Apple Tree Propagation: Budding

T-budding or chip budding are the most commonly used methods of apple tree propagation. The best time for T-budding depends on the maturity of the buds to be transferred and on the ease with which the bark “slips” or peels on the stock being budded. In a normal season, T-budding is possible from June to September. Chip budding can be used when the bark is not slipping, for example, in early spring before growth begins or during early summer when …

How New Apple Rootstocks Are Developed

Breeding improved apple rootstocks has been a priority research area in New York State since Dr. Jim Cummins and Dr. Herb Aldwinkle initiated crosses in 1970. In 1998, the rootstock program became a joint Cornell/U.S. Department of Agriculture program and in 2011 is headed by Dr. Gennaro Fazio. The program has focused on creating rootstocks that are resistant to the major apple diseases, fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) and crown rot (Phytophthora cactorum), and tolerant to a …

Tissue Culture Propagation of Apple Rootstocks

Plant tissue culture is a relatively new propagation technique started about 50 years ago. It has become a major propagation tool for many plant species, especially for fruit tree rootstocks: apple, pear, cherry, peach, almond, etc. In Europe, the majority of peach and cherry rootstocks are propagated through tissue culture. About 15 to 20 million peach rootstocks are propagated by tissue culture annually. More and more pear, cherry, peach, almond, walnut, and pistachio rootstocks have been propagated by tissue culture …

Apple Tree Propagation

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.

Asexual Propagation

Because the seeds (sexual propagation) produced by apple fruits are the result …

Apple Tree Propagation: Grafting

 

Cleft grafting: placing the scion. Photo by Wes Autio, UMass at Amherst.
Cleft Grafting 3:  Placing the Scion

Several grafting techniques are possible. The one to use depends on the conditions under which the grafting is to be done. Whip grafting, sometimes called bench grafting, is one of the most common. Cleft grafting is the technique most frequently used in top working an apple tree. Other grafting techniques are variations of whip or cleft grafting.

Whatever the grafting technique used, it is necessary to match as …