Back in April, some of my readers may recall the careful surgical grafts I performed on my two backyard container grown apple trees.
Today, 2 months later, I can now present the amazing results of these apple grafts.
This first graft was added to my younger tree. The graft was actually made into the fruiting wood, and not the root stock, of Red Gravenstein.
The top bud of the newly grafted William's Pride wood has pushed out two leaves, and an inner stem is growing from in between.
A lower bud facing the non-sunny side has not shown much signs of growth, but is slowly pushing out some green.
A strong bud underneath the wrapped graft is also pushing out a strong shoot. That energy sent to this shoot of Red Gravenstein will aid in healing the nearby wood wound.
The strong upright stem from the fruiting wood of Sweet 16 was grafted onto a branch of Northern Spy fruiting wood.
My hope was that this branch with strong apical dominance would almost guarantee full attention from the tree to help continue growth and healing into the new wood.
As I hoped for, a strong shoot at the top is aiming upward for the sun.
Two lower buds are also receiving lesser amounts of energy, and will become secondary limbs.
With only a narrow bending branch to work with, the shallow cut into Sweet 16 provided the least promising branch for making a successful graft.
Akane, less important to me than Northern Spy, was mainly chosen for the graft, as a future pollen provider to help Sweet 16 fruit set. From taste tests, I also know Akane to be delicious fruit as well, with a good standard red apple look and flavor.
As the earliest of my three grafts to set out bud growth, it has formed two long, healthy stems full of leaves. Akane must have tremendous disease resistance. No signs of sun damage, spots, or insect bites.
The amount of healing growth from these trees in such a short amount of time has been remarkable!
Honestly, I was quite pessimistic about the quality of my grafts. The cuts were not very flat, but apparently good enough for the tree to do what it knows how to do: grow!
Three out of three ain't bad.
Tree 1: Final Results
Middle: Gravenstein Red
Top: William's Pride
A common question I often receive.
When will the trees produce fruit?
Honestly, I have no idea. Hopefully before the trees or I perish! They'll be the best tasting apples in the world to me if they ever do push out some fruits.
Tree 2 Final Results
Middle (starts above the tag): Sweet 16
Top Left: Northern Spy
Top Right: Akane
I swear the magic in the success of these grafts must be in the apple rootstocks.
I cannot even imagine attempting to graft onto any other species of ordinary field grown trees and expect results like this. My little bonsai trees are so fragile and low energy, I don't think I would ever dare attempt this kind of surgical operation on any of them. Really there is no need to perform grafts onto a tree, except for the human need to add desirable mutations to the tree, namely providing new fruit varieties.
If you want to learn more about how I grafted these apple trees, be sure to check out my past article. I demonstrate how it was done with little more than a rubber band, elmer's glue, and a grafting blade.
Illustrations and photos featured in this article are original creations of @creativetruth for your viewing pleasure.