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    Grafting Demonstration 2024

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    Event description

    Grafting is the act of joining two plants together. The upper part of the graft (the scion) becomes the top of the plant, the lower portion (the root stock or understock) becomes the root system or part of the trunk.  Sometimes only a bud is grafted; more commonly a short section of scion wood with 2-3 buds.  Winter grafting happens when the plants are dormant.  When the sap rises in Spring, the grafted section springs to life!  In the case of fruit trees, scion is grafted to ensure that all fruit produced is the same.  A grafted Granny Smith produces Granny Smiths that are genetically identical to the original Granny.

    This demonstration will cover whip & tongue grafting and cleft grafting, two of the most common and easy-to-use grafts.  These grafts are suitable for creating new fruit trees (attaching known scion wood to small rootstock), or adding useful material to an existing tree (e.g. grafting edible pears to an ornamental, or adding five new varieties to your existing apple tree).  Grafting is NOT difficult: once you've learned these simple techniques, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for you!  Note that due to time constraints, this is primarily a demonstration.  Participants will have the opportunity to practise but will not be grafting new trees to take home. 

    Please arrive by 12.45 at the latest so that the demonstration can start on time.  Coffee and tea will be available from noon.  Wear clothing suitable for the outdoors and sturdy footwear.  If you have a grafting knife*, please sharpen it and bring it along.  (Do not bring Stanley knives or pocket knives with blades that are bevelled on both sides.)  Further, if you have apple scion you wish to share with the group, please bring it in well labelled resealable bags.  Most participants are likely to be interested in apple, pear and plum varieties.   I will have some grafting tape for sale ($4.50) but you can buy that at any nursery or garden centre.

    *If you wish to purchase a grafting knife, please only buy quality.  I recommend the Felco light grafting or Rose budding knives.  For bud grafting (not covered at this demonstration), I recommend the grafting knife with bark lifter ($65).  Other brands are also OK, you should pay at least $45 and you can pay hundreds.  Buy quality and keep it for a lifetime.  I have been very happy with tools I've bought online from Forestry tools.  Woodbridge Fruit Trees in Tassie also have a nice range.

    NB: If you are LEFT HANDED you need a left handed knife.  This is not the set up to a Monty Python joke, but because grafting knives only have one bevelled edge and you need the straight edge oriented for your dominant hand.  I have one good quality Italian made left handed knife for sale for $55.  Call Steve on 0409 551 539 for more information.

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