Sunday 3 March 2013

Grafting Course

Today My mother and I went on a tree grafting course.
I've been struggling what to write about the course as, to be honest, it wasn't much good and I'm not really into writing negative reviews.
I just felt that it wasn't very well run or thought out. Although the instructor knew how to graft apple trees he didn't know huge amounts on the subject of apples and the course had a very steady pace to it. Also we were only shown how to do one method of grafting an apple tree and it would have been nice to see how to do things like cleft grafting or an example of budding so we could try that in the summer.
That said the course wasn't expensive and we did go home with two apple trees each and I now know how to graft.
The one year old nursery bed
 I found how they propagated these apples really interesting and how they used a new bed each year to produce more stock to sell. The trees in the nursery beds were spaced about 1ft apart.
A two/three year old nursery bed
 Making a graft:
Cutting the scion

A photo showing the cut and the thin "wispy" end

Cutting the root stock to accept the scion

Holding the two together so that the cambium layers on each piece are touching

beginning to tape up the graft. We just used insulation tape for this

My two grafts completed

Mum still doing hers
I did learn a few key things, like the selection of the scion where and how to make the cuts and the aftercare of the tree.
When I got home I showed my brother how to do it (we had a couple of extra root stocks as he was meant to come along but couldn't) and I taught him in about 10 minutes, by the end we had another two trees ready to go into the ground.
I'm definitely planing to do some more grafting and I might even go and buy some root stocks to graft some more this year, using scions from trees of friends of varieties that I haven't got.
I think the thing I should have done before with grafting was to go out and try it, it's fairly simple and it's not the end of the world if you get it wrong. Not sure I recommend the course but I recommend going out and trying some grafting.


  1. In South America where I grew up we had Hibiscus plants galore. I remember discovering the art of grafting when I was a kid and went nuts around the yard and pretty soon had all sorts of color combinations of flowers on all the bushes. Did the same with the rose bushes. Also did a lot of cross pollinating on them all an had all kinds of funky color mixes on the blooms.

    1. That sounds amaxing. I never even thought about the fact I could do it with roses as well. I have thought about adding some pear branches to hawthorne in the hedges to give me something to munch on when I go for walks. Cross pollinating is my next thing to learn. I'd like to breed my own apple one day and I've been told to breed apples you need to start young and live long! Lets hope 29 is young enough!

  2. I would like to get some fruit trees out here to plant in my garden (now that I have fresh water and can irrigate), I was thinking apples and cherries. Do you think the rootstocks would survive being wrapped up, stuffed in a suitcase and coming out here as accompanied baggage?

    1. I think they would so long as they were dormant at the time. They take some killing to be fair. Just watch out for customs (but I bet it's not so bad going back into Angola). Either that or I'm sure you could find a nursery that would post some out to you.

  3. ok I have to go look up scion... the nursery I bought the fuyu trees at sell scion wood and grafting tape and something else I have forgotton now that was for grafting... but havent a clue what scion is or means so I am goin to go look that up now! Need to get my terminology pulled together on this grafting. Make it easie to understand what I am reading. The class I have found on this IF the weather lets me go in Feb 2015. I hope its good.

  4. Ok I know what that is now! Got it!


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