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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Started thread about this in gardening- but maybe someone here can help. Looking into grafting to replace the trees lost in orchard, can someone reccomend a good book, better yet, DVD, that walks you through it? Was thinking it might be a good homestead skill to know in light of financial climate- Checked smartflix- they did not have anything. Looking for a source for root stock, and grafting supplies, too.
 

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http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/components/DG0532c.html

Lawyer Nursery, Plains, MT has orchards in Washington or Oregon. You can get rootstocks for under a buck apiece.

Once you figure out what you need as grafting supplies, let me know, I'll direct you. eBay has rolls of grafting tape and AM Lenard
sells runner band strips by the pound.
I've grafted thousands of apple and pear trees. You should be able to find plenty of scions in your area. Time to collect is coming up soon.
 

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Hi IHN
Just type "tree grafting" in your search engine and you'll pull up tons of material. Here is just the first website I picked up once I typed it in.
http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/DG0532.html

Grafting is very easy and it will work the first time you try it. Some people will tell you that grafting requires all sorts of specialized equipment or voodoo knowledge, but I learned to do it with nothing other than a razor blade and electrical tape. Here's a pic of an Anjou pear scion starting to sprout after grafting onto a pear seedling.

I grew my own seedlings from store-bought fruit that I cut the seeds out of. I usually plant seeds immediately after eating the fruit so the seeds do not dry out.

You don't get any choice of dwarfing ability, or disease resistance with seedling rootstock, but you will get a very vigorous full size tree that can be pruned to shape. And you grew it yourself for zero dollars.

I graft my scions onto rootstocks in January here in California, but for your individual location I'd recommend grafting at least 4-6 weeks before bud-break for your particular climate.

I have found personally that whip grafting works best in my hands for grafting apples, pears, and plums, whereas in my hands bud grafting works best for peaches. Try a couple of each and see what works best for you. It seems that the single most important aspect of grafting is that every square millimeter of bright green cambium of the scion be tightly pressed against bright green cambium of the rootstock. So, trim the bark off the scion and rootstock so that bright green is always in contact with bright green inner bark.

I wrap the whole thing up in electrical tape because that's what I had and didn't want to spend any money. Some people will tell you you HAVE to use special grafting tape. Just look at the sprouting scion in the picture and tell me what you think.

You will find that once you start, grafting is very easy and productive. I have so many extra grafted varieties now that I give them away to any guest coming to the house that will take them.
Good luck,
Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice tree, Michael!
That is exactly what we are wanting to do. Haypoint, we are looking at Lawyers- they are very reasonable for the rootstock- but the one pear rootstock that is most hardy for our area comes in bundles of 500. Do you know if the Elma 111 (cloned) is as hardy as the Antonovka seedling? What do you use in Michigan? The Elma 111 can be purchased from Willamette in Or very reasonable-
Treasureacres, you are right, we read that article last night :)
 

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Looks to me that the pear seedling/rootstocks sell in groups of 100.
I haven't had any luck with any of the dwarfing rootstocks and use Antonovka for all my apples.
Do not use electrical tape. It is critical that your cuts match each other. The cambrem layer is only one cell thick and it can't "jump" any gap. Leave the outer bark alone.

Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, we'll stick to Antonovka. That is what we (mostly) have, justs takes so long to fruit. Lost most of the original I started with from St. Lawrence and Fedco. I saw some tape in the Fedco magazine- the Parafilm (I suppose for small whips?) and PVC grafting tape- it is inexpensive- would that do? - the reason I said pears were in groups of 500 is that - pyrus comminus winter nelis? seems more resistant to fireblight - is sold by 500- but if the other pyrus comminus would do, we would use it. Also, the Treecote grafting sealer, is that necessary? If we had those 3 things, would that be enough? There also was a recipe in the Fedco mag- 2 c pine pitch, 2 c beeswax, 1 1/2 cup raw linseed oil for molding on cuts-
thanks!
 

