Grafting Apple trees


On the first tree I would leave the buds on the scion, but remove growth below the graft.

On the tree that has blooms I would try to knock the blossoms off and hope that there a vegetative bud in reserve.

I’m not sure about collecting scions without spurs either, but if you can find a piece of last year’s growth that is several inches long you want to select the middle part of that for your scions. There usually won’t be spurs there, in my experience. Honestly, I haven’t paid much attention to it and I’ve only had it happen a couple or three times.

On the scion that does not appear to have taken I would cut a notch above it and leave it until it either fell out or took off.

Good luck and have fun!


I’m confused? What is the difference between a sour and a bud? Very new to this? If possible can you upload a pic of your grafts? Here is mine. Any tips are appreciated


Right off, done forgot who sent me “Ginger Gold”, but every bit of scion bloomed…or tried to.
And the one I put on a new Frankentree I may let have one apple. There were no spur growths, just one year straight wood. Every node of the scionwood must have had blossoms.

And, two of the three grafts got those blossoms frozen, so no worries about pinching the fruit.
The one on the multi-graft tree is not yet showing pink, but the blooms are there.

I’ve previously noted this phenomenon with Maiden Blush and a couple other trees. Oh, and Niedzwetzkyana and apparently Veralma Simontornya.


Your grafts look great!

A fruit spur is a bud which has specialized to produce flowers and fruit. They are typically plumper than vegetative buds, and stand out from the stem that they are growing on. Here’s a Youtube video that might help:

And maybe this:


Anybody else have their grafting pics I can look at and see what I can do to improve my grafting skills. I had a great time doing it and already can’t wait till next year to do it again! Learn from my mistakes. Think next year I will take shorter scions.


“Think next year I will take shorter scions,” shows you are already thinking about what you’ve done & how to improve. You are on the way.
I started by looking at some books & articles, sharpening a knife & trying it. Summer bud grafts first time around gave me 50% take. By the time those had shown life I had decided I didn’t even want that kind of apple in the yard anymore!
Of the 11 apples in my care, one was bought as a whip, 3 bought as bench grafts, the rest of my own making. Several of those even started on root stocks I’d started here.
Last year I bought one plum as a maiden & dormant chip-budded the other.

Learning to graft is changing the menu.


There is a 2020 grafting thread with several pics of peoples grafts Here :+1:


@Luongo43 I’d recommend watching Skillcult’s grafting playlist on YouTube if you haven’t already. It helped me to be able to see someone doing it in video form rather than just seeing pictures. Stick with it and you’ll succeed.


Just a follow up on your advice. I pinched the blooms off the graft that had them. Here is what I noticed today. Vegetative growth?

The next question… should I at some point cut back the limb above it? This graft is on the lower half of a forked branch. Better seen on the picture below.

On the graft that I said didn’t take when I checked it again it had come out with two sets of blooms also. So I pinched them. That graft still isn’t looking probable but who knows.

And then I have the first graft that is looking really good. Thanks for all your advice!!!


I think that yes, that’s vegetative growth, and yes, you can cut off the fork that you’re replacing, letting your nice, healthy looking graft dominate. And I think the graft that pushed blooms is trying to take and just might. Never say die … well, at least not right away!

Looks like a nice job. It’s a hoot, ain’t it?


Yep…it’s fun and amazing! This tree (Bramley’s Seedling) I received as a 13” bench graft a few years back that I thought I lost my money on lots of times. It’s doing so well now and has three small apples on it!!! The graft is from a Hunge that got damaged at ground level on the trunk and never leafed out this year. I recognized that this was going to happen and cut some scion from the Hunge before it died. Now I’ve got two, possibly three, grafts of the Hunge on three different trees. I wish I had started learning this stuff years earlier!!!

Thanks Mark!!!


I’ve found that several of my grafts flowered this year too.

It was all from beautiful one year wood and four different varieties. I picked the flowers off and am hoping for the best.


I try to pick those flowers off as soon as I can. In fact, I have a few grafts from last year that have flowers this year. Most I will remove the flowers.

The graft of Muscat de Venus (pretty name isn’t it?) is quite strong. It could keep an apple, couldn’t it? :grin:. I am so tempted to let that one flower and set fruit.


If it’s very vigorous graft can you get away with letting it fruit? This is my Ashmeads Kernel graft from last year. It grew about 3 feet last year and is blooming nicely this year. I was going to let the branch hold on to 5-10 apples this year. Don’t know if it’s a bad idea.


A year-old graft? I would think that would be fine. MDV is a small apple and isn’t likely to strain a strong graft. I often allow a fruit or two on vigorous year-old grafts, and it’s never caused a problem.


On a new tree like that, I’d be inclined to remove the blooms and encourage it to start growing scaffolding wood. Notch above the buds you’d like to turn into branches, and remove any buds below the lowest of these. You can perhaps allow a test fruit or two next year on new scaffold branches.


This is actually a fully branched out tree. Couple of years in the ground now. I just got that one branch in the picture.


My view on Muscat is colored by my wish to taste the apple this year. It grafted was a bit over two ft and the size of the twig is sturdy enough. Glad to hear that Muscat is a small apple. I would not want to keep the fruit if it is a size of King of Pippins.

@Susu, if we see the whole tree, we could properly encourage you how many apples to keep. What rootstock it is on? It is important to know.


Sorry; I misunderstood your description.

If it’s a vigorous year-old graft on an established tree, I think you could safely let it bear a couple of apples now. Once it’s two years old, if it’s still growing vigorously, I don’t think that graft strength will be much of an issue and you should be able to let it fruit normally.

AK is a vigorous triploid, but - at least in my environment, on MM111 - a somewhat shy bearer.


Here’s a picture of the tree. It looks weird because I’m in the process of converting it from centra leader to open.