What is the purpose of grafting fruit trees?”
The answer to this question is important as it’s a long-established tradition in New Zealand. The trees have been growing for decades, long before most of us were alive.
The practice originated because the climate in the upper half of the North Island is such that apple trees are very successful and can be grown throughout the country. The lower half is different. Pears are not a successful crop here, so it’s not possible to have apple trees grafted for the lower half. The solution has been to graft the fruits of these trees onto pomegranate trees. Grafting is also commonly done in France to help fruit trees to survive the winters there.
This makes sense if you think about it. Grafted fruit trees are basically a modified version of the apple tree. They are the same tree but have a different rootstock (the portion of the tree that carries nutrients into the fruit). This rootstock is known to be more resistant to frost. It is also more resistant to diseases and pests that attack the fruit.
Grafting techniques have been around for centuries and the practice of grafting has been described in detail in books and by ancient Chinese writers. Even the Romans took advantage of the technique by grafting the fruit of their grapes onto other grape varieties. For many years the best way to graft a plant was with pruning shears and a surgical scalpel. This was not an easy process! It’s now a lot easier, but it’s still a delicate, tricky and fairly skilled procedure.
How it’s done
The method used for grafting fruit trees is very similar to the grafting of other plants. It starts with preparing the rootstock or rootstock-carrying portion of the tree. I want to make it clear that the word “stock” in this context is not a reference to the word used to describe an animal’s genetic lineage. It refers to the root portion of the tree which includes a host of various rootstock varieties which carry nutrients and water. The tree also carries the tree’s genetics, which include the genes that determine the characteristics of the fruit it will eventually produce. The rootstock can be selected with the fruit in mind. So if you’re growing apples you want a rootstock that carries frost resistance genes.
As with any tree operation the key to grafting is in the preparation. The graft is held in place with tape and wire. This is done to keep the fruit from popping off during growth. Once the graft is in place it’s important that the stem of the tree is not damaged. Any small cuts or breaks will cause problems later.
I started this graft on the first of June and it is now August. Every year, you will know your tree is growing and growing by the changing colors. As a matter of fact, when I graft I am very proud of my colors. I started this post with the purpose of giving you an idea of the colors in our trees.
This is a very small tree. We put the trees in the ground on the 27th of April and it is now the 22nd of August.
This tree is growing and is a favorite of children.
We have a lot of fruit, and these are some of my favorites. We have had the most success with watermelon, melons and persimmons.
Here are some fruit samples and I know this image doesn’t do it justice. Some of the images were taken directly from our tree. Some were taken in our garden and taken on our own camera. I hope you enjoy the photos and it gave you some ideas for planting your own trees.
The trees in the foreground are grafted to rootstock and the trees in the back are grafted to the rootstock. It is the best of both worlds.
We are planning to have the trees next year. We should be planting them in the fall of 2010. The trees are all getting large and full. I hope you enjoyed this post.
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The trees I planted were grafted trees because the parent trees did not produce enough fruits to graft. The rootstocks of the grafted trees are Mazzetta and G. Mazzetta, as well as the rootstocks in the grafted trees are the rootstocks that produce the most fruits.
We had a very, very busy fall this year. We have an apple orchard and a pear orchard and we also had grapes.
We didn’t manage to do any of the orchards this year.
I made a few applesauce, I made some preserves and some cider. We also managed to pick 10 grapes that were very good. I plan to make more wine with the grapes and I will put those in another post.
What you see in this picture is a few of the crops from the orchard.
It was still warm enough out to pick and eat some pears right out of the ground.
It was a busy year, but hopefully it was a successful one.