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I have a fairly small yard, in which I've got a well-established (no idea of the age) mirabelle plum tree, and 3 young trees that I bought last year (malus apple, conference pear, I-forget-exactly-what-but-not-bing cherry).

I'd like to do some grafting, with the goals of providing pollinators and adding variety.

Questions concerning compatibility:

  1. The neighbor has a quince and at least one apple tree. This year, my apple was the only one of the new trees that produced fruit. No problem grafting a scion from his apple onto mine, right?
  2. Would scions from his quince take on my apple (or pear)?
  3. I've seen online that pear, apple, and quince can be grafted together (in fact, putting an apple onto a quince rootstock is supposed to make it a dwarf). Is this true?
  4. I've also seen online that plum and cherry (and a few others...) can be grafted together. Is this true? Could I put some cherry pollinators on my plum tree? Could I put some fresh plum branches on my cherry tree (to make a "backup" of the old tree)?

Questions concerning technique:

  1. The hot season (i.e., now) is when I should be T-budding, right? Why would whip-and-tongue grafts not take?
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2 Answers 2

I've never grafted a cutting onto another tree but it is very possible. You would have to cut the branches at a 60 degree angle and would have to shave an area of the other tree of the same size, and use twine to attach the two tightly. For a higher success rate take multiple cuttings from ANY tree of your choice and conduct this experiment multiple times on a tree and see what stays alive.

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1) Apple onto apple usually works, not always. Bear in mind that grafts are weak spots and a grafted branch would have to be supported for years. A apple tree with two varieties grafted is often marketed as a "family tree". Grafting should really be onto the rootstock if you can.

2) I don't think so. Quince is used to provide roots to Pear trees to keep them small, it doesn't graft onto apple or pear itself, it's the other way round. Apple is grafted onto dwarf and crab apple roots. Grow Quince from cuttings, they're not a big tree.

3) Putting a pear onto Quince roots makes it dwarf. I think apples only go onto dwarf variety and crab apple roots.

4) In theory - yes. They're closely related and both are usually grafted onto Mirabelle plum rootstock. It's better to graft onto the rootstock itself and to try and establish a family tree though. There are often compatibility issues between species and even different varieties. You must be careful not to damage the rootstock when grafting though or else the grafted tree could die. You also have to watch out for silverleaf disease with plums, cherries, peaches and a few other related plants. It often infects then via cuts.

1) I'm not sure. It might be because sap in the tree would ve rising and make it bleed, weakening the tree. T budding in theory is less likely to make it bleed a lot. You also have to watch out for diseases with whip and tongue as mentioned earlier. If you use whip and tongue, seal the graft with beeswax.

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