Save the date! Our 2019 Winter Scion Swap will be held on Sunday, March 10th, 2019 from 1-3pm at the Cummington Community House!
Our first Scion Swap last year was a huge success with an outstanding turnout of eager and enthusiastic orchardists who brought many fine scions to swap and share. We also enjoyed a great introduction to grafting with a hands-on workshop led by local orchardist Alan Suprenant.
This year we welcome our own Tevis Robertson-Goldberg of Crabapple Farm in Chesterfield to show us some of his tricks and best practices for getting successful grafts to seal and grow.
All are welcome, from beginner to advanced. Contributions to support our speakers are welcome. Suggested donation for this event is $5-20.
New this year! If you are interested in grafting scionwood onto new rootstalk to create your own trees for a fraction of the cost of purchasing fruit trees from a nursery, you can preorder rootstalk by sending an email to Seva before Feb 15th. Extra rootstalk may be available for purchase at the scion swap for $5 each.
Update: We were unable to preorder rootstock to arrive in time for the scion swap. Sorry to the folks who were interested. However, if you come to the swap and would still like to order rootstock to graft your scions, we will put in a group order for a discount and arrange for local pickup in late-March or early-April.
What is scionwood?
Scions (pronounced “sigh-ons”) are cuttings from the first year growth on a fruit tree, typically the tips from branches or watersprouts. Fruit trees do not reproduce themselves in their seeds, but we can multiply our favorite varieties by taking small cuttings and grafting or attaching them onto the branches or rootstocks of other trees in the same family. The wood gradually heals together and can even become productive sooner as the existing root system feeds the new branch.
How to cut and store your scionwood:
1. In January or February, select a straight stem, pencil size in diameter, from last year’s growth
2. Cut an 8-10″ piece with sharp pruning clippers
3. Label the variety name