The People’s Orchard Grafting Workshop with Steve Wilson

Pots in the polytunnel

My first ever grafting experiments, a Bubblegum Tree and an Ashmead’s Kernel

These are my rough and ready notes from the grafting workshop for my personal consumption.

  • Discussion about pollinator friendly flowers. Botanic Garden Wales research on top flowers for pollination, link to blurry slide from slideshow by @abigailjayne26. Also see Top 10 spring flowers foraged by honey bees for nectar and pollen
  • Excellent fruit tree reference
  • My rootstock reference
  • M116, recently developed, good disease resistance, harder to propagate, not readly available.
  • Can propagate rootstock by hardwood cuttings.
  • Triploid apple trees require specific diploid pollinating partners “You will need either one self-fertile apple variety (or crab-apple) or two other varieties which can cross-pollinate each other as well as the triploid variety.” Quote from Triploid apple varieties.
  • Crab-apple in a hedge if you don’t have room. Can graft crab-apple on suitable rootstock.
  • M116 relatively new rootstock, better disease resistance, harder to come by.
  • P22 rootstock, very dwarf. Can use as a test rootstock, for trying out different varieties and also for creating scions. Also, can use for crab-apple pollinator if limited space and want to grow triploid apple tree.
  • “The only way to do this is to start”! Fantastic advice from Steve :)
  • Recommended, Felco budding knife, about £15 inc. delivery.
  • Recommended rootstock supplier, Sheepwalk Nursery, 07854 106 930,
  • Calendar
    • Dec/Jan Take scion cuttings from 1st year growth, keep in fridge in plastic bag
    • Feb end of, Whip & Tongue grafting
    • Mar→ for cleft graft
  • The order of grafting 0. Wrap rootstock roots in rag and inner tube tie
    1. Cut scion, then match with cut on rootstock
    2. Cut notch on both
    3. Grafting tape & vaseline
    4. Put in a pot for 1 year
    5. Support join with bamboo cane
    6. Remove tape when new stem grows
    7. Rough sketch of process