I’d like to learn more about grafting. I am a complete newbie to this. I’ve done some pruning, and I’ve planted some fruit trees here in the Catskills (upstate NY). But I’ve never tried grafting.
I have a three goals here:
I’ve planted a few Persimmons here over the years. With two of them, the tree did not make it (bark split), but the root stock survived. In one case the root stock is now a good 6 feet tall with a diameter of 1-1.5 inches. In the other case, I expect the root stock to start sending up new shoots in the spring (looks like the top just died). Are either of these opportunities to graft on some scions from the other persimmon varieties that I have growing?
There are a bunch of OLD apple trees up here on the farm. I started paying attention to them about 4 years ago. They were thick as bushes, really a mess, and not producing. I started pruning them heavily at first, and more moderately since, but they still aren’t producing much. There was one amazing year 2 seasons ago when they produced a ton, but honestly all the trees up here produced a lot that year, even the overgrown ones that I hadn’t pruned at all!! Any tips on how to support these older trees?
With the older trees, I really like the fruit they produce (when they actually do). Is it possible to graft some wood from these older apple trees onto some younger root stock?
In general, I’d like to learn more about grafting, if anyone can recommend any books or videos, please do.
I don’t know anything about persimmons - somebody else will.
You’re probably doing the right thing by the old apple trees. Keep working them down gradually until their basic structure starts to make some kind of sense. Take out almost all new wood that shows up in the tree’s interior. Learn from @alan how to take an interior water shoot (aka water sprout), bend it over, and graft to it to replace overgrown branches.
Learn how to thin the fruit from the old apples very, very aggressively to try to keep them from becoming permanently biennial. You may be willing to resort to sprays to do that.
This winter people here will coach you through saving scion wood from your old trees so that you can graft it elsewhere in the spring. (If you have some particularly interesting trees you might be asked by others for scions.) Search this forum for lots and lots of discussion on grafting, including links to sources.
Tell your family that you are entering a new stage in your life, and that they should be prepared.
You’ll be doing grafting in the spring so you will have plenty of time to read up on it. Cleft graft is one of the easier and popular types of grafts. Do a “cleft graft” search on this forum or a Google search.
There’s a guide category and reference category here with plenty of information on fruit growing. Here is some info on pruning: