Yesterday I visited a friends place and he mentioned he had an unusual apple tree that no one could identify. I checked both this and his apricot tree and noted that neither was grafted and both grew true. The apple is an early eating apple and the apricot a mid season both gaps, I have in my tree harvest routine.
So rather than try to work it out I grabbed a bucket of cuttings from this and his old apricot tree along with some geraniums in a nice colour he had before I left.
So today while my parents in law visited I got to work and put together some cutting beds and cut up the material I had to propagate. I also setup a quick mini propagation house out of an old stryrophom box and old fridge shelf I had.
This is not the first time I have propagated items with cuttings, some with success some didn’t quite make it. At the end of the day I have some nice grape vines which where my first attempt. Proof that sometimes it is better lucky than smart. Second didn’t go so well … the third was some quinces and hazelnuts and they appear to have struck very well. This will be the fourth attempt.
Each time I have propagated more than I could ever use in my back yard.
So why do this. For one it is cheap and I get species that are not readily available. Don’t get me wrong I spend a lot of money on on the odd and wonderful in trees and plants so getting a tree for free is nice.
It fills a gap in my harvest schedule
Reciprocation is another reason, I have got several figs and other plants from people and it is nice to be able to offer them something in return. Swapping plants saves money and saves species.
The final reason is that for all I know this could be the only apple tree of its type in Melbourne and it is great to get it out there and keep it going as a species.
I also decided that the two ballerina apples down the side that have produced two apples in 4 years can have a second chance as a stock for some of this tree grafted on it. I have never done a graft before and the photo’s are my first attempt. Hey if you never try you can never fail. But you can also never get anything done, and I remember those poor grapes. Better lucky than smart.