This is my first successful graft. I decided I wanted to try grafting apples as a tribute to my grandfather. He was the kind of guy who just never could let anything get thrown away that had some use. He passed a couple years ago, and my grandmother has been deciding whether it’s time to sell the house. I had my dad clip some water spouts the last time he was up there, and tried a few different methods of grafting. This is the first one that seems to have taken well. The gaps inbetween the scion and the rootstock are filled with callous looking wood, and I’m hoping this year it’ll bulge enough to kinda smooth out a little. Well, to be honest, I’m hoping it’ll grow at ALL this year, but if it looks a little aesthetically cleaner after the season, all the better.
I don’t actually know what kind of apple this is. I’m assuming it’s probably a MacIntosh. My grandmother just calls it a “pie apple from the hardware store”, probably from somewhere in the '70s. She’s in Michigan, and doesn’t have it sprayed or pruned, but a neighbor with an orchard harvests it and leaves her a couple baskets each year. There’s probably no good reason to keep it going, but hanging on to things is just something my Grandpa did, so I figured I’d hang on to some of it, too.
To avoid gaps, an easy adjustment is to wrap the union a little tighter to pull the wood together. Coupled with ensuring that your cuts on the scion are one flat plane each, instead of faceted due to multiple cuts, will make it easier for the twwo pieces of wood to conform to each other.
What do you mean, “There’s probably no good reason to keep it going”? You have one, possibly two, of my top 5 reasons for growing it. Carrying on memories and traditions of your grandparents Is a solid reason. If you have children now or in the future, you can teach them grafting. Then they can also have a tree that represents their ancestors. It could even be the first tree they graft. Of course, you’ll have to tell them stories about their great-grandparents during the process. Your grandparents apple could be the start of a family tree. One of the best reasons to grow anything is to represent and carry on family heritage.
In a few years, you will be eating the fruit from your first graft, and it will taste better simply because it is your graft. I harvested my first apples last year from my first grafts made in 2012. The feeling was fantastic, knowing that I had successfully learned a new skill that yielded fresh fruit!