15 blossoming apples on Frankentree

My attempts at a couple Frankentrees failed last year. Only one of 22 took, and that was on a little plum tree that had only been in the ground for a year. This year I am trying again, but first chopping off the entire top of a sizable tree. So how do you decide where to put your grafts where they will grow successfully?

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My Frankenapple is growing nicely, but it refuses to bloom at all

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My Frankentree is on M-111 and the parent tree is Wolf River, which has never flowered. So, far, I have successfully added Odysso, Bakran, Rhum aus Kirschwarder, Striped Sweet, Oliver and Summer Rose. And I have one Bakran apple I hope hangs on so I can sample it this year…it’s approaching ping pong ball size already. And the leaves are big and burgundy…with a slight weeping appearance.

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So do those of you with Frankentrees start with a new tree and keep adding, or have you added to trees several years old? I’m trying to figure out what I did wrong last year. I grafted to branches on the sides of 12-year-old trees about mid-way up the tree and of the same size as the scion. None of them took except one on a one-year old plum tree. I also only wrapped the joint, but not the whole scion in parafilm, and the weather turned hot. This year I tried a whole different approach, plus covered everything with both parafilm and grafting compound over that yet. Hope it wasn’t overkill.

I’ve done both. I grafted on to my Honey Crisp (10 years old), William’s Pride (a 9 and a 10 years old), my GoldRush (a 5 yr old), A Fuji and Golden Russet (both 4 years old) and other 1-2 years old B 9 rootstocks.

As you can see, I cannot leave my apple trees (an other fruit trees) alone. I have so many varieties I want so I turn everyone of them into multi-grafted tree.

99 % of the time graft took. Not to be immodest but it’s a rare occasion when apple grafts did not take.
I think the most important thing about grafting is to make sure cambium alignment is good and tight.

Sometimes, you may align the cambium of the rootstock and the scionwood well but when you start to wrap the graft union with tape (any tape), you accidentally cause alignment to move out of position.

There are other reasons why grafts do not take but that’s one of the main reasons, in my opinion.

You are in zone 4 a. This time of the year is fine for grafting. I’d say for you, grafting early may not be good. It’s be too cold for callousing. For apples in ground, I say wait for leaves to start growing from half inch green on, you should be good to graft.


I think Mam nails it. I’ll only add sometimes wrapping with parafilm does not pull the pieces together as well as needed (use wide rubber bands, grafting rubber, plastic tape, or such in addition to the parafilm) and that I see no harm in the extra parafilm plus grafting compound. I often smear some johjnny wax around “just to be sure”.

One last thing: branches in trees are competitive, and if the branch to which you graft is losing to larger branches that can affect the graft. In such a case it can help to notch the tree just above the grafted limb.


Now that I think about it, I also wrapped a strip of black electrical tape over the parafilm last year on my failed grafts.

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If I had a fully mature tree to fraken this is what I would do. During the winter prune The down 25-33%. Depending on the size of the tree I would do it again 25-33% the second winter. Then the next summer select ,keep and train scaffold branches. Then I would go graft crazy the following spring

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Sounds like a good plan, but I am too old to wait that long.


I use a double wrap. I use strips cut from ziplock freezer bags for the initial wrap, then overwrap the rest of the scion with either parafilm or strips cut from thinner plastic bags that I think buds can more easily grow through. The ziplock strips take some practice but I get about 100% take most years. They spread the firm binding across the strip so there isn’t girdling but it’s still firm across the graft.


Great tip Mark. I have an old Exeter Cross graft thag is on my Alkmene that survived but never did much. This gives me hope yet.

I should be at the stage of eliminating some varieties but I find complete removal hard after putting so much effort into fruiting them. My one big pear Frankentree is a little off this year due to heavy pruning but it still has the following fruit on it this season.

Carolina Red June
King David
Pink Lady
Arkansas Black

Korean Giant
Harrow Sweet
Golden Boy

Several new pears and apples were grafted in this year.


Bill, I had a PhD pome specialist, the director of a regional University cooperative effort, tell me that apples and pears can’t be grafted to each other. So I’m glad you didn’t know better than to try!


They are grafted for my entertainment. Some of the grafts look rough and some look good.

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My accidental grafting of an apple on a pear without any interstem has worked out OK for the past 3 years. Last year, this apple graft set 3 fruit. This year, I saw one fruit. The graft has grown vigorously.

However, it’s grown very well but produced only few apples for a branch that size. I will remove it soon. I don’t need that one apple.

I will take picture tomorrow.


I am going to answer my own question here.

It is very important to remove early flowers. My GoldRush branch with 3 apples broke off due to my lack of listing to common since advice.

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I forgot which thread I’ve promised to post pics of Kamijn de Sonneville that I grafted directly onto a Blake’s Pride pear.

These pics were taken this evening. The graft union. The other branch is Harrow Delight pear.

There are two apples on this Kamijn graft. The branch has grown quite large.