Please note: With the proper guidelines, rootstocks, equipment, and practice, most people can successfully bud or graft apples. However, due to patenting restrictions, it may be illegal to propagate some cultivars without paying the royalty fee. Many nursery catalogs list whether a cultivar is still in patent and how much the royalty fee is. Cultivars that are trademarked, licensed, or “clubbed” are not legal to propagate.
Because the seeds (sexual propagation) produced by apple fruits are the result of cross-pollination, the resulting seedlings are not genetically identical to each other or to the “mother” tree.
To create multiple copies of the same cultivar, asexual (i.e., not sexual) — also called vegetative — propagation techniques are required, and apples are easily budded and grafted.
Apple Tree Propagation: Budding
Apple Tree Propagation: Grafting
For step-by-step descriptions of propagation techniques, see the following articles:
Dr. Diane Doud Miller, Ohio State University