Grafting scion onto mature tree -- when to let them bear fruit?

Last spring, I grafted three apple varieties onto a mature Jonathan apple tree. Eleven of 14 of the rind grafts took and grew a couple feet each over the summer. When can I allow them to fruit without risking breaking the limbs at the graft union? This summer will be 2nd leaf for the grafts.

I’ve considered allowing one apple per branch this summer, but I suppose even that could be too much. Better to wait till next summer? I would appreciate hearing what you experienced folks think.


I had a graft that I think I stunted by letting it fruit too soon- so I would be sure that the graft was well established and vigorous before I let it bear. I think 2nd leaf is a little soon, so I’m suggesting 3rd leaf as a minimum. Others will have other experiences but that’s mine.


Do you think it will bloom this year? I rind grafted a variety of pears onto a large mature tree and the euro pears grew as much as five feet that first summer only one bloomed on the third leaf

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Some can bloom the first summer. I grafted an unknown apple that we were trying to preserve after my aunt died, onto another aunt’s tree. The year after grafting this 8 inch stick bloomed and set fruit. I wanted to take it off but my aunt chose to keep it. IMO this graft was still severely stunted in it’s third leaf.

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I’ve budded year one…year 2 the bud has grown…year 3 i’ve let them fruit… that is with budding though. Never had any issues. This is on bigger mature trees with substantial root systems.


Pears never bloom

Centuries pass, but pears never bloom, let alone fruit


There are a few pears that fruit quickly such as Duchess, Douglas, Harrow sweet to name a few.

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Thanks, all, for your responses. I’m going to give them another year before letting them fruit.

All good advice in my opinion to wait for the second season. Sorry to offer the descending vote. I just don’t have enough patients to wait. I just tie that weak limb to a stronger one.

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