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Thread: Grafted fruit trees - good or not?

  1. #1
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    Jan 2011
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    Default Grafted fruit trees - good or not?

    I am working on researching the plants, trees and shrubs to acquire for my BOL / homestead ... which I am working on diligently.

    My idea is to plant a very diverse hedge of 10' + in thickness, instead of a designated orchard with rows of trees. This way - only on inspection of the tree varieties would someone notice they are food producing - and it will also save money on fencing (though only stock proof in 3-5 years).

    It is zone 3, and I am pleasantly surprised at the amazing fruit and nut trees which are stated to grow well in zone 3 conditions (everything from apples and apple pears to cherry and even goji berries and a kiwi!!

    OK sorry to be long winded. My question is about grafted trees? Are these ok? I have seen the wiki entry which doesn't say much about if this is a good process - I find most apple trees I am looking at are grafted - to me this seems unnatural - what about when the tree dies? What about the apple seeds? Would I be able to propagate a grafted tree?

    This is the place I will be getting most of my trees - so much selection for norther climates! http://www.greenbarnnursery.ca/Home.page

    Looking forward to responses ...

  2. #2
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    Down here, I think all the citrus are grafted. The natural ones are smaller fruit and less sweet. Other than that, I only successfully grow Mesquite.
    Once on safari in deepest darkest Afganistan we ran out of Gin, and were compelled to survive on food and water for several days.


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  3. #3
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    Grafting ensures you get a replica of the parent tree, where as seed does not, it also gives you a head start on production...

  4. #4

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    The biggest reason for grafting is that the rootstock of many fruit trees is not hardy. I would think that's an even more important consideration in Zone 3. They graft "diva" fruit trees onto hardy rootstock so they will survive harsh conditions. Most apples, peaches, and citrus are done this way.

  5. #5
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    you can also get a quicker harvest with semi dwarf..which should do well in that zone as well.. here where I am in North Dakota thats supposedly our zone tho most gardeners that Iknow would swear its zone 1..microclimates and all involved

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KINGCHIP View Post
    Down here, I think all the citrus are grafted. The natural ones are smaller fruit and less sweet. Other than that, I only successfully grow Mesquite.
    I wish them boys at A&M would figure out something to graft on Mesquite. Now that would be a earth mover.

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone, I found this information too, so yay for grafting!

    The Life of an Apple Tree

    Growing the kind of apple tree that grows in an apple orchard is much more complicated than you might believe. You might think that it is merely a matter of planting an apple seed in the ground and then waiting for the tree to grow. But in reality it is much more complicated then that. In fact, historically, specialized fruit farming was the last type of farming to be developed.

    The difficulty is that an apple tree grown from an apple seed will not produce a tree (or fruit) like the one the apple(seed) came from. For example, a seed from a McIntosh apple will not grow into a McIntosh tree. The reason for this is that genetically the seed is only half McIntosh - the other half of the seed's genes came from the pollen that the bee picked up from the blossom of another tree before he visited and fertilized (with the pollen) the blossom of the McIntosh tree. The other tree could have been any other apple variety within a mile or two of the McIntosh tree. So when that apple seed is planted, you never know what the tree will grow up to look like, or what the apples will taste like. If the other tree the bee visited first was a Crab Apple tree, for example, then the tree that would grow from the seed would be a cross between the two, i.e., half McIntosh and half Crab Apple. While such a tree might be interesting, it would likely be of no use to an apple farmer. (Though crossbred trees are grown experimentally to develop new varieties, and some older varieties, such as the McIntosh, are the result of natural crossbreeding.) Apple farmers have to have apple trees that are of known varieties so that they know what the apples will look like, taste like, how they will keep, and what to tell consumers they are. An apple tree grown from a seed is called a "wild" apple tree; they are the ones you see growing in ditches and woods. To make all of the apple trees in their orchards be of known varieties, apple grow

  8. #8
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    Another tree to consider for apple production would be a crabapple tree. Commercial orchardists plant these at one crabapple for every 1 or 5 acres ( I don't remember which) as a cross pollinator to help increase production. Plus the crabapples can be used for jellies or to attract game.
    Bureaucrats are like rabid pitbulls with blinders...Its always better if you don't draw attention to yourself.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Daca ... that is the one thing that wasn't one my list ... I am going to reconsider ... but could you tell me why it would boost apple production? Better then having a different apple close by?

  10. #10
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    I've had to destroy three fruit trees because the grafts were so badl The wild plum or whatever started coming up from the graft -- it is nearly impossibly to get rid of. I don't know how to buy trees that won't have that problem. Just something to watch out for, I guess.

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