This event was canceled
Grafting is the primary method used to make new fruit trees that resemble their “parents.” Learning this art can save you money on fruit trees and greatly expand your selection of varieties! Peter Bixby, local homesteader & small orchard keeper, plus a patient teacher, will instruct us in this technique. All participants will leave with 3 grafted apple trees.
COST: is on a sliding scale of $35-50, which includes 3 grafted trees and all the supplies you'll need to make those (rootstock, scionwood, grafting tape, wax). Since this workshop has so many costs associated, we are going to ask you to pay a nonrefundable deposit of $25 per person to sign up. For fastest confirmation of your spot, use paypal here. Contact Amy A if you'd rather send a check.
ALSO AVAILABLE: If you want to graft more than 3 trees, you can reserve more rootstock when you sign up: $4.00 each additional rootstock. We have a limited supply of this - first come, first served. The rootstock is Geneva 890, a newly released rootstock good for the home orchard.
Grafting knives: If you already have your own, please bring a knife. There will also be some there to borrow for the workshop. If you want to buy your own, Peter recommends these options:
He also notes that anyone who wants to buy their own knife should make sure it has a straight edge on the blade (some have an inward curve, which is harder to use.) Also, avoid the cheapest Victorinox fixed blade knives.
FURTHER WORKSHOP DETAILS:
Grafting is the primary method used to make new fruit trees that resemble their “parents.” Apples do not breed anywhere near true from seed, and to get the exact characteristics of a stone fruit variety, you also need to graft. In this workshop, we will discuss some of the general principles of grafting and fruit tree propagation, and then learn the technique of whip and tongue grafting, which is the most straightforward technique for doing a small number of grafts for a homestead setting.
We will practice the technique on plain sticks until we are confident with our skills, and then do three grafts of actual apple scions onto semi-dwarf rootstock, which you will then take home and care for and, with any luck, get fruit from in a few years. We will just work with apples at this point because they are more forgiving of imperfect technique than stone fruit. We will also take a look at some grafts Peter has done on his own trees, and discuss how to take care of the young grafted trees until they are strong enough to be planted into permanent locations.
Peter will have scionwood available from his own trees: Gravenstein, Gala, Enterprise, Florina Querina, Mike's Taterhouse. You are welcome to bring your own scionwood. Scionwood should be first year growth, not diseased, and kept cool or cold and damp until used. It should be collected this year, and labeled with the variety. If you know someone with an orchard with a variety you like, arrange to get the wood when they are pruning in February or March.