In the town of Washington, Massachusetts, where my brother Brian and I grew up, there are a lot of very old apple trees. On my grandparents' old property, an 1800's farm house is surrounded by a handful of century-old apple trees. Two trees, side by side near the road, produce huge pink and red apples- it only takes a few to make a whole pie! I've never seen apples like these anywhere else. Back in 2009 we picked them to make hard cider as well as 5 gallons of cider vinegar, which we used to make a big batch of Fire Cider for ourselves!
I love these trees and wanted to plant more of them so our whole family can continue to enjoy them. The way to grow more of the same variety of apple tree is to graft clippings from the tree onto root stock. So that's what we did!
We ordered root stock and took some clippings from the apple tree in early March, while the tree was still dormant. The clippings, also knows as scions, hung out in our snow bank until it melted and then we kept them cool in our refrigerator. The root stock arrived on Monday and we grafted and planted six new trees yesterday.
I trimmed the scions so there were at least 3 buds on each. I also measured to make sure the diameter would match up with the root stock.
Our six roots for our six new apple trees. Now we need to match up scions and roots and bind them together.
Dana finds the scion to match the root stock and then cuts each end so they will fit together.
I wrapped each tree with a rubber band at the graft to keep it stable and then coated it with a healthy layer of bees wax.
We planted six little apple trees yesterday. They'll get lots of water every day for the next two weeks; let's hope they are thriving by then!