Red apples on tree

What Can be Grafted on an Apple Tree Other Than Apples?

Have you ever seen a fruit tree that produces peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines?

These fantastic magical tree hybrids are the products of what is called “grafting”. What exactly is grafting? It is a technique when you take the rootstock of one plant and attach a species of another plant to fuse into a new plant.

The newly added branch or bud usually called the “scion wood” leeches nutrients from the base plant or rootstock and continues to grow. It has now been proven in scientific studies that genetics are passed between rootstock and scion, meaning you can alter the DNA of both plants by grafting them together.

Many kinds of Frankenstein plants now exist because of creative grafting ideas, however, there are some limitations to what can and cannot be created. For example, it is preferred to graft plants that are similar in species or related in genus because some species are incompatible.

Sometimes members of the same genus can be incompatible, and sometimes some genus types work better as rootstocks or scions. There are some cases where to different genera of species work surprisingly well together.

The only way to know what a plant graft can handle is to try it and experiment for yourself ( knowing some basic grafting rules, you can graft most plants onto another )

How To Graft Onto Apple Trees

In this paragraph, I will teach you how to graft apple trees with an easy step-by-step guide.

First, you want to find what you want to grow as this will be the plant being grown further and attached to the host plant.

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Once you have decided on what plant you want to graft, harvest a cutting or two of a limb of the chosen plant. These cut limbs are called “scions” and when cutting them, be sure to cut at a downward angle so that there is no damage done to the bark. You need the cut to be clean so it heals quickly and efficiently.

Next, you want to locate the mother or host plant of your operation. It is wise to find a host that has been stabilized for some time to ensure fast and healing between the mother plant and the scion. This is important because the wounds on both the host plant and the scion are vulnerable to bacteria that could hinder the healing process.

Now it is time to find some healthy branches on the host plant, then you will cut it off to create a stub. Take a knife to make a notch or cleft into the stump only a couple of inches deep. Using the knife to open the newly created wedge, you will place your scion in between.

The pulpy layer under the bark is called “cambium” and that is where the growth and healing take place. It is important to make sure the cambium of the scions and the host align ensuring even and quick recovery.

Once you have clamped or taped the scions into place, you may use wax to coat the exposed areas of the grafting operation. Continue to check up on the graft and cover any exposed areas, do not prune until the second year of growth.

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If your graft doesn’t take the first time, don’t worry and try again! There are many factors other than incompatibility that can result in grafting failures. The faults could be anything from grafting during the wrong time of season, the cambiums were not meeting properly, or the scions were dormant or too dry and damaged to work with.

The weather, pests, disease/bacterial infection and other external factors could be a detriment to your graft operation, so try to protect and nurture your graft to keep it healthy and safe. You may also find that rooting growth hormone can serve to heal plants more efficiently and at a faster speed than a normal healing duration period.

What Kind Of Plants Can You Graft To Apple Trees?

Surprisingly, most of our favorite apples can only be grown via grafting to ensure better fruit quality, pest and drought resistance. Most apples are almost guaranteed to graft together with no problems, but what other species are compatible with apple trees?

Not really any that can survive past the initial healing phases, as the incompatibility just doesn’t allow the two separate species to thrive together. It is common to see “fruit salad trees” with cherries, plums, nectarines or peaches but they all share the same genus.

Citrus plants such as limes, lemons, oranges, and grapefruit also share similar genes which allow them to properly combine. There is no fruit with seeds or structure quite like the apple, which makes it difficult to find a compatible compan

Have you ever seen a fruit tree that produces peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines? These fantastic magical tree hybrids are the products of what is called “grafting”. What exactly is grafting? It is a technique when you take the rootstock of one plant and attach a species of another plant to fuse into a new plant.

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The newly added branch or bud, usually called the the “scion wood” leeches nutrients from the base plant or rootstock and continues to grow. It has now been proven in scientific studies that genetics are passed between rootstock and scion, meaning you can alter the DNA of both plants by grafting them together.

Many kinds of Frankenstein plants now exist because of creative grafting ideas, however there are some limitations to what can and cannot be created. For example, it is preferred to graft plants that are similar in species or related in genus because some species are incompatible.

Sometimes members of the same genus can be incompatible, and sometimes some genus types work better as rootstocks or scions. There are some cases where to different genera of species work surprising well together.

The only way to know what a plant graft can handle is to try it and experiment for yourself ( knowing some basic grafting rules, you can graft most plants onto another )

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