Where are you at and what trees would you graft again?


I spend many hours on the road and the radio/cd player gets boring so I have fixed many recipes and gardening problems. I’m now thinking about which apples I will graft this year and to which failures they will fit best.
The best apples I have that have fruited and I will graft these this spring:
Baldwin. Spectacular cooker, cider, and out of hand apple. No disease problems for me and good natural tree structure. New trees on G890.
Orleans Reinette. Spectacular cooker and out of hand apple. New trees on G890.
Regrafting Wickson and Rubiayat to Royal Empire and Chieftain. Both apples eat well and perform well for me. Excellent eaters and very beautiful fruit.
Regrafting Cox to Westfield Seek No Further. Surprised me how good it was.
Regrafting Kingston Black to Karmijn de S. Nice flavors but some scab.

Share with all of us your plans for failures and successes.


If it has apples, how is it a failure?


Just because a tree fruits, does’t mean it’s a success. Maybe for reproduction, but not necessarily for the grower/owner.
Sweet/sour/bitter/mealy/diseased/rot prone/ripening/cracking/insects/soft/hard/dry and other descriptions are all failures and reasons that a tree can be a failure for the grower. Of course location and culture come into play, but success and failure ultimately rests on the individual taste of the grower/owner.
For example, Ashmead’s Kernal on G935. Very nice tree, grows well. Rootstock is precocious but the scion has produced 2 apples in 6 years. Fail!
Cox on g935, Nice tree, blooms and sets well, fruit turns to cracked apple raisins by July. Fail!
Wickson on g935. Apples the size of the last knuckle of my index finger. Dry and rotten by September. Fail!
Gala on m7. Fireblight magnet, THICK skin, cloyingly sweet. Fail!

Three out of the four named are famous for flavor, texture. But they aren’t justified because of issues they have.
Because I’m going on 66, my choices are made to which trees will be best in my growing region. If they can’t succeed, then they will be changed to what will succeed.


“Just because a tree fruits, doesn’t mean it’s a success.” So right. I had Queen Cox at first (bud sport of COP and reputed the better tree). It set fruit each year and the leaves of the tree went crispy by August. Whatever the roots had to offer was put into fruit, which had a bad taste. Tore it out; before I had begun grafting.
Two seasons back my Rambour Franc made spectacular debut bloom and overset. Thinning it to much less than a third the crop wasn’t enough for it to bloom at all the following season. Add to that nearly all fruit dropped before full ripeness, and I decided to top-work it this spring. Its fruit is good; the tree is marginal. Here’s hoping Discovery does better, even if it is rather tardy to bear.

Then there is the mislabeled tree. Glockenapfel awaits in the 'fridge to top-work that stock. Sure glad I’m learning to graft!


Iam going to graft "that "pear tree over again,
A seckle
Ran it over twice last year with my tractor.
It not in a good spot…obviously …
But it sprouted back up
So I’ll see how long it lasts this time ?


Put two stakes next to it!

I, as did Chikn, had Ashmead’s Kernel some years ago. Failed on so many counts. Rosemary Russet is reputed to have similar, if slightly less, flavor than AK. The press is so good for the tree, I got some for grafting last year (Thank you Jolene.) Will move the largest of the successes into place very soon, now that the yard is nearly devoid of snow.
Thinking it over, it seems now I have some apple trees that succeed quite well, I can afford to be pickier about what I’ll invest in growing. Since I can’t get younger, perhaps the best route is to choose the best of the best. Still getting candidates in the ground.
Last night I bumped into a retired colleague who got Connell Red with my assistance. Her tree offered a big and tasty debut fruit. Maybe mine will this year - and I had not planned to grow it myself. When in '17 another graft failed, I put Connell to the nurse limb & it grew amazingly. Very vigorous and healthy so far. Waxy fruit doesn’t put me off.


In central Iowa, Connell is a big, beautiful, apple with very little taste. Hope yours is better than what I’ve tasted.


I also think about wanting my fruits to produce sooner rather than later, and dont want to care for too many young trees,which need a lot of protection from herbivores, watering in our dry summers, and patience. I’m more likely to graft onto existing trees, rather than buy a new tree, which takes longer for me. As a result, most of my trees are multigrafts.

