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Thread: I could use some honey crisp apple scions

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I could use some honey crisp apple scions

    For those of you that don’t know what a scion is, it’s a cutting of the new growth of tree twigs. About the top foot or so. Most people prune and toss them. I have been grafting onto my apple tree and have Four different kinds growing on it and would like to add some more. So far I have what ever tree will produce( I started it from a seed 9 years ago and I hoping I’ll get apples this year for the first time), Golden delicious, macentosch, and I can’t remember if it’s state fair or sweet 16 I grafted on. I’d like some more varieties to add. Best way to shop them is wrap the cut bases with wet pater towels so they won’t dry out and then tightly over the top with a couple plastic bags to keep the moisture in. I’d really like some black market sweet tango scions!
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 01-23-2019 at 02:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    1989todd came through! Thsnks!!!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Todd sent me 10 scions. I was paranoid since the cut ends weren’t wrapped and feared they dried up. I soaked them in water for a few hours and wrapped in wet paper towel inside a zip lock bag and kept dormant in the fridge. I grafted five onto my apple tree with five for spares since it always takes a lot of tries to get my grafts to take. I had three scions dry up a month or so ago and I replaced them with the spares. I do still have two spares left in the fridge. I feared all the current grafts dried out and died until today, I saw growth! I don’t want to jinx myself since I’ve had grafts open and then dry up and die in the past, but I’ve got green! ... one scion took! It looks like one to possibly two more have potential yet. The buds look like they're still a little swollen and not dried up...but no growth yet. Fingers crossed. Here’s the one that finally sprouted.


  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    you are a modern day, JOHNNY APPLESEED! it is great that you have the patience to do this. help him out guys.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    Omega's Avatar
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    What technique do you use? I plan on trying to graft some of my trees and do some air layering to get more trees. I have a large apple tree which has some tiny apples, smaller than a grape, which I want to graft some larger varieties unto and three other young trees which I want to make into mixed variety trees. I've done cuttings before but sometimes I forget to check on them and they dry out on me, figured instead of pruning I would try air layering so I can plant more trees.
    "Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."
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  6. #6
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    In 2009, I was dating a girl who owned a Ranch, there was a small apple tree grove, that was overgrown with Basswood. We cleaned that all up. Not knowing what apple varieties she had, but since the trees were seemingly healthy, I thought about grafting. I did some reading on it, and talked to a fellow in a nearby town who does it, so I attempted it. They all failed.
    BUT, I did end up with a connection to the fellow. He would buy all my Honeycrisp prunings, if I pruned in November, instead of my usual prune time in March. He said the buds can see too much winter damage. I bought one of his grafted trees (Duchess of Odenberg), it grew well, until the rabbits girdled it
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master



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    Congratulations! Seeing a healthy graft take hold is very satisfying.

    I've played with grafting apples a bit. Plan to do more. I bought 3 EMLA 27 rootstocks last year and grafted the very old dwarf apple I inherited in my backyard and also had my mother send me some cuttings from the ancient apple tree in the yard next to hers. I was our yard once, and that tree was old when we bought that parcel in 1975. It's a summer apple, ripens in July/August. I should get buds on those grafts next Spring.

    I had success with one of each, and the third rootstock didn't graft, but did survive, so I will try again later.

    I want to try grafting pawpaws some day. To have a self-fertile tree with multiple unrelated grafts on it. One day...

