save a tree by grafting?

billie_ladybug(5b)July 7, 2011

I have wanted to start a orchard for a long time and wanted to do it by grafting old apples and such from trees in the area, however, I never knew of any till now.

The "neighbor" has several apples that were planted by his folks around 1960. But through the years they have declined in production due to age and neglect. I was hoping someone out there might have some ideas has to how best to approach the project.

I thought about going and trimming all the dead wood and suckers out this summer still. Then, hopefully the trees put on some type of growth (if we ever get rain.) and trying to graft in the spring.

Would like to know what root stocks, graft types etc people have had the best luck with. Plan on grafting them onto standard size stock, no reason I need dwarf, I have 40 acres, think I might have room. Also, should the stocks be planted and established before I try to graft? Should I get them in the fall, or in the spring?

I'm going to research quite a bit over the winter. I am afraid I might only get one shot at trying to save a piece of history.


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I LOVE that you are going to "save" apple trees. I had a great great grandfather that used to sell apple tree seedlings in IA in the mid 1800's. He had over 100 varieties at one time. I have always wanted to find some of his more popular varities and grow them. I have always been interested in this subject but I know NOTHING about grafting yet. I recieved 2 "Geneva 11 Apple Rootstocks" from Milehighgirl at the spring swap. I have not done any grafting with them yet because I have not found a good tree to use for grafting yet. You are welcome to have them to practice with. I am not sure if you ever get up this way (near DIA). PM me if you want them...or I think you already have my email address so just email me. You could use these 2 now and still do a little research over the winter going forward. You could also try to contact Milehighgirl who I believe had luck with some of the trees she grafted. She may have some advice for you going forward.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:57PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Billie, Apple Seed!

Why don't you collect some seed from the apples this year, dry them, and winter sow them! No telling what the apples would wind up being like, but you might get something that's absolutely wonderful--that you could graft to get more of!!! With 40 acres..............

Love to experiment,

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Grow Apple Trees From Seed

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 5:19PM
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Dan Staley

If they are own-root go for it. If they are grafted, then you need to graft onto suitable stock.

BTW, I pruned an old apple tree at Barr Lake not too long ago and it is ~75-100 years old, still producing. Apples need hard pruning every once in a while to produce.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 8:22PM
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Provogirl - if I can get up that way, I will take you up on the offer. I wouldn't mind starting out asap. Hate to lose the old trees and I am afraid that this is going to be a hard winter.

Skybird - the old trees haven't produced anything since the neglected years, unfortunately. Dan says that a good pruning won't hurt them and I am hoping it will help them. Guess I will have to go and give her the old college try (isn't that what they said?) Thanks and I'll let you know how it goes. I'm thinking I might have a little apple wood for smoking meat when this is done.

Keep you posted on the progress.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 12:10PM
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Dan Staley

I gave the neighbor some apple wood for his smoker, and a buddy the rest. I'm hoping trout season is good.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 6:57PM
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Yummy, smoked trout!!! Gotta get the floor fixed on the pontoon boat. Dang, more work before I get to play.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 1:33PM
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dsieber(z5 (Lakewood CO))

Yummy, smoked trout!!!

Apple is the perfect wood for that not too strong.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 8:59PM
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