Dead graft

In the spring I grafted an exiting wild apple on my old apple tree. Unfortunately the grafting has died, although it seemed to grow callus and connect in early summer. Did I store the twigs for grafting under bad conditions? Did I do a technically lousy grafting? Did some happy little bird clean its beak and break the graft? I don’t know, and it shall not keep me from grafting some other time. It’s funny, and does a grafting take on it’s great.

I’ve been told, that some professionals now have grafted this wild apple, to learn if it deserves to be grown in plantations or gardens. If it is a healthy tree, I’m sure we will get access to it for our gardens, at least from some of the specialised nurseries.

Two grafting twigs from a selfseeded appletree in Pillemark on island Samsø

Late this winter I was presented with two twigs from a selfseeded appletree. I rolled them in newspaper and buried them in them shadow untill needed in april. The twigs are far from ideal grafting twigs, but if everything in life has to be perfect, we’ll miss the small secrets of life.

I’ve tried to graft on an old cooking appletree. If I succeed I’ll let you know. My grafting technique is even less perfect than the grafting twigs. However apples are supposed to be very easy to graft – I might have luck.

The selfseeded apple from Pillemark on island Samsø

We have a huge variety of delicous apples in Denmark, and most of them are available if you search them on the internet. Blomstergården offers a lot of the old apples (in danish).
The apple from Pillemark is still interesting, as it is tastefull, probably healthy (being a child of Filippa) and it has a unique shape. We are a few who are grafting this apple – hopefully at least one will be succesfull.

My toolbox for the purpose: Household wrapping, alcohol, rags and bast

Recipes are inspiring, but I never follow them exactly. This time I also didn’t do as supposed to, but I was still very inspired from the grafting course I attended this winter. Basicly it’s an operation on living tissue. Cleanlyness is an issue. With rags and alcohol I wiped clean the twigs, the tree and the hobbyknife (No expensive grafting knife for this little grafting). I cut small pieces of the twig where I could find the most promising buds, taking care not to pollute the wounds by touching them with my dirty fingers. I placed them in T-cuts in the old tree.

Grafting twig placed in a T-cut

At this point I was supposed to use a special wax, hot or cold. I wrapped the wounds in household wrap instead, tying it in with bast. It was an incredibly easy solution, hope it also will do the job. At this point I thought of the curious birds. They would probably tear the twigs, so I decided to hide them in milkywhite plastic, allowing some light to the buds. Now I just have to wait, keeping mysalf away form the twigs for the next three or four weeks. Then I hope to find callus, as a sign of healing and junction in progress.

Three grafts protected under white plastic