The endless possibilities when you do-it-yourself

March 18, 2010

I thought I was done adding trees to our apple orchard until Winter hung around too long, leaving me too much time to research and dream about heirloom apples and home pressed cider.  Well really, I should have known I wasn’t done – with gardening and growing are we ever really done?

Last Spring we added four new apple trees to our small orchard, and I had anticipated adding just one or two more this year.  That is, until Winter hung around forever, and until, I saw a video about saddle grafting your own apple trees.  Suddenly the possibilities were endless – any apple variety of my choice on any rootstock of my choice; goodness gracious, talk about exciting!

I found a very helpful list of heirloom apple varieties to choose from which helped me to narrow down my choices of scion wood to purchase.  Scion wood is a dormant young branch of the variety of apple that you want your tree to produce.  Another helpful list I used was all about apple rootstock, explaining the pros and cons of the various rootstock available.

I ended up choosing Geneva 30 rootstock from Cummins Nursery. For scion wood I choose Oriole, Golden Russet, Cortland, Roxbury Russet, and MN 1734, available from Maple Valley Orchards and Nursery.  The cost per tree comes out to $12.00, about a third or less of the price for purchasing them bareroot.  What remains to be seen is if I have saved ANY money at all; perhaps I’m overly optimistic about the success of grafting my own apple trees – it could end up to be money down the drain or in the compost heap.  Until my hopes are completely dashed, I will be dreaming about apple cider, apple dumplings, and apple tart in just a few short years …….

Is anyone else planting heirloom or cider apples, and what varieties did you plant?

Read previous post:  Planting apple trees for fresh apple cider

7 Responses to “The endless possibilities when you do-it-yourself”

  1. I have two apple trees, one golden and one red delicious. Hardly inspirational choices and not really suited to our climate. I may yet cut them down, but they do produce lots of nice apples. So for now they stay. Grafting your own apple trees? I admire you! And I say, if you don’t try it, you certainly won’t succeed. Let us know how they do!

  2. I’m planting heirloom’s this spring, too…. I’m a bit late though. I’m not grafting mine, but bought from a great source –


    • 33barefootlane Says:

      I’d love to hear what varieties you’ve chosen! Thanks for sharing your source of heirloom trees. Cheryl

  3. teresa Says:

    We are in Christmas Tree country. We’ve thought about it, but not had the time to research what might grow in sandy soil around cedar trees. And we may have one more move, so we are reluctant to plant what we might leave behind.

    Good thing there are farmer’s markets!

    • 33barefootlane Says:

      I’ve heard cedar trees can give apple trees a fungus, so that might be a challenge right there. I agree – good thing for farmer’s markets! Cheryl

  4. Sheila Says:

    Good for you. We can only grow certain varieties in our area (So. Calif.) because it doesn’t get cold enough, but they are such easy, pretty and rewarding trees to grow I have a number of them throughout my gardens, but not an orchard – yet!

  5. kimberly Says:

    Never enough fruit trees, Cheryl! NEVER! I only wish for more land…my little suburban corner is full. You’re a lucky girl to have so much space and to take advantage of such lucious fruit bearing trees!!

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