Changing young crab trees to over to domestic varieties
We recently purchased a home with a little acreage and it has numerous young crabapple trees (old ones too but thatÃ¯Â¿Â½s a subject for a different post). I would like to change over to domestic varieties. I have access to ample scion wood for Cortland, Red Delicious, Victory, Wealthy, and two unknown varieties. As you can see from the picture there are multiple trunks, tons of small branches, and some relatively larger limbs.
I am new to grafting and pruning, but I was thinking of whip grafting the smaller branches and cleft grafting the larger branches and maybe some of the smaller trunks. In other words, do a ton of grafts and maybe leave a nurse branch or two and see what happens. Or, should I prune it back to one major trunk and a few major branches and just graft those? I was also thinking of only doing a part of the trees until I have honed my grafting skills and know what my success rate is with grafting.
I also have some other apple trees about this size that do not appear to be crab apples but did not produce anything last year. I do not know if they bloomed because we did not get into the house until the end of May, but the previous owner said all the apples on the property (more than 30 of all ages) are wild.
There are also 5 mature trees with apples that taste very good but are small and wormy because the trees have never been pruned or sprayed. I have seen some previous posts about changing over or pruning mature wild trees, but I have not seen any posts about changing over trees like the ones in the picture.
One more question, Is the omega grafting tool worth getting if I will be doing lots of grafting (not bench grafting but on trees out in the yard)?