Want to learn how to grow several varieties of fruit on one tree? Or how to take an unproductive tree or one with tasteless fruit and make it more interesting and productive? Let local fruit growers show you how to graft and turn a plain plant into something special.
What: Fruit tree grafting demonstrations, Q&A, and hands-on grafting practice, followed by a scion exchange (where we swap cuttings of known varieties of fruits)
When: Saturday, February 01, 2020; 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Where: Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, 301 N. Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia CA 91007, in the Palm Room (down the ramp to the left of the Arboretum lobby, near the gift shop)
Hosts: California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) Foothill Chapter
Who is welcome: Anyone – members of the public interested in gardening and growing fruit
We will start with a general discussion of grafting including what it is, why and how to do it, and what tools and supplies are needed. We’ll cover ideal placement of graft on a plant and discuss when to graft (based on plant type, weather, warmth). Then we’ll break into groups for demonstrations.
Four grafting demonstration stations will be set up in the Palm Room.
At each station a member from a local CRFG chapter will demonstrate a grafting method. Below are the grafters and their demonstrations:
Martin Koning-Bastiaan (Foothill CRFG chapter president): Cleft grafting
Tree Krzewski (from Orange County CRFG chapter): Demonstrating the handheld grafting (puzzle) tool
Paco Frausto (from Orange County CRFG chapter): Pithaya grafting
Jeremy Elkind (from Orange County CRFG chapter): Whip and tongue grafting
- Each demo will be approximately 15 minutes in length
- Attendees can move from station to station to view and try different types of grafting.
Attendees can move from station to station to view and try different types of grafting.
After the general discussion and demonstrations, attendees are welcome to join in the scion exchange next door in the Bamboo Room. The scion exchange provides a chance to obtain scions (bud wood cuttings) of known varieties of fruit you can graft, or cuttings of plants like grapes and figs that can either be grafted or rooted directly in the ground.
Do NOT bring fruit or scions from any citrus or citrus relatives (Rutaceae family), which includes curry leaf, sapote, finger limes, Buddha's hand/citron, and the like.
Southern California is in a quarantine zone to avoid the spread of hualongbing (citrus greening disease) and the insect pest that spreads it (the Asian citrus psyllid). Do not transport citrus plants/parts/foliage/fruit, not even within your own city.
Do not graft citrus onto your own plants unless the scions or budwood are certified as disease-free. Disease-free citrus material is available from the University of California Riverside Citrus Variety Collection at https://citrusvariety.ucr.edu/.
Guidelines for sharing scions:
- Do not share citrus and citrus relatives (see notes above).
- Do not share cuttings of patented fruit varieties that are still under patent protection. If the tag on your tree says “Propagation Prohibited” or “PPAF”, do not bring cuttings from it to the exchange.
- Do take cuttings of dormant wood (not newly-sprouted) from clean, healthy plants.
Cuttings should be of wood that is only 1-2 years old, about the size of a pencil (6”-8” long and 1/8” to ¾” in diameter), and include at least 2-3 buds.
When you cut scions, make a slanted cut at the top of the scion and make a straight cut at the bottom (perpendicular to the stem). The slanted cut identifies the top so the stem can be oriented correctly during grafting.
- Label each bundle of cuttings. Include variety name (such as “Santa Rosa plum” or “Granny Smith apple”), description, and, if possible, your name (in case someone wants to know more about the cuttings)
- Place the cuttings into a plastic bag, wrapped in a clean, damp paper towel or damp newspaper to keep them from drying out.
Store bags of cuttings in the refrigerator (not the freezer) until you are ready to bring them to the scion exchange or to graft them onto one of your trees.
For the exchange, drop off your labeled scions in the Bamboo Room at the beginning of the meeting. Volunteers will organize all donated material during the grafting demonstrations.
- During the exchange please take only 1-2 scions of a variety and leave the rest for others to share.
- Handy tip: Bring masking tape and a Sharpie marker to label your scions at the exchange.