Oh man oh man oh man! I had the pleasure of sitting down with an older farmer a couple of days ago. We were talking about olive trees and somehow got to talking about grafting fruit trees. He got up, fetched a knife and a couple of branches from the mulberry tree, and started demonstrating grafting techniques to me. What a treat it was to learn all this from someone with so much experience!
Of course, you and I both know I am going to forget everything in about 10.34 minutes, so I am writing it down. All about grafting fruit trees.
What is Grafting…
Grafting means to unite, a shoot or a bud, with a growing plant by insertion or by placing in close contact. It is the joining of two living trees from the same family (it’s got to be apple with apple or pear or apricot or something else from the Rosaceae family. Or orange with orange, lemon, grapefruit or something else from the Rutaceae family and so on. You can’t graft an orange tree with an apple tree). So really, you can have one tree giving you 2 or more kinds of fruit.
Why Would You Want to Graft a Fruit Tree…
There are many reasons, but the bottom line to remember is that we want to take advantage of one tree to grow the crop of another.
Let me give you a couple of examples. Let’s say you have an established red apple tree. The location of this tree is perfect in your homestead, the root system is strong, you get a lot of delicious red apples from it, and it is big and strong enough to survive the Winter. Your friend told you about this great green apple tree she has on her homestead, and now you think it might be nice to have a green apple tree as well. But, you don’t have room for another tree, or maybe you don’t want to wait years before another tree starts producing fruit. The solution? Grafting. Join a small shoot or a bud of the green apple tree with your established red apple tree, and you have one tree producing two kinds of apples. You are still spending the same amount of time taking care of one tree, you don’t water more than before, and you didn’t use up any more space in your homestead, yet, you now have another kind of apples for your family.
Another example… Let’s say you have an olive tree of verity A. It is on your homestead for years, it’s part of the beautiful view. The problem is; a certain type of fly comes through your area around the month of July. This fly loves your olives. The fly lay its eggs in your olives, ruining them completely. By the beginning of August, your yard is full of brown, bad olives. You don’t want to spray with chemicals, you don’t want to take the tree down, and you really want to enjoy a crop of olives. What can you do in order to save the tree? How can you use this established tree to produce great olives? The answer is grafting. You know about the olive tree of verity B. This verity start producing olives at the end of July or beginning of August after the fly is gone. You graft verity B on the established tree of verity A and you saved the tree.
There are a million examples, but I hope those help you understand the reason for grafting a bit better.
Grafting Fruit Trees- Method 1
For better understanding let’s say we are grafting tree A on tree B.