I blogged recently about some scions I took from my espaliered family apple tree that I then grafted onto some apple tree root stocks that I purchased online. I must admit that I thought my experiment had failed because I had been watering them lightly for weeks just to stop the compost drying out, but I was not seeing any new signs of growth. Anyway, I realised the other day that some of the scions had actually begun to grow, which shows that some of the grafts have taken successfully! I cannot tell you just how exciting this is because it is my first attempt at grafting and I was not expecting very much (I’ve been staring at twigs wrapped together in floristry tape stuck in pots of compost for weeks…)
As a quick recap, I grafted:
2 x unknown variety of apple tree onto MM106 apple rootstocks
My knowledge of the variety was lost along the way somewhere, but it is a vigorous grower which will be used to create a fruiting archway as an entrance to The Rose Garden. I will figure out the variety by monitoring its blossoms/fruits etc.
1 x ‘Golden Delicious’ onto M26
2 x ‘Sunset’ onto M26
The ‘Golden Delicious’ and ‘Sunset’ were grafted onto the M26 to help limit the growth of the trees as I only want to create small espalier fences to create a living boundary wall effect to separate the raised beds in The Edible Garden from The Rose Garden. (If you want to see an outline of how I have arranged the plot into separate gardens, you can click here to read that). I do not plan on creating a higher wall that this, otherwise it will effect the amount of sunlight available to the raised beds. I also expect that I will need to permanently support the boughs of the trees as they grow due to the root stock I have chosen. I had to order an extra rootstock to make up the minimum online order cost which is why I have a spare tree! I am sure I can find a space for it somewhere thought (so long as the graft takes). In hindsight, I wish I had ordered another MM106 rootstock instead to plant in another area of the garden to be left to grow in its natural form.
Unknown variety grafted onto the MM106 rootstock:
Just one of these scions has shown it is has been successful so far. I have checked that the other scion is still alive by lightly scraping back the bark with my fingernail and it was still green, so I may just need to wait it out.
‘Golden Delicious’ grafted onto M26 rootstock:
You can see that the buds are just breaking on this graft. I’m pretty impressed that it seems to have taken considering the difference in size between the scion and the rootstock. It’s kind of amazing really!
I have no photo updates to share with you yet for ‘Sunset’ as the scions are not yet showing any new growth. It could well be that this particular variety may be slower to establish or leaf out compared to the other two varieties. Either way, so far so good and I can’t complain!
I’m really looking forward to watching these tiny scions grow on into miniature trees in the coming season and subsequent years. I have never formed an espalier from such an early stage as this, so that will be another fun experiment! I hope the scions continue to grow on well and I’ll keep you updated on how they grow along 🙂
Written by Bethany Wright