How old should apple root stock be for grafting?

(couldn’t find a topic covering this exact topic)

I have a hand full of apple trees I’ve started from seed this year, sourced from 60+ year old heirloom
apple varieties located on the farm I grew up on.

If I wanted to perform whip and tongue grafting onto these root stocks, how old would you recommend the root stock be? First time grafting onto self-grown root stock and don’t want to do it so soon that it stresses and kills the plant.

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Age is probably less important than the caliper of the tree,I would consider anything over 3/16 fair game


As stated, diameter is more important than most other considerations. The rootstock should be either dormant or recently broke buds with growth less than 6 inches and the scionwood should be dormant with unopened buds.

I prefer to graft on rootstock between 1/4 and 1/2 inch diameter. 5/16 is just about perfect because apple and pear scions can be chosen in that size range.


Thanks guys, I appreciate the advice!