    Bulldogger

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    This project all started about 10 years ago when I was purchasing my hunting property and wanted to start a cheap food plot for it. I started dozens apon dozens of seeds that I removed from several different varieties of apples about ten years ago. I planted them in 5 gallon containers and about three to four years ago they finally got big enough to transplant into the ground. I believe the tree would have grown WAY faster if I planted the seeds directly into the ground instead of stunting their roots in buckets over the years. I have given away several of the trees to friends and relatives. I even made two “twist” apple trees. Two that started in a bucket together I spun their trunks like a pretzel and placed several zip ties to hold them spun together. I removed the zip ties about a year of so later and the trunks stayed intertwined. My dad got one and a buddy got the other. I originally started them for food plots but ended up buying about 16 apple trees, 7 pear trees, a cherry, and some peaches. I think all my pears one apple tree, and the cherry survived. I’m blaming the Solid clay soil on my hunting property for killing them. The tree I grafted this scion onto stands in my backyard and was started by myself as a seed I plucked from either a Jazz apple or pink lady that i bought from the food coop. I planted the tree in my backyard from it’s pot three to four years years ago. I have successfully Grafted one MacIntosh branch, one golden delicious branch, and two State fair scion’s(or sweet 16...I don’t remember) as well. I did the grafts two to three years ago. This spring and one of the growing scion branches that is only about 2.5 feet long has several apples growing on it...I just can’t remember which scion it was? Guess I’ll find out with the end color the apples. The original part of the tree finally had some flowers on it but I don’t know if any of the flowers were pollinated yet, too early to tell so I’m keeping my fingers crossed because I sure would like to see what kind of apples the tree will produce. There weren’t very many flowers but they were way on top of the tree limbs high in the sky. The tree has got to be a good 12+ feet tall now. It had a massive growth spurt last year as it was about 7’ tall at max. I watered the heck out it last year and sprayed tons of miracle grow on it. I believe the lack of flowers is a good sign because one of the other trees I started from seed turned out to be a crabapple that I have growing on the boulevard.lol you just don’t know what you’ll get with planting a an apple seed. It never turns out the same as it parents from what I’ve read. You could end up with crab apples or the next billion dollar breed from what I’ve read.


    My grafting technique, well after watching several YouTube videos and picking up books from the library and several attempts at different styles my most successful grafting is just the old-school way. I find a branch that’s about the same diameter of my graft, Cut it flush then split it with a jack knife in the middle, then I take my graft and whittle it into a flat ”v”. I then slide/wedge it into the sliced branch lining up the cambion layers. From there I wrap it with some clear plastic and then I paint black tree dressing over the plastic to waterproof it. You normally can tell in a few weeks if the graph didn’t take even though it didn’t open by just looking at the tip of the scion. If it looks dried up in sucked in its dried up and didn’t take. But it still looks healthy and green I leave it alone. I’ve had some leaf and then dried up and die in the past. I would assume birds landed in the branch, wind blew the camion layers apart...or just Murphy’s law. Well, if that honeycrisp scion keeps going and takes fully I’ll know by the end of summer...and that will make four different apples on my tree! I normally don’t remove the plastic wrap till mid summer well after the leaves on the graft are as large as the rest on my tree. I’ve removed the plastic wrap to early and after a few weeks the scion falls out of the union. The graft needs time to scar over and hold the scion in place. I even bought a graft cutter on eBay. It makes puzzle looking pieces to slide the scion a tree limb together. I’ve always had a loose fit and when it’s tight the scion still never takes.

    My scions I normally harvest the end of January and immediately wrap the cut ends in wet paper towel apon cutting to keep moist so they don’t die and then placed in a zip lock bag. I then place my scions in the refrigerator to keep them dormant until I’m ready to put them on my trees. I normally graft them to the trees at the end of March beginning of April when it’s about 50° Or warmer out...if I Graft any sooner they seem to dry out and not take.

    I’ve never tried on my rootstocks yet. I just pick out some branches on my trees and graft scions to them so I have multiple kinds of apples on one tree. This way I can get away with planting one apple tree in my yard as the different varieties grafted will pollinating each other.

    It’s been a great learning process...and yes, ALOT of patients. I’ve been told if the end of the world comes I’m the team to be on.lol Between my hunting, fishing, shooting, cooking, and gardening skills I’ll survive.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 06-04-2019 at 11:11 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Its growing quick now!




  10. #10
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Graft Number two opened! Two out of seven tries...I’ll take it! Now I just have to be patient not to unwrap the plastic tape holding it in place too soon and give the graft union time to scar over. I’ll wait till the middle of July before I unravel the Tape and cut off all the shoots below them.





