I mentioned recently that I had taken scion cuttings from my family fruit tree in the Edible Garden. I stored the scions in the fridge for a few weeks whilst I ordered some root stocks online and waited for them to arrive.
It is my first venture at grafting and I chose to use the cleft graft for some of my scions that were thinner than the root stocks, but then I used the saddle graft for the stems width that did match up. I did not purchase specialist grafting tape for the job, but I had some floristry tape on hand which I thought would be an adequate substitute:
I am hoping they take, I will let you know how they do!
My long term plan is to create two espalier trees to create a small espalier fence edging the bed in the Rose Garden where it meets the Edible Garden in the bottom left of the photo below:
I used three M26 apple root stocks to start off these espalier cordons because the root system will be smaller which will mean I can plant them closer together and they will grow slower. I will have to permanently support them, but that is not a huge deal breaker for me. The M26 root stocks are grafted onto ‘Sunset’ and ‘Golden Delicious’.
I order two more vigorous MM106 apple roots stocks and grafted it to the vigorous scion (I have lost knowledge of this scion’s particular variety unfortunately). I intend to train one tree on either side of this archway to create a fruiting archway and I will espalier the branches as a cordon on each horizontal support. I will be tying in the tree as it grows to curve it around the arch. I chose the vigorous root stock because the root system will be stronger and eventually the tree should support itself, so I will be able to removed the archway potentially. Either way, the arch way will be disguised as the tree matures, it will add structure in Winter and finally it helps to create the feel of an entrance to the Rose Garden from this side of the garden.
I hope to try this technique again as it was a fun learning experience and it was so inexpensive too! The root stocks were about £3 each online and I may get potentially six trees if the scions take.
Written by Bethany Wright