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Workshop: Fruit Tree Grafting + 10 Tree "Take Home"

Back by popular demand!  This is a repeat of a very successful event we've held for several years, a local version of the popular MOFGA grafting workshops...Learn (or practice!) fruit tree grafting AND take home ten heirloom fruit trees from your efforts during the workshop!!! (And compared to the cost of buying 10 trees, this is a really good deal!)

Learn to propagate and reproduce your favorite fruit tree varieties. Instructors Jennifer Ries and Bennett Verbeck of Whiffletree Nursery will explain why to graft and demonstrate the techniques for Whip & Tongue and T-Bud grafting of new trees as well as Top-working (outdoors) of established trees.

This class is hands-on and participants will graft stock to take home and plant. Care for seedlings will be discussed.  Please bring a sharp grafting knife*, a potluck lunch dish to share (and your potluck kit) and clothes that can get a bit dirty.  Course will run from 10-4 pm. Coffee/tea/water will be provided throughout the day!


This event usually sells out.

Fee includes all supplies including rootstocks, scionwood, grafting tape, treekote, labels, sharpies, handouts, rags, etc. *Grafting knives will be available for sale ($20-25 range) if you do not have one of your own. Handouts provided.

Jennifer and Bennett live on a small farm in Brooks, Maine. They make a living at their Whiffletree Nursery for which they graft trees and propagate fruiting shrubs and ornamentals. They grow their own food and meat and use a draft horse for farm work. Bennett began grafting over 20 years ago and made his living exclusively from nursery work and homesteading for many years. Jen began grafting about six years ago. Besides homesteading and growing trees, Jen works for Fedco Trees and guides wilderness trips.

Comments from the last time we ran this class:

It was a great time, very informative and there were plenty of supplies for everyone plus extra for take home use. There were over 20 varieties of apple trees, plus pear and plum trees as well.

I learned alot in such a short amount of time... I even planted the trees I grafted @ the workshop today!!! This was a very important workshop for me to attend and will pay off for years to come.

This was a great workshop. Instructor Jennifer Ries of Whiffletree Nursery delivered thoughtful, informative and practical information. I learned a great deal and am very excited to have had Jennifer launch me in pursuit of this new skill. And meeting new, supportive, people is always welcome and wonderful!

Learned a ton, brought 10 'handmade' trees home, had a great time with the other folks who attended, and enjoyed a sunny day under a grape arbor.

This event is co-sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (MOFGA), the nation's largest and oldest organics association.  If you're not already a member, join today!


This is a family-friendly event with kid space available.

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  • Jasmine S.

    Some of my rootstock and scion has leafed too! I thought I had taken off all the rootstock buds, so I did so again with my grafting knife. Hope that works. How exciting, they are alive!

    May 16, 2013

  • Bob T.

    Hey Everybody- I put my trees in the ground the weekend of the class and have noticed a few trees where the rootstock has budded, but the scion has not. Is this normal? Should our trees bud this year?

    May 14, 2013

    • gina

      I think they're supposed to!! Some of mine have but the rootstock leafed out first, others I'm still waiting on and crossing my fingers! :)

      May 14, 2013

    • Beth

      same here

      May 14, 2013

  • Bill L.

    Just plain excellent. Great instruction at the beginning, plenty of time and materials for practicing. I was really excited about the wide range of scion wood to choose from. Thanks to Jen and Bennett for a great session!

    April 8, 2013

  • wendy4mud

    Great workshop tons of information I would definitely recommend this workshop.

    April 8, 2013

  • Kevin E.

    Awesome varietals!

    April 7, 2013

  • Bob T.

    Great Time! learned a lot!

    April 7, 2013

  • Beth

    Terrific teachers, terrific subject matter. Learned so much from knowledgable, patience Bennett and Jen

    April 7, 2013

  • Dave P.

    Great.I learned what I have been doing wrong from my past tries.

    April 7, 2013

  • Haydn T.

    For me this workshop was about gaining confidence to graft successfully, and to sponge up knowledge from those in-the-know. With practice , grafting is now 100% doable, plus I picked up valuable pointers that will be put to good use in a future orchard. Thank you for making this available in Portland.

    April 7, 2013

  • m c.

    I don't need this workshop as I have 2 mature trees in my yard and don't need another one.

    April 6, 2013

  • Margaret C.

    I am looking forward to the class this Sunday and had a few questions.
    - is location 222 Anderson st, Portland confirmed?
    - I have a sharp pocket knife - will that work, or should I plan on buying a 'grafting' knife?
    - What do I need to do to prepare my location for planting trees? The snow just melted on Monday, so I haven't done anything to the yard.
    - How well do trees transplant? (e.g. can I plant them in my yard for now while they are tiny and move them somewhere else in a few years when they are bigger?)

    April 4, 2013

    • Lisa F.

      Hi Margaret and everyone - Yes, we are confirmed for Anderson Street. You will want to plan on a grafting knife and the instructors can tell you why that is as part of the class. These are bare root trees and need to be planted in a reasonable amount of time; they'll cover that topic as well. I recommend the info in the FEDCO catalog regarding site preparation for tree planting. Here's the link: http://www.fedcoseeds...­

      1 · April 4, 2013

  • Beth

    Only Apple scions???

    February 28, 2013

    • Beth

      yes - when I took it a couple of years ago we had pear and plum in addition to apple. I wondered if the instructors comment about heirloom apples meant JUST apples.

      March 1, 2013

    • Lisa F.

      So, yes, they know we're interested in more than just apples so the chances are quite high that the event will feature more than just apple scions as we learn and practice grafting:)

      March 5, 2013

  • Lisa F.

    Hi folks, here's some info from our instructor re: trees and rootstock. Hope this clarifies!
    Hey Lisa--

    We MAY have some dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstock. Not yet sure but it is likely. I can't give an exact answer because Fedco won't know for certain what rootstock is available until is actually arrives in mid-March--despite the fact that we place our order in June!

    It is really impossible for me to predict scion varieties in advance. It all depends on what we find in the field. We harvest hundreds of varieties and after the Fedco orders and professional grafters get their allotment, I set aside a nice selection of heirloom apples for the grafting class. There will be many interesting options.

    February 28, 2013

  • Beth

    I'd like to support the idea of dwarf stock. If its possible to have that choice, it would help many of us who are orchardizing our back yards!

    1 · February 16, 2013

  • Piper C.

    This workshop looks fantastic. Will there be dwarf stock available for grafting? I don't have room for full sized trees.

    February 15, 2013

    • Lisa F.

      I'll see if I can find out!

      February 16, 2013

  • Lisa F.

    Hi Eric - feel free to post your questions here or message me separately. Your questions (and the answers) might be of interest to the whole group. Also, for reference, over the past three times we've done this event I'm guessing we had somewhere between 30-40 heirloom varieties of scionwood from which to choose (and/or you can bring some of your own from interesting trees), including pear and other fruits beyond apples. We also have a couple of copies of the fruit/nut inventory on hand for people to read about varieties before making their choices.

    February 14, 2013

2 went

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