    Well, so far I have golden delicious, Macintosh, State fair, and Honey crisp grafts now growing on my apple tree I started from a seed. I am down to the last apple from the five apples that actually grew for the first time on one the grafted state fair scions. Otherwise my 10/12’ tall 10 year old tree is empty of apples again. I did get some flowers on the tree for the first tine this year toward the top of the this past spring but none pollinated. It was a weird spring. Neither of my peaches flowered nor did my cherry tree. My pear trees barely flowered and I have all of four pears growing on one tree. Next year should be the year I finally get a good supply of various apples. Fingers crossed. I’m curious to see what kind of apples I’ll get from the original, main part of the tree I started from a seed
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 06-27-2019 at 04:04 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    Pretty impressive. I've thought of doing something like that but if it isn't inside my fenced yard they just become feed for the critters around here. Plus I don't have your patience.

  12. #12
    I'm A Honcho!

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    Not exactly APPLE trees, but....

    In a local park, back a few months ago, I discovered some small yellow fruits growing. A passerby indicated that they were called, "Japanese Plums". Very tasty he said. So, I tried a few. Yum. There are 2-3 large seeds inside. Hmmmm. I'm pretty good with starting plants from seeds, especially here in Florida. So, I gathered a bunch, and planted about 50 seeds in good potting soil in a plastic window box. Last week, I transplanted about 20 seedlings into 1/2 gallon pots. When they get to the point when they are ready, I'll give them to some of my shooting buddies with large properties. I only have a small lot, so will only be able to keep one or two.

    So, congrats to those of you who have been doing the apple grafting. Not sure how long before I get any "plums", but my from-seed avocado tree looks like next year maybe. And, the papaya that I also grew from seed might have blossoms next year also. My two coffee plants died from killer frost after bearing one batch of fruit. Enough for one cup of java.
    Last edited by DukeInFlorida; 07-04-2019 at 09:34 AM.


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  13. #13
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    It’s been 10 years and no apples yet. Flowers this year but no pollination on the original part of the tree. Definitely will see apples for the first time next year...the tree is huge now. I have one of the five apples left that grew on the graft.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    FYI for everyone reading this thread - apples do not breed true. No matter what apple the seed came from you will get 'natural fruit' - literally a genetic lottery. Needless to say, most don't win - you have something that may be interesting but basically useless.

    All true apples come from the original tree that is grafted and grafted. For instance, there was one lucky guy who got the original Mackintosh, and all other Mackintosh have been grafted from that tree and it's scions.

    Tripplebeards, you may never see useful apples from the original tree. Keep grafting!
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    FYI for everyone reading this thread - apples do not breed true. No matter what apple the seed came from you will get 'natural fruit' - literally a genetic lottery. Needless to say, most don't win - you have something that may be interesting but basically useless.

    All true apples come from the original tree that is grafted and grafted. For instance, there was one lucky guy who got the original Mackintosh, and all other Mackintosh have been grafted from that tree and it's scions.

    Tripplebeards, you may never see useful apples from the original tree. Keep grafting!

    You are correct. I knew that before I started the seeds 10 years ago. I didn’t care as they were started for food plots and figured it didn’t cost anything accept my time and TLC. Also for the challenge and WOW factor that I grew it from a seed. The only tree that has produced so far turned out to be crab apples.lol I also have two Lapin cheery trees the same age I grew from seeds. Waiting for my first cherries from them as well. I believe next year on one of them as it’s about 12’ plus tall now.

    The whole reason I grafted branches onto the tree in my yard. I figured if the original part of the tree didn’t produce the new million dollar, or even edible apple I now have 6 grafts from four different other types of apples that took on the tree not only to pollinate each other so I only need one apple tree in my yard but in case the original part of the tree dose not put out edible apples I will have great apples from my grafts. I did some research on the original Johnny Appleseed. Most of the seeds he planted across the country turned into little sour apples that were used in Ale back in the day. I believe a lot of his original trees are still alive and growing today. I update this post next year when I finally get my first apple from the original part of the tree. The genetics on the tree in my yard looks like a lot different genetics than the tree that produced crab apples so I’m pretty excited to see what I get from it. The leaves are bigger and the only place the flower buds grew were way high on the tips of the tree. Which I don’t remember what apple types are “branch tip” growers close to the new growth. The crab apple had millions of flowers everywhere the first year it produced flower buds and has small leaves. The crab apple tree is very bushy as well VS the one in my yard has a lot of big main beams growing straight up like a pear tree would.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 07-08-2019 at 12:02 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I released the the plastic wrap around my two grafts today since they both have about 6 to 8" of new growth on them. This shows how the "V" shaped unions have scabbed over....






