If I graft a scion from one apple tree onto another mature tree, how long will it take for the graft to begin bearing fruit?

  • What kind of graft? I splice graft on the end of a fruiting branch will be able to bear in 2 years, but if you're doing rind grafting or something, it'll be a lot longer.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 0:44
  • I'm attempting grafting for the first time, so if you can give an answer that covers the time to bear for common techniques that would be great -- my decision on how to go about it will depend somewhat on what will make it happen faster.
    – bstpierre
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 22:34
  • Are you thinking of changing over an entire tree, or a large section of one, or just doing something small?
    – J. Musser
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 22:36
  • How did it go then?
    – J. Musser
    Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 18:30

2 Answers 2


Two years, it needs a growing season to establish, will set leaf buds the first winter and will start setting flower buds the second winter. Sometimes you'll get an early blossom, but you should cut it off early so it doesn't stress (physically or nutritionally) the graft.


If you splice graft, whip and tongue graft, or bud (or any of the many similar grafts) onto stems that are under 1/2" in diameter, it should produce budwood in 2-3 years.

splice graft:

enter image description here

Generally with a diameter larger than that, at least with apple, you'll be rind grafting or cleft grafting. These will put out lots of growth in the next few years, to rebuild the removed mass, and often don't fruit for 5-7 years. Dwarf trees are always faster.

rind graft:

enter image description here

  • There sure are lots of different terms for grafting. I call the first one whip grafting, and the second one is like a hybrid of bud and cleft grafting. Pretty ingenious. What do you do if more than one graft takes? Do you thin them so they don't compete?
    – Escoce
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 13:54
  • 1
    @Escoce no, all of them take when properly done. Proper training is then required to keep each branch controlled in it's own space.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Nov 30, 2015 at 21:51

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