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  • Grafting

    In a previous post of mine I told of how this year I discovered that two years ago I had received the wrong apple tree from Chris Bowers.I got a Red Delicious instead of a Red Windsor.
    Well the tree has grown well so I am reluctant to dig it up. But the apples it produces are very mediocre, in my opinion. They look great but the skin is tough and bitter and there is very little taste to them.So I thought that instead of digging it up it might be worth having a go at trying to graft other varieties to it. I have been looking around online and have found a few places that sell scion wood, such as the Midshire Orchard Group ( I have emailed them, waiting their reply) also the Marcher Apple Network have a large collection - and they sell scion wood. There is also someone on ebay (ameliasapples) who claims to have over 800 varieties (£2.50 per scion). If anyone knows of anywhere else that sells scion I would be gratfull for information.
    My main reason for this post is to ask if anyone has used a grafting tool - they are sold on ebay for about £10. Do they work?
    Last edited by GF3; 27-11-2021, 07:03 PM.

  • #2
    I'm a very much amateur grafter, and I only ever use a small, sharp knife.

    Because of my lack of skill I find my success rate is a little over 50% as a rule, which in practice means doing twice as many grafts as you think you will need.

    I would recommend having a look at some you-tube videos, unless you have someone who can show you in person.

    Finally, I find cleft grafting to be by far the easiest these days, possibly due to getting more fumble-fingered as I get older. I am sure you will have some success, as long as you take your time and do the work just as the trees are starting in to growth again


    • #3 is another good source of scion wood. I've used them for the last 4 years with out problems.

      I've ordered from ameliasapples this year for the first time.

      I've never used a grafting tool so can't comment afraid. The victorinox/felco floral knife is a cheap, quality single bevel knife that's easy to sharpen and will graft you thousands of trees no problem. Its only slightly more expensive than tool (£20ish) but has the added benefit of being very useful around the plot/ garden day in day out.

      J sacadura you tube channel has some very good videos re grafting. Well shot and with zero waffle.

      Go out and find yourself a badly pruned tree full of 1 year water sprouts, cut a load, and practice practice practice. Apples and pears take very easily.
      Last edited by Dave8abond; 29-11-2021, 11:33 AM.


      • #4
        One of these

        even cheaper in blue Victorinox Garden Floral Knife, Swiss Made, Straight Blade, Stainless Steel, Ice Blue : DIY & Tools
        Last edited by Dave8abond; 29-11-2021, 11:37 AM. Reason: blue version found at crazy low price


        • #5
          Many thanks for the replies.
          I have been looking at various grafting videos on YouTube - I agree "J sacadura" videos are excellent. I have been practicing, mainly the whip and tounge graft and saddle graft. The thickness of the scion I get will dictate which graft I use - hopefully the cleft graft will be suitable as it does look the easiest. Thanks for the Amazon links. I will have to decide whether to try the grafting tool or buy a knife - I have been using a stanley knife when practicing (the sharpest knife I've got). The grafting tool looks great - if scion and tree branch are the same diameter. There are a few videos of people demonstrating them on youtube but not many showing the outcome.
          I have seen the gb-online site but most of the varieties are out of stock.
          Thanks again.


          • #6
            Hi there,
            good on ya for giving it a go, it's such a satisfying feeling when you see your grafts grow successfully!
            I haven't used a grafting tool myself, but I had considered getting one for doing omega grafts on some grapevines until I read some of the reviews of the cheap ones listed online - it sounded like you wouldn't get a clean cut with them. If you don't have a penknife with a decent blade, then you could try a basic box cutter knife with snap off blades- these are clean, razor sharp and fine for a few cuts. If you are doing lots then a nice penknife would be more appealing, but I have had equal success with both.
            All the best,


            • #7
              Thanks for your reply.
              I've decided not to bother with the grafting tool. I have been reading around and quite a few people have said that they have had very little success, if any, with them.One of the reasons being that the graft the tool creates is quite small - so you don't get a great deal of cambeum contact. Also the tool can have a crushing effect on the wood. So I think a sharp knife would be my best option.


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