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Parafilm is cheap and a roll lasts a long time. It works for bud grafting and whip grafting. The only time I can't use it is grafting small scions to large limbs. That is when grafting wax is used. A drop of grafting wax can be used to seal up what the parafilm doesn't quite cover. I use grafting wax on the part of the rootstock I cut off when I bud graft.
Rubber strips, grafting wax, parafilm, tree tags and permanent marker, sharp knife and band-aids is all I need.
I don't have my new Lawyers Nursery catalog, but the old one shows Winter Nelis is available in bundles of 100, 50 and 25, depending on size. They are good people, give them a call, maybe they'll work out something with you. For several years, I bought 500apple trees, to take advantage of the price break and sold the trees to locals at a modest mark-up to help pay for the trees I kept.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What a lovely sight! What kind of soil are they in? Do you plant them in pots as soon as you graft them? (or rather, plant first, then graft) How long does it take for the graft to "take"? We are hoping to do what you have mentioned, purchase enough for our own use, then enough to sell to cover cost (I was even thinking of a 4-H fundraiser with them) Would you keep them for a year in pots before selling to make sure it took? Hope you dont mind the questions, those trees are really an inspiration!
 

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I have a source for very old, well composted horse manure with top soil mixed in. It is easy to work with, but dries out quickly, like peat moss. I plant my rootstocks into these pots. Then I go down the rows and do the grafting. I don't know if the graft took until the leaves come out. Some in a couple weeks, others longer. I try to get my grafting done in early spring, so when the other apple trees leaf out, my grafts will too.
When I was selling apple trees, i was selling named varieties, bare root right from Lawyer Nursery. I did sell some rootstocks, mostly for guys wanting to get some apple trees started for the deer.The potted trees you see in the picture is just a few of the total I have grafted and in pots. I have over 100 old varieties and 50 unknown varieties that I've collected from homesteads around Michigan's U.P. For every 50 trees I find there is one worth grafting. It's a lot of work, evaluating apples, but I've gotten a good reputation for my apple pies.
I have a few other grafting pictures on www.photobucket.com. Search haypoint or haypoint album. There are three pages with 4 or 5 pictures relating to those trees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looking at trees right now- the nursery pictures. They are great! How have they survived the winters? Do you protect the young trees? We have trees with the Antonovka root stocks that have not produced yet (yr 4), can you expect an 8-10 year wait for the ones we graft? Have you seen any fruit on the trees you have grafted yet? When you graft an heirloom, does the fruit stay true to the original?
Thank you so much for your help, and pictures.
 

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The purpose of grafting is to insure that it is true to the original. Sometimes I find apple trees with several trunks from the same base that are not all producing good apples. I have to tag and record which section is the good one. I guess that results from a seedling starting up at the base or a shoot starting from below the graft.

Deer are a threat to young apple trees. They will nip the leaves and buds and branches and can kill many trees in a single night.

I get a lot of snow. Mice tunnel around under the snow all winter. They like to feed on the bark of young fruit trees. I tried a paper wrap with a tar side, but they ate thru that. I tried a spiral wrap. That worked good, except where they came in from the top and got into the wrap. I have had good success with a plastic sheet wrap. It is flexible plastic, made like corrugated cardboard. I wrap it around each tree, held tight with zip ties. Up here there is a narrow window of time between leaf drop and snow fall.

I have had blossoms on my grafted trees from the first year. I'm not growing fruit, I'm growing trees, so I don't know how long I'll wait to allow fruit.

If you have any mature trees around that aren't producing good apples, I'd suggest you cut the tree way back on about a third of it and graft every branch you can, 10, 20, 30, whatever. Some will take, some won't. Then the following year do another third. This way if every graft fails, you won't kill the tree.

When you find a tree that is producing the apples you want to grow, cut all the new growth for your scions. Then prune it. Cut the top off of it, so the growth is more reach-able. A heavy pruning will cause a lot of new growth next summer, giving you lots more scions for next year. With trees you have to think in years, not just seasons.

I hand water each of my trees. While watering, I pull weeds, check for insect pests and a bit of pruning. Once the graft starts growing, I keep the leaves of the rootstock picked off. I pinch off the lead bud on any secondary branches of my scions, insuring the lead growth will grow straight and tall.

I laid out a black plastic cover, to keep weeds and grass down and set my buckets on it. The snakes, frogs and toads seem to like it and I think they help control the pests.

I have a friend that bought some trees from me. He hauled water to them regularly. He put liquid fertilizer in each bucket. The trees grew very fast (don't put fertilizer on late in the season). After 4-5 years he had big trees but no fruit. He backed off on the nitrogen and started getting fruit the next year.
 
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