What can I graft onto an apple tree

tomo_2009March 29, 2010

I live in San Jose , Ca and have a 12 feet tall applle tree in my back yard. I would like to graft some other fruits on this apple tree such as pear, cherry,apricot etc. Anyone can tell me what other fruit trees could i graft on this apple tree?

Thank you

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gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)

Quince and pear graft nicely onto apple stock. And of course, more apples.

Most people graft more apple cultivars (= varieties) onto apples so that they get more selection, good pollination and a longer season of apples (provided you choose cultivars that mature at different times).

Have you ever done any grafting?

Joe

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 12:37AM
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tomo_2009

Joe, Thank you for your input. I have done some apple cleft graftig successfuly after I learned that technique on line!
Do you have any suggestion as to what apple cultivars should I graft in order to get a longer season of apples?
Thank you
Tom

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 10:06PM
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gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)

So, shall I assume that you want to do some "top working"? That is, you have a cultivar (variety) of apple that you don't like or possibly it's just an old seedling tree that bears unsuitable fruits and you want to cut it down to some good stubs upon which to cleft graft another cultivar of apple or several cultivars of apples?

Or do you have a worthy cultivar and you want to add to it, in which case you don't want to cleft graft; you probably want to do some whip-and-tongue grafting. And if your tree is big/old enough, you can graft several dozen cultivars onto your "root stock" for the fun of it.

There are dozens (hundreds?) of apple cultivars that will do fine in San Jose.

Since you don't want to buy a whole tree just to chop it up into graftable pieces, you need to look around for existing trees in your area from which to take scions.

Your best shot is to contact your area chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers' Association. Most members have lots of new cultivars and heirloom cultivars and can tell which are tastiests, which are easiest, and -- as you ask -- which ones mature early, which ones mid-season, which ones late and everything in between.

Joe

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 12:12AM
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sautesmom

Here is a website that sells gazillions of apple scions, spend an evening reading the blurbs and see what appeals to you!

Carla in Sac

Here is a link that might be useful: Maple Valley Orchards apple scions

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 12:28AM
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gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)

That's an impressive scion catalog.

I ran through it a bit, starting with the basic information that it's a company in Wisconsin. Almost all of their apples require a lot more chill than San Jose would get. And the few that would work here aren't described accurately enough to know for sure; that is, they simply state that such-and-such cultivar is adapted to "USDA Zones 3-6". San Jose is USDA Zone 9 (for those of you who have yet to get hooked on Sunset zoning).

In other works, double check against the Sunset Western Garden Book to get a better idea of what really will bear fruit where you are.

Are there any such scion catalog companies in California?

Joe

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 12:48AM
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sautesmom

Yes, Kuffel Creek, but they aren't shipping any more this year so I recommended Maple Valley instead. Kuffel Creek grows apples in the hot inland empire, proving that chill hours for apples are pretty much a myth. Apples will flower with hardly any chill--but the QUALITY of some varieties is terrible in the heat, others are wonderful in the heat, as you can read on their website.

Carla in Sac

Here is a link that might be useful: Kuffel Creek hot weather apple list

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 3:03PM
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dicot

Fujis are good in L.A.? I did not know that.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 7:10PM
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gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)

Carla:

I so want to believe you. That chilling hours for apples (and other deciduous fruit?) is a myth is a blockbuster. I'm big on disspelling myths and I'd love to follow up.

Who's done the research to show that apples with high chilling hour numbers will do well in even the lowest chill hour areas? Has anyone -- especially independent universities -- actually grown all or many of the "northern" apple types in the San Jose or Sacramento areas or, better yet, in the Southern California area to show that they actually produce well without significant chill?

You're going to get a lot of people excited -- including and especially me -- if this is as you say, a "myth".

Joe

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 7:25PM
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sautesmom

Joe:

It sounds like you didn't click on the link in my above post! Kuffel Creek has been growing and experimenting for years, in the Inland Empire, with reports on growing apples even in the desert. Again, blooming and setting fruit is one thing, apple flavor and texture is another.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 8:46PM
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gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)

Carla:

Actually, I did. But my comparison of Kuffel Creek and your first post, Maple Valley Orchards in Wisconsin, showed very little overlap.

Plus the San Bernardino Mountains get much colder than San Jose.

They do show that their apples withstand more summer heat than supposedly first thought. But I never knew summer heat was a deciding factor in apple production anyway.

Joe

    Bookmark   March 31, 2010 at 10:29PM
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applenut_gw

Joe:

Dare to believe; its true. Chilling hours for apples are a myth; I'm not in the mountains- I grow over 100 apple varieties 1/4 mile from the Parent Washington Navel Orange tree in Riverside on 200 chilling hours. I tore out a big clump of banana trees to plant the orchard, which is getting ready to bloom now right next to my neighbor's big Valencia orange tree.

Do not look to university programs to validate this; there's no money in it, and their research is devoted to commercial growers. You will not read it in scholarly books either, as they just quote one another rather than actually sticking a tree in the ground to see what happens.

However this has not gone unnoticed; Tom Spellman at Dave Wilson Nursery did a few nice videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jwtYhS2Qcs

If you're still needing more assurance, check out the Ba' Kelalan Apple Fiesta in Borneo, Malaysia where the apple orchard is next to the rice paddies and they eat their apple pie off a banana leaf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK0yW7U_ddQ

I know this goes against everything that you've ever heard about apples, so I understand; if you still can't get a grip on it, check out some of our clients in tropic Africa at http://kuffelcreek.wordpress.com/

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 12:13AM
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gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)

applenut:

Do you have a list of the 100 apple cultivars that you are growing with a dependable and productive crop?

I have no doubt that apples will grow and fruit in areas of less 200 chill hours. I've seen them. And I'm sure they'll grow in Ethiopia.

I want to see Red Delicious, Jonagold, Fuji, Braeburn and Gala growing on the coast here.

Joe

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 12:45AM
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applenut_gw

Joe:

Click on http://www.kuffelcreek.com/applelist.htm for the list of winners and losers, and also check out our favorites. They all will dependably fruit, probably more so than in a cold climate (no late frosts or cold weather to deter bees here). The quality varies dramatically, and it does not necessarily depend on the origin of the variety. Rome Beauty is quite popular in the tropics.

They also adapt over time; varieties that start out with symptoms of low-chill such as extended bloom time will adjust over several years to have a compact bloom with good leaf coverage. Growth overall is more stunted than in a cold climate, as I keep M7 the same size as M26 or Bud.9 in other places, not necessarily a bad thing.

CRFG members grow all the varieties you mention on the coast, but I recommend Delicious (Hawkeye) over Red Delicious.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 4:58AM
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tomo_2009

Joe:
I have the feeling that the more I read about my apple issue, the less I know. I have prepared to send you a picture of my apple tree and ask you what would you do to it, but have no success. I don't know why is it so complicated to post a picture on this forum. If you would send me your email address I hope I'll be able to send you this picture.
Thank you
Tom

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 10:37AM
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gardenguru1950(SunsetZ16)

Tom:

Would love to help further but I don't have your e-mail address and you don't have a message connection with GardenWeb (nor do I).

Joe

    Bookmark   April 1, 2010 at 10:49PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Tom easiest way to post pictures is to get a free account on photobucket, post a picture there, then copy the html code from the box under the picture and paste it into a message

My MIL grows a bunch of different apples in the SGV, but the fruit is always so full of pests you can't eat them.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 5:13AM
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tomo_2009

Joe:
Here is my email address:
tomocnewyork@yahoo.com
Thank you
Tom

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 1:29PM
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