Make sure to get quality of plants
A few months ago, with the big help of my husband, I planted 16 apple trees along the far end of our backyard – 2 standard trees and 14 dwarf trees. They are grafted apple trees.
I purchased them from Woodbridge Fruit Trees in Tasmania, Australia. They sell a host of bare-rooted fruit trees and specialize in propagating old heritage varieties as well as more modern cultivars.
I was a bit
All of the trees were grafted, which is why I chose this particular vendor, as grafted fruit trees fruit sooner than those that are not.
What is a grafted tree?
Let me try to explain this as simply as I can (mainly because I’m not too savvy with technical terms!).
Grafting refers to the growing of the top part of one plant on the rootstock of another plant. A rootstock has an established and healthy root system and acts as the host plant of the grafted tree.
In short, grafting is to connect two different sections of two different plants so that they grow as one.
Why are plants better off being grafted?
By grafting plants we can improve its quality and growing conditions. Two different plants each have their own original attributes. Therefore, the grafted plant can have the best of both in terms of quality.
Perhaps you could say that grafting is an art of mastering optimum plant quality!
How to identify if a plant is grafted?
It’s relatively easy to determine whether a plant has been grafted or not.
Often these days the plant ID tag will tell you. If not, it is also possible to determine by visually examining the plant.
Let’s have a look at the lower part of a grated apple tree, as shown below.
The grafted portion will always be above soil level. It is easily spotted by a small bump (knot) where the top plant has overgrown and covered the rootstock. It actually looks like a healing wound!
Planting the apple trees
As this was my very first time working with apple saplings, the process of planting was both exciting and a little confusing at the same time (I definitely have more to learn!).
I set a date to plant the trees some weeks after they were delivered: September 23rd, 2018, to be exact.
Springtime was just beginning here in Australia so it was the perfect time to start planting them, especially due to the cooler Mountain temperatures (although where we are, elevation above sea level is only around 1 feet/1,000m!).
In a future blog, I will explain the process of how I planted all the apple trees, the growth, and how they’re doing now!
Check out my other article about “Introduction to Horticulture and Propagation Methods“, one of 11 Horticulture articles. You will find some other propagation methods there!