MNFGA hosted a grafting class on April 13, 2019 at:
MSU AgBioResearch Station
9302 Portland Road, Clarksville, Michigan 48815.
We started with the basics of grafting as an audio/visual presentation. There was a yummy potluck lunch break. Then all students did hands-on grafting with close instruction and guidance.
Grafting is one of the simplest ways to clone trees and plants. Grafted trees produce the exact, delicious fruits and nuts that you have tasted from one of your trees or from a friend’s tree. Grafted trees produce fruits and nuts MUCH quicker than seedling trees. Seedling trees are an unknown entity due to the unknown parent that fertilized the blossoms (be it wind or insect pollination). We grafted apples and pears.
Several brought special apple tree scions that from the tree they wanted to clone. Scions are 1-year old sticks from the tree that you want to clone. If you have any questions about scion collection and/or storage, please email MNFGA at Michigannutgrower@gmail.com. There are some important collection and storage steps for the best grafting success. There were also free scions of known cultivars available for grafting at the class. Scions are to be collected while the trees are dormant, so collection for grafting has passed as nearly all trees have now had bud swelling.
There were many good comments about the class. We are grateful to Mike Dority for his presentation and for his, Bill Nash, Marc Boone and Dick Wolthuis’s time spent showing individuals the fine points during the hands-on part of the class. If there is interest, and we expect there will be, we will repeat this class in a year or two. In the mean time, ask a MNFGA member to explain grafting and possibly have them show you how. There are also some very good YouTube videos about grafting various trees. Watch, learn and then practice, practice practice…the “carpentry” part of grafting is improved only with practice. Above all, be safe when using your VERY sharp grafting tools.