My Chehalis, which originates not too far from here, has been a bust. Too few apples, they split, not much flavor, get sunburn. On the same multigraft tree, Summerred does well - nice apples, delicious flavor. Also Jonagold does great on that tree. I had another multigraft with Pristine - early, juicy, tasty, disease free apples, but that graft failed. So I overgrafted most of Chehalis with Pristine. As an experiment, I also added a red flesh crabapple, “compare to Firecracker” - I think it was Bill’s Red Flesh.

Karmijn cracked and became woody every year for 4 years. Removed it. Yellow Delicious grew nicely, no fruit for 6 years. It’s gone. My Queen Cox and Rubinette are not very productive but the apples are very good. Not sure what I’ll do but they have grafts of other cultivars read to take over. One is Goldrush.

Im givng Porter and Granite Beauty one more year. No apples this year, and they’ll be overgrafted with something. Most of that tree is grafted with something other than the original (Jonared), and if the remaining Jonared branches don’t do something nice - juicy apples that taste like Jonathan - those get topworked too. In fact, that tree has a graft of Jonathan, might bloom this year. I’ve already got a new scaffold going on that one with Airlie Redflesh, which I and others in my world really enjoy.

I did buy 3 new apple trees. Two are concessions to my increasing limitations, Tasty Red and Golden Treat. ( Both are trademarked) One is another experiment, Redlove Era (both names are trademarked).

it looks like a lot of my younger trees have their first big sets of flower buds now. Looking forward to my first Gravensteins, WineCrisp, maybe that Porter and Granite Beauty. Akane too, have not tasted that one yet.

The most reliable, and good, apple for me continues to be Liberty. That tree is a workhorse and the apples are good, annual cropping.

I have a lot of other maturing apple grafts which I hope bloom this year, some are: an unknown red flesh, Baldwin, Milo Gibson, Sweet 16, Keepsake, Newtown Pippin, Priscilla, Honeycrisp, Hawkeye, Fameuse, Dolgo crab, King David.

My Hanska Plum has grown nicely but no plums in 5 years. Some branches on that tree got topworked this week to Beauty and Black Ice. The rest should get reworked to something next year too. I also added Hollywood as an internal pollinator, just in case that helps.

If Nadia turns out to be a prima donna that just takes work, grows, blooms, but no fruits, maybe it will get topworked too. Giving that another season or two,


It’s funny how some apples do so well one place but not another. Karmijn is one of my faves. Good crops, tasty, and beautiful apples.
Airlie’s is very nice apple here too, south central Ia. King David is one I grafted on to a failed Wickson, small and rotten. Jonathans do well here for an early apple.
6 yrs. is my limit. Can’t fruit by then, outa here.


It is curious to me how some apples seem to ever-develop in our high heat/low humidity & others bring a new aspect to bear. Wynoochee Early is a bust east of the Cascade Mountains - desert or nearly so - no flavor, or keeping. Then Beacon and Macoun offer aromas I’ve never heard other people exclaim about. Here, Beacon has lilac/sweet allysum scent & Macoun vanilla which continues in a long finish. If I ever can get a true orchard going those two will be included - along with Empire, another more modern apple that excels in this area.
My friend said she found something in the background like McIntosh in her single Connell Red apple. That isn’t what I expected, and now am even more keen to see how it does in this yard.


If memory serves, Granite Beauty is rather tardy to bear. Once it begins, though, it is annual. Its spicy taste and rarity prompted me to get scions and graft it when I was just beginning to learn to graft. It didn’t take. If you have only one tardy bearer, you might want to give this one the chance to prove itself.

I hope to get Discovery started on two limbs of Rambour Franc - tardy to begin - and Maiden Blush on two others. MB should ripen the same time, give a more tart apple than Discovery and is precocious. Gives Discovery time to come into bearing.
Speaking of precocity versus tardy bearing, I hope to start MN 1734 here for me & mine, and Golden Harvey for friends & their orchard, where they make a business of brewing cider & ale. Minn. Russet is precocious. Golden Harvey is tardy, but may bring the spectacular flavor to cider they seek.


For what it’s worth, I grafted it on a mature tree here in 2016, and it gave me a good crop in 2018. Looks like it will do so again this year.

I just grafted Discovery and Golden Harvey myself.


I went across the other street to look at Redfield, earliest to bloom among my trees. Still dormant. Might get some bench grafts done today or tomorrow.
Funny, I thought this would be a light year for grafting, but the list is rather extensive for us and some friends: 12 cultivars.