    I probably could have unwrapped the the one in the top pic a few weeks ago as you can see the base if the top part of the graft turned dark like bark. Also you can se indentations of where I had plastic wrapped around it and it was starting to swell. I had some leave die back on it and figured I'd lost it. But its remaining leaves are still green and healthy. Probably removed the wrap just in time to save it.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Since fruit trees require a massive pruning every year...…...how did you graft to help insure that branch doesn't need to be pruned off to the graft every year?

    Good job, we planted apples, peaches, pears and paw paws 4 years ago. We are now eating peaches, a few apples, some bartlet and Asian pears. Paw paws are very slow growing. This winter will transplant them into new homes but first will loosen the soil in the ground, add a bag of planting soil and a bag of manure along with some 10-10-10.
    Last edited by snowwolfe; 07-27-2019 at 03:51 PM.
    East Tennessee

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Man, I wish paw paws would grow here! They look cool but never tried the fruit.

    If you see the zip ties on the base If the graft its the way i marked them. I finally marked all my grafts this year like that so they won't get pruned off and to keep track if them. There weren't that many to keep track of but now I've got a lot to remember so I need to mark them somehow. I actually forgot which ones are which already over the last couple of years but I remember the kinds I grafted. I plan on finding some dog tags and wire them on each grafted branch eventually so there's a more permanent maker on them.


    As far as pruning for space I make sure to prune around my grafts instead of eliminating them...of course.


    Your lucky, the last two years here in WI we had goofy weather and its killed the fruit production here. No peaches on either of my peach trees this year...and also almost lost a tree last year with rotten weather. No pears last year either. A few Aisian pears though...but none this year!

    This year I have all of four pears on one tree and none other the other. Zero cherries and my 12' plus tall apple tree has 1 Apple on it. The squirrels will find them soon enough and then I'll have none. I put zip lock bags over them this year to see if it works to eleminate bugs, predators, and disease. So far it's working but the fruit seems to have stunted by doing so.

    ...You would mistake the fruit trees for hardwoods in my backyard this year.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 07-27-2019 at 04:18 PM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    For what it is worth. The fruit trees we have that are the best producing are also the most recent ones we planted (this spring). I contribute this to our "new" planting method. Before we would dig a hole a little bigger than the root ball and call it good. Now I get the backhoe out and dig a 3x3 square hole and run the bucket around a few times loosening all the soil and removing most of the clay and rocks. Next I dump a large bag of potting soil (or 2), 40 pounds of cow manure, and a couple of handfuls of 10-10-10. Then the tree gets planted.

    This winter I plan on replanting the trees we had before the backhoe and seeing what happens. I still think we are at least 3 years away from eating paw paws. We have 3 planted, 2 were planted 3 years ago. The one I planted this spring using the backhoe is already 2 feet taller than the other ones. Forgot to mention we also have two persimmons. One has one per, the other has 2, lol. Both were planted this spring using the backhoe.


    I tried grafting some apple trees before and failed. You must have the technique down, good for you
    East Tennessee

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    A lot if fails before I had any grafts take. I tried 7 times this spring to get these two to take. The biggest trick is to get the male and female ends perfectly flush with each other so no daylight can be seen through them before wrapping them with plastic and then I paint tree repair over the plastic to weatherproof it and keep the tape from unraveling. Also make sure the cambium layer is lined up. If they are not to same diameter off center the scion to one side so the cambium lines up. I normally keep several scions in the fridge on reserve so when my graft fails I keep cutting the rootstock a hair shorter and starting over. I bet It takes me now about 1 in 5 tries to get a successful graft vs when I first started 1 in 15 to 20.

    The last two years We’ve had an early warm up to high sixties for a week in early March and then it drops to single digits the following week so it’s been killing off my fruit buds along with everyone else’s in the area. The news said our strawberry crops took a massive hit this year as well.


    Since there is no fruit growth on my apple tree the last two years accept for the one green colored apple on one of my grafts this year it’s been growing like a weed and I haven’t pruned it at all trying to get some good growth on it.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 07-27-2019 at 06:41 PM.

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