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Fruit Tree Grafting

As we clear more of our wild hillside of Himalayan blackberries and artichoke thistles we are finding young healthy sprouts of wild plums. Wild plums grow vigorously on our farm without any supplemental irrigation or other inputs. We are grafting different prunus fruits onto a few of the wild plums to expand on what we have for visitors to u-pick. The native wild plums should be the perfect rootstock to expand our orchard as they are perfectly adapted to our microclimate and soil.

Here is one of the wild plums with new grafts of two different cherries, Royal Rainier and Lapins.

The best time to graft is when the trees are dormant, and preferably just before they break their dormancy. Because the wild plums are now not surrounded by protective spiny plants (thistles and brambles) we must enclose them in deer wire. Deer love to browse on young leafy trees.

Other wild plums are getting Pluots grafted to them. If time permits we will also graft some apricots and Apriums onto one or two of the wild plum seedlings. There are so many good fruits in the prunus genus!

Time is getting short to get the grafting done that we want to this year. We saw the first Pluot bloom open up yesterday. Yesterday, January 2, the groundhog predicted that we will have an early Spring this year.

For those of you interested in trying your hand at grafting, here are the tools we use:

a) Funteck grafting tool kit with clear grafting tape:

b) 1 inch wide Parafilm grafting tape to seal the grafts:

c) Felco hand pruner to cut scions:

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