Starting to think about next year's scion order

I’m beginning to think about ordering apple scions for next spring. Last year I ordered from Temperate Orchard Conservancy, but several of us who did that didn’t get what we had ordered due to various problems TOC was going through: Temperate Orchard Conservancy Scion Order.

I’m not sure whether I should try again from TOC this year, or wait until they are better established in their new location. I am fairly new to grafting, and the only other places I have obtained scion wood from are Masonville Orchards and local scion exchanges. I don’t want to use either of these two sources again. Can someone recommend a good source for apple scions that can ship fairly early in the year? Our apple trees are usually grafted in late February to mid-March in this area.

The varieties I am looking for are Calville Blanc for sure, then probably Granny Smith and Pink Pearl. I’m flexible on the varieties except for Calville Blanc.

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I’ve ordered quite a lot from Fedco. Last year the scions seemed slender but they all took. Ship mid March. Nice descriptions of their offerings.

Fedco scion.

I also ordered last year from Burnt Ridge. I think they were earlier than Fedco, this year. Some time in February.

Burnt Ridge scion

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I’ve ordered twice from Maple Valley Orchards many years ago and am happy with the quality of the scions. They were able to accommodate my request to ship earlier than their normal shipping window.

I also ordered fron Fruitwood Nursery last year. They have Granny Smith and Pink Pearl but not Calville blanc. At least it’s not listed on their website.
Their shipping window is quite wide.
I"m happy with the quality of the scions they sent.


I’ve had good luck with

Or you could ask on here. Many people trade scions, or are happy to send for the cost of shipping.

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Don’t know about the timing but I got some great scion from Derek at Hocking Hills Orchard. He was very helpful and knowledgeable.


For what it’s worth, I’ve received excellent scions from most of the sources already mentioned (@derekamills, Big Horse Creek, Maple Valley, Masonville, Fedco).


I didnt know Maple Valley was still selling scions. Last I heard knee issues was causing them to quit.

I have got good scion from many places.
Hocking Hills has a huge assortment. The only complaint I’ve heard is that the wood sent is sometimes small/thin and must be tenderly cleft grafted.

I have Callville Blanc. Really like the apples, but it tends to outgrow the rootstock which looks odd.
I have Granny Smith and other pink fleshed varieties. Might be able to get pink pearl from a brother in law.
I can ship in Jan.

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I checked Maple Valley’s website the other day. It looks like a new couple has taken over, but Tony and his wife are still around to help out when they are able.

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I wasn’t very happy with my order from Maple Valley last year. There was a lot of confusion on my ship date. They e-mailed me weeks after my order to confirm my requested ship date. I checked my order to confirm what date I had requested and e-mailed them the same date. They said they fixed it and said thanks. Then a few weeks later I got a similar e-mail telling me that the earliest they could ship was weeks after my requested date, so we moved it back. Then weeks went past the recently changed ship date and when I called they said they were still a few weeks from shipping, so messing with the requested date was pointless anyway. Then when I got my order some of the M111 barely had root nodes on it, some of my scions were moldy, one stick was dead, and the only scion I really cared about was 1/8" at it’s widest point. So overall I wouldn’t order from them again unless they had something special no one else had.

Edit: 3 months after I wrote this John from Maple Valley read this comment and e-mailed me offering to replace anything I wasn’t happy with. I had already placed my orders for the year and had ordered replacements from elsewhere, but it was still a nice offer on his part.

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Where in CA are you located? I got Calville Blanc (and many other varieties) from a CRFG scion exchange. Some of the CRFG exchanges like the ones in Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa have really good selections of apple varieties.

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I am near San Luis Obispo. Our CRFG scion exchange doesn’t have a really good selection outside of the common varieties, based on the 3 times I have been to it. A lot of the varieties they do have are low chill, which is not what I am looking for. I did get a Granny Smith scion there once. The graft initially took and grew well the first year, then failed the second. It got me thinking about how I don’t know where this wood is coming from when I get it from the scion exchange, and whether it might have viruses or other diseases. Also, I don’t have any scions of my own to contribute, so it kind of feels like mooching after a while.

I don’t mind paying for scion wood–even if it’s expensive–but I want to optimize my chances of getting the correct varieties of disease-free scions in appropriate diameter and condition for a successful graft.

And after thinking about it in those terms and considering the valuable input in everyone’s responses, I think I am going to give TOC another chance this year. I figure the fact that they are non-profit and have a heritage varieties preservation mission probably increases the chances of disease-free and being the correct variety. I was able to get successful grafts from 2 of the 3 varieties I ordered from them last year, and I like knowing that the money I pay for the scions will go to help support their mission.

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Does anyone have any thoughts on Burnt Ridge vs Fruitwood? For what I’m looking for, the price and proportion of variety first choices is about the same, slightly leaning toward Fruitwood. However, I’m not sure when stuff starts coming back in stock, or if there are any quality differences.

I haven’t bought anything from Burnt Ridge. Was thinking about it, but then checked the Garden Watchdog page on them and was a bit put off by the number of negative comments vs. positive.

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Ah, Garden Watchdog! I’m not sure why I never remember to check that.

And my third option is rootstocks from Raintree, scions from Cricket Hill, but that ends up slightly more expensive with shipping.

Raintree delivers extremely late in the spring. This year I didn’t get my rootstocks until may 20th. It was definitely the last time I’m ordering rootstock from them. The rootstocks were also leafed out so I had to baby them all summer. They aren’t a bad nursery but they definitely need to get on the ball with shipping.

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That’s good to know. May 20th wouldn’t be so bad where I am, but definitely later than ideal.

I’ll second this. Last year Raintree sent me some beautiful trees and the rootstocks I ordered looked good as well, but they showed up after all my other trees were planted and had leaves for weeks. Beautiful trees, but weird late shipping.


I’ve had generally good experiences with Burnt Ridge. I’ve probably ordered from them 4 or 5 times over the years.

I guess it depends on your expectations. Some of their stock has been relatively small. Their price and selection is good and my impression is they deliver what they promise.


Just a reminder that Geneva requires scion wood orders for USDA germplasm to be submitted by November 1st for spring 2020 shipping. That’s for apple and cherry, and they won’t be sending out any grape cuttings next year from what I understand.