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Thread: Growing apple trees, grafting scions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Western Ny
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    Default Growing apple trees, grafting scions

    As I have taken up making maple syrup as a hobby, I also have grown equally interested in growing apple trees as well. I have noticed many on this message board list apple orchard as an interest of their's. I have a small number of rootstocks I would like to graft onto, and was wondering if anyone here would be interested in exchanging or selling apple scions. I only have one apple tree of a known variety (McIntosh) and another unknown but very good eating apple.

    I am a part of a Facebook group called the apple scion exchange group but I have been on this message board longer and was curious to see if others here had an interest too.
    2019- RO
    2018- 25 taps made 8 gal syrup.
    2017- 25 taps -built a 2x3 flat pan, and a fuel tank arch for it. 335 gal 7.34gal syrup.

    2016- 15 taps, 4.3gal syrup boiling on cinderblock arch 3 roasting pans, 1 redneck trash can with a pot, and a turkey fryer.

    2015- 4 taps 44 gals of sap made 2.25 gal of lite syrup.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Southern Ohio
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    I worked for a large nursery in the 70s and ran a grafting crew. I literally have been involved in tens of thousands of grafts. We never bought scion wood, ever. We made deals with orchards to pick up their pruning s in exchange for some started trees. This is pruning season, I bet if you visited an orchard and explained you were only a hobby guy that they would let you pick up some prunings and you would have your scion wood. Heck offer them some Maple syrup in trade. You'd have to sort through it but there is always a fair amount of new growth within the pruned off wood. Have you tried bud grafting on peaches yet? I hope you got good strong root stock, commercially as a lot of the stuff floating around may not be as strong and disease resistant. You can grow some by seed if your just playing around though, including crab apple stock.

  3. #3
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    Western Ny
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    Thanks for the suggestion, I will use it, but the local nurserys only have a couple of trees I'm interested in. I would like to find some older varieties and some English varieties as well. I have to be careful as really I would probably take anything I don't already have but I can only fence off so many of them at a time from the deer. I don't have any peaches as I am not certain they would really do well in our climate. But I do plan on planting a couple of pear tree eventually. I look forward to grafting for the first real time this year (I tried last year but the scion wood was not totally dormant when I cut it so it didn't work. Any tips or suggestions you have? My root stocks are transplanted shoots from a McIntosh tree, not sure what it is it a very large tree so maybe a seedling rootstock. I hope to have maybe 20-40 trees in my orchard.
    Last edited by barnbc76; 01-16-2017 at 07:05 PM.
    2019- RO
    2018- 25 taps made 8 gal syrup.
    2017- 25 taps -built a 2x3 flat pan, and a fuel tank arch for it. 335 gal 7.34gal syrup.

    2016- 15 taps, 4.3gal syrup boiling on cinderblock arch 3 roasting pans, 1 redneck trash can with a pot, and a turkey fryer.

    2015- 4 taps 44 gals of sap made 2.25 gal of lite syrup.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Daniels, WV
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    21

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    Awesome idea! We bought 15 varieties of apples on sale last spring and planted them, hope to be able to use future prunings to start to try some grafting of my own. I have no experience with grafting, probably another year or two away. Seems like such an intimidating topic, one of those where the ability to learn at the elbow of an experienced grafter/grower would be so helpful.
    2015: 10 taps; 22 gal sap; 3 pints syrup
    2016: 65 taps; 600+ gal sap; 5 gal syrup - LEARNING EXPERIENCE
    2017: 177 taps

    134 taps on 3/16" gravity tubing, 43 taps on Shurflo 4008 vacuum
    Homemade RO under construction
    2x4 CDL hobby evaporator

  5. #5
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    Feb 2016
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    Western Ny
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    I agree, at first I thought it seemed crazy to try grafting then I started watching some YouTube videos by a guy named Stephen Hayes and I thought I have to try this. I don't know anyone who could show me personally but his videos (of which he has so many ) are very simple and he does a good job explaining things. He has an apple orchard in England.
    2019- RO
    2018- 25 taps made 8 gal syrup.
    2017- 25 taps -built a 2x3 flat pan, and a fuel tank arch for it. 335 gal 7.34gal syrup.

    2016- 15 taps, 4.3gal syrup boiling on cinderblock arch 3 roasting pans, 1 redneck trash can with a pot, and a turkey fryer.

