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Grafting onto crabapples

Posted by fruitmaven.WIz5 5 (My Page) on
Wed, May 16, 12 at 9:45

Almost two years ago, I moved into a house with three crabapples in the yard. I've since added much more interesting things, but now I'm wondering about making use of these (comparatively) useless trees. What is your favorite method to graft onto an existing tree? One of the three is a dwarf (Sargent), and would make a really interesting multi-variety tree. The other two are about 15 ft tall currently, and supposed to reach 20-ish feet (Profusion and Prairifire). I have grafted once a long time ago, do you have any advice for a newbie? Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Grafting onto crabapples

I am doing the same thing.
I have 1 crab apple, about 12 feet tall I am converting over to other varieties.
I tried 1 cleft graft this year with Liberty.
Didnt take from what I see.
I regret not using grafting wax. I used paraffin wax instead, and it doesnt look to have worked.
I guess I'll cut it off next spring and try another cleft with a different variety. Liberty wasnt a first choice, but a first option.

What type of graft you use depends mostly on the size of the host and the size of the new scion. Since they are mature trees you may be restricted to rind and cleft.


RE: Grafting onto crabapples

Prairifire is supposed to be a very nice ornamental capple,..isn't it?
How did it perform for you?

Just a hint of warning, too much cutting and grafting onto one tree can lead to more infection.

Crabs are very good for bees and pollination other apples.

RE: Grafting onto crabapples

The best advice I can give in brief is to watch a lot of YouTube. You can do like I did and start with stephenhayesuk's page and go on from there. Stephen is a wise old English fellow and has put on dozens of videos about grafting apple trees. You should be able to find a method that you like the best. I've used his methods with great success on my trees.

RE: Grafting onto crabapples

Konrad, of the three crabapples in my yard (Prarifire, Sargent, and Profusion), it is probably the nicest. It has purple new leaves in the spring and pink blossoms. It has a good form with nicely spread branches. (Not like Profusion, which has terribly narrow crotch angles.). Fall color is unremarkable. The problem is, not even the birds eat the fruits. Hmm, they don't eat any of my crabapples.

The whole of my property is 50' wide by 150' deep, with an approximately 30'x30' house in the middle. I don't want a 20' useless tree. I have 4 apple trees now (3 espaliered), and I'm probably keeping the small Sargent crabapple. (It has really interesting twisty branches, is 5' tall, and would like to be 10' wide. It's a nice focal point until my other trees/bushes grow up a bit.) I'm not really worried about pollination.

In a few years when my Asian pear gets bigger, I will probably chop the Prariefire down. Unless I want to espalier that too... *sigh*

Dmtaylor, thanks for the advice, I keep forgetting about YouTube videos. I will probably spend next winter learning about grafting, since I imagine it's too late to start this spring.

RE: Grafting onto crabapples

I tried bark grafting for the first time this year on apple pear and persimmon. Everthing took and leafed out in 2 weeks. Since the stocks were mature. Growth is very vigorous. I will need to tie a splinter to support the graft. Konrad has a tutorial. I followed some of that, and some of what is in the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: bark grafting persimmon

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