Age Old Alchemy


grafting: the practice of physically joining parts of two individual plants, as with stock and scion, so that they will form a union and grow together.

I was a youngster when I joined our next door neighbor as he grafted a new apple variety to one of his well-established trees. I was dumbfounded, and still am by this age-old horticultural practice. Grafting is usually done in the spring, just before growth gets underway.

An ambitious weekend project? But first check out the books above. R.J. Garner’s The Grafter’s Handbook has been a classic for many years, and has just been released in a revised 6th edition.

An easier beginning might be Larry Southwick’s Grafting Fruit Trees (also pictured above), part of Storey’s slim but useful Country Wisdom Bulletin series.

But don’t be put off by Garner’s textbook-like appearance:


The Grafter’s Handbook is a must-have on any fruit grower’s shelf! Meanwhile, take a look at this excellent, clear-headed approach to grafting:

The grafting of fruit trees is one of the oldest of recorded horticultural practices. The Romans developed and used several grafting techniques still in use today. Early texts, cautioned that the Japanese plum could be successfully grafted onto a peach, but not vice versa.


An age-old practice, ready for the next generation:



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