Why does GRIN not supply scion to private people

Why does GRIN not supply scion to private people unable to distribute Germplasm for home gardening.

What is the real reason. Any ideas

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They only have so much funding and to many people wanting scionwood. They are setup to mostly deal with researchers and not individuals.


If they accepted all requests, they would be unable to satisfy the demand.

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As mentioned previously in the thread, they have limited funding and are geared to providing material to researchers and plant breeders. There are commercial sources for scionwood and they expect you would use these sources first and only request from GRIN if the scionwood is unavailable from commercial sources if you are a home orchardist.

What scionwood are you looking for? We may be able to guide you to a source for it.


There has also been issues with people getting scions/cuttings and reselling them.

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Had not heard that it’s unbelievable anyone is that dishonest. Most of us make donations to that program. Whoever was stealing tax payers money it sounds like kept many people from getting scion wood.

I truly think that if this is a government funded program then it should be available to those who fund it, so long as its not abused, meaning limited numbers given of any one accesion kind of like the website already states. Just make it more accessible for small/hobby growers

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Thats why people become fruit hunters.

This forum and social media have allowed some of us to track down stuff that is off the market.

Some of us have things that GRIN and NCGR doesnt have likely.

There are groups on FB for just about everything and boards like this one and similar etc/NAFEX that you can ask/trade/buy and see where it leads you much faster.

Speak up and ask what you want in as many places as you can find…if you really want something that badly.


I completely agree that there are growers that have varieties of fruits and may be easier to obtain than that may not be found at GRIN. I know there are some on here and other sites who have used the GRIN to expand their huge collection and are selling cuttings from that opportunity. I’m simply saying that if its a program funded by taxpayers then they should then have reasonable access to it otherwise why should taxpayers be expected to continue to pay into something that doesn’t benefit them.

I agree. I have gotten plants that no nursery is selling in the USA by being a part of this forum. People will graft hard to find varieties for you here if you are willing to pay and wait.

I cannot understand, if you were selling 10 cuttings, it don’t make any difference who you sell to. I think private would pay full price, and commercial would buy at half price?? Commercialy it don’t make sense.

Ok commerical maywell buy all 10, and clear the stock, so there is less labor involved.

You may well want xyz variety that commerically nobody wants to propagate.

I notice they deal with researchers and breeders, and do not mention propagationists (if that is a word). So they would not be avaiable on the open market.

Never even heard of GRIN to be honest. There is a lot of programs our tax dollars go to that either does not benefit us or you could argue is not needed anymore. We are spending money rebuilding other countries when we have people struggling here. We give money to TV programs like PBS and those programs go around asking for even more donations outside of the tax amounts.


Oh, I could complain all day (and into Monday) about government spending that doesn’t benefit me…
but I’d finish
using up the life in my computer before I completed a list!


The benefit from GRIN is indirect but very real. The breeders and researchers use the germplasm to develop new cultivars. The new cultivars are used by farmers (and us) to provide food, lower food prices, reduce chemical sprays, etc. A scion that goes to a breeder or researcher will ultimately benefit millions of people. Honeycrisp, Keepsake, and the CO-OP apples all came from these kind of programs. A scion that goes to a hobbyist will only benefit the hobbyist. I suspect that GRIN supplies material below the cost of production. If that is the case why should tax payers subsidize someone’s hobby?

It’s the collective benefit to many people that GRIN is trying to serve. I mean if I went to the local National Guard Armory and asked for a rifle to use for hunting season and they said no- could I fairly say I receive no benefit from the National Guard and the military in general? Should I ask for the military to be defunded?

GRIN used to fill requests for backyard hobbyists. Especially the apple guys were very generous. But people abused the system. Then Covid happened and I am sure the number of requests ballooned above anything they could reasonably fill. If you had more requests for scionwood than you could fill what would you do? Send the scionwood to a hobbyist that only benefits the hobbyist or send it to a researcher where it will benefit millions of people?

Having said this you may be able obtain material from GRIN if you are a backyard hobbyist with a real breeding program and can show your project could benefit others. But I think you would have to show some proof of that. Skillcult could probably do that.


I looked around and around and finally found the Blomidon strawberry at GRIN. They said they would send it. I never got it and they would not answer my emails. I would gladly pay 100$ for a plant. I don’t know why such poor service. The Blomidon was the best tasting strawberry I have ever tasted.


GRIN doesn’t list Api Etoile. I don’t think it’s their mission to try to get everything.

While I sympathize, I find this argument unconvincing.

Taxpayer money goes to all sorts of corporate and geopolitical interests including sending arms to other countries, but they won’t give Joe citizens mail order weapons with free shipping from a convenient online catalog.


It’s not about not having enough funding or not. The fact is they exist to support the agriculture industry. Home gardeners may be customers of that industry, but not the industry itself. They will supply researchers, plant breeders and even nurseries.


I’d add that a big part of their mission is preserving genetic diversity.

There are lower odds of helping keep the genes available in circulation by sending scions to whomever, who is as likely throw out or to attempt to root them by placing in a banana like on Youtube, as they are to successfully graft and grow.

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It is frustrating. I don’t think they should be competing with commercial sellers but they have scion and seed that is not commercially available. If not commercially available, those businesses aren’t interested so why not share some with interested gardeners.