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.