    2015- 4 taps 44 gals of sap made 2.25 gal of lite syrup.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Savoy, MA
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    302

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by themoonlighttapper View Post
    AI have no experience with grafting, probably another year or two away. Seems like such an intimidating topic, one of those where the ability to learn at the elbow of an experienced grafter/grower would be so helpful.
    Not at all. It's actually fairly rudimentary. Rootstock, scion wood, a knife, and some grafting tape and you're grafting. Watch a Youtuve video or two. I do some grafting as a hobby to propagate apples for deer hunting. I like to find Wolf River scion wood as it seems even during a bad apple year, Wolf Rivers always have apples.
    16x24 Timber Frame Sugar House
    Mason 2x4 Evaporator
    90 trees on buckets

    "Roses are red and violets are purple
    Sugar is sweet and so is maple surple
    "

  7. #7
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    Vermont
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    Grafting is something that I have interest in and hopes to do some this spring. I have about 25 wild apple trees in the front of my house. I hope to graft some of my apple varieties from my orchard onto them just for fun. Im not even sure if that can be done. I have watched countless videos of grafting on You Tube and Steven Hayes does make it look real easy. I will have 600 apple trees in my orchard this coming summer. I plan to start pruning in early march after all tapping is done and I'm waiting for sap to run. If anyone is interested in having some of my pruning they are more then welcome to it. Here is a list of what I have.

    Mac's, Frost Bite, Honey Crisp, Liberty, Snow Sweet, Freedom, Northern Spy, Fortune, Zestar, Cortland,Red Rome, Ultra Gold and Snappy Mac. All these trees are on B-118 Root Stock and are growing extremely well. I also have several Pear trees, Cherry Trees, Plum and Apricot. I am no expert at fruit tree growing but My trees are growing great and I only lost one tree in five years. It's great to see so many Traders interested in this. Thank you Maple Trader for allow one thread on this off season topic.

    Spud

  8. #8
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    Jan 2011
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    Southern Ohio
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    barnbc76, the key thing is if those suckers/shoots came from below the graft on the mcIntosh. If they did your good if they came from above I would not use them. Basically if they grew out of the ground they are whatever that root stock was.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Western Ny
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    Bigschuss, I have read about wolf river, it would be a good addition to an apple orchard, and I too hope my orchard will benefit my deer hunting as well as the fresh fruit and pies etc. Spudd, thats a nice size orchard. I would be interested in a couple of those varieties. I also have a mutsu (Crispin) tree but I planted that last spring so I don't think I will get more than 1 or 2 scions off it. Buckeye Ithe rootstocks came from the roots of the tree, I would guess it is a semi dwarf as the tree I took it from has a trunk of about 16" in diameter so it is very mature and it's height/spread was only about 15'. Of course it is located in a poor spot and the other McIntosh next to it in a much better spot has a 22" diamiter trunk and a 20+ height/spead and I am not certain that the graft was not burried thus the McIntosh rootstock taken over.
    2019- RO
    2018- 25 taps made 8 gal syrup.
    2017- 25 taps -built a 2x3 flat pan, and a fuel tank arch for it. 335 gal 7.34gal syrup.

    2016- 15 taps, 4.3gal syrup boiling on cinderblock arch 3 roasting pans, 1 redneck trash can with a pot, and a turkey fryer.

    2015- 4 taps 44 gals of sap made 2.25 gal of lite syrup.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Daniels, WV
    Posts
    21

    Default

    That sounds like quite an orchard! I planted several of those varieties last year, several others are on my wish list. I can only dream about having an orchard that size, but hopefully one day...

    This may be an ignorant question, but.. how do you go about maintaining a supply of rootstock for new grafts? Certainly you wouldn't have to purchase new rootstock all the time, or would you?
    Last edited by themoonlighttapper; 01-17-2017 at 07:35 PM.
    2015: 10 taps; 22 gal sap; 3 pints syrup
    2016: 65 taps; 600+ gal sap; 5 gal syrup - LEARNING EXPERIENCE
    2017: 177 taps

    134 taps on 3/16" gravity tubing, 43 taps on Shurflo 4008 vacuum
    Homemade RO under construction
    2x4 CDL hobby evaporator

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