Grafting fruiting scion onto ornamental trees?

I’ve been watching and trying to learn about grafting. My house currently has a Bradford pear I was getting ready to remove (I didnt plant it there I promise!) and some ornamental cherry trees (These look nice, but only make tiny cherries which is a tease!)

From my searching it looks like I can do this -would this work and produce fruit or am I just using wishful thinking and hoping that I could use these established trees as rootstock? I was thinking about cutting out branches and doing a bark graft around the outside using wedges placed in the tree. Where should I start removing the tree and grafting? Do I want to cut below or above the “crotch” of the tree?

The cherry trees are probably 20 years old and aren’t in the best of health either. I can probably post up some pictures. I cut out the dead limbs and such to help them out. That seemed to be a step in the right direction but they are still looking a bit sad. What can I do to help them out?


I’ve never tried to graft onto cherry, but from what I understand it is not the easiest. Not to say that you can’t do it, I just want to keep your expectations realistic since you seem to be new to grafting.

Pears, on the other hand, are probably the easiest thing of all to graft. Bradford is a type of callery pear, and there are threads here all the time talking about what a great rootstock callery is for fruiting pears. I have at least a dozen types of pears growing on my wild callery rootstock.

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Check out Guerrilla Grafters, they make a statement out of doing that on public trees

So yes indeed it works :grinning:

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If the cherry trees are in declining health, grafting will not help the situation. You need to correct the cause of their problems first.

I definitely need to get the cherries back into good health. Would pictures help diagnose what’s wrong with them? Are there common issues with them?

Here is a Bradford type callery pear being top worked Top working Pears weather permitting to a fruiting variety. Here is a really neglected callery aka Bradford Favor for a friend - Top working Pears! being top worked.