My trees look like trauma victims. They’re hacked up, taped together. They’re part of my dastardly grafting scheme. A few weeks—maybe even a month ago—I went to the scion exchange held by the California Rare Fruit Growers Association . Fruit geeks. My people! I knew I was in heaven when I overheard two fruit lovers comparing sapote tasting notes. I know a little about fruit, but nothing what these people know. Which kind of pear tastes the best (Buerre Blanc), which mulberry scions–pieces of branch that can be grafted onto a tree–to get (“Alba”), how to cleft graft a Green Gage plum.
I took about 25 scions home, stuck them in the fridge and promptly forgot about them. But now I’m going on a quick trip to the East Coast, I have a million things to do and so I spent today grafting. Onto the Persian Mulberry, onto the persimmon, onto the plum, onto the Granny Smith apple tree which hasn’t burst yet.
The idea is to match up the cambium layers of the little twiggies with some judicious cuts. Then you wrap them tightly together with parafin. The idea is the tree, in a burst of springtime good will, will think the little scion is an injured part of itself. It’ll send forth energy and heal the wound, thus bringing the two branches together. The graft looks like a pucker on the branch once it has healed. I’ve successfully grafted an Orange Pippin onto my apple tree before, but no word on the fruit yet, it can take up to three years before you get fruit. Still, there’s something satisfying about fooling the tree.
Here’s what I did:
Moro persimmon onto a rootstock
Alba or white mulberry onto a Persian
Black Arkansas onto a Granny Smith
King David onto a Granny Smith
Buerre Blanc onto a Comice pear
Johanna onto a Comice pear
Green gage onto a Santa Rosa (probably won’t work)
I’m just hoping ONE of these takes.