others have been bearing at this point, and this one had grown larger than the others (probably due to lack of fruit). It set a couple of fruit last year, but they were deformed and did not ripen properly. I'm not a proficient grafter - we'll see if any of them take!

I chose to do wedge grafting, similar to the demonstration in this web page.

This is the source tree. The owner "pruned" their side of the tree, basically topping it, but left many of the branches overhanging the fence. Apples that have fallen into our yard have been somewhat small, but with good flavor. I'm hoping that on a tree that is properly cared for, they might be larger and taste just as good. Plus, they'll be in reach and easy to pick on a small tree.

Here are the scions. I placed them in water while working.

It took multiple tries, but finally I started cutting smoothly with one fast cut.

Example of scion wood. As above, this isnt the best example but it's the one that came out in the photo. Again, after multiple tries, I learned how to hold the scion wood properly, and cut each side with one slice.

After completing the work, I counted fingers. There were 5 on each hand, and no bleeding.

Reworked tree when completed. I did not follow all of the grafting instructions perfectly. Without grafting wax, I tried melting actual candle wax and mixed with parafin, but that was still hard at room temp let alone outside. Finally, I just used petroleum jelly, which at today's temperature was thick and gooey, so it might work OK. Then, I wrapped with plumbers' silicone tape, which is soft, stretchy and flexible. Some grafts were held closed with dental floss before applying the petroleum jelly.

Posted by Picasa


  1. Anonymous5:55 PM

    Just wondering where you are located. We are in Eastern Ontario and won't be grafting till April. I ordered rootstocks from the Lawyer Nursery in Montana and they should arrive early April. Will graft with HoneyCrisp scions I am buying from British Columbia. This is just a hobby, and some years, I only get about 50% "takes".

    Keith T.

  2. Vancouver Washington. The sap is starting to flow now on some trees. I would love to hear about your grafting successes.