Monday, March 15, 2010

Grafting an apple tree

My most treasured books are a 4 volume set of Audels Gardeners and Growers Guide from 1928, reprinted in 1935. Volume 3, "Fine Fruits for Home and Market , together with practical and helpful illustrations - Useful and valuable tables of requirements ", opens with
"In the abundance of the yield is the joy and glory of the husbandman." All in the most elegant of fonts.
I love the illustrations, simple clear line drawings and photographs of farm workers wearing cow-paddy caps in magnificent greenhouses or with horse drawn field equipment.
The section on grafting prompted me to have  a try at improving the two wild apple trees near the garden. They are young trees that have lately started bearing some really poor fruit, so I had an idea I would try to graft some scions from an abandoned yellow transparent tree just down the road.
The manual gave several methods so I tried them all, with a few additions such as bolstering a diagonal join with a small screw.
The challenge was to keep the grafting wax liquid enough to apply , with a cold wind blowing.

The bigger branches, I lopped off with my reciprocating saw.
Of course I dont know if any of these grafts will take , but out of 7, even a couple would be rewarding. Time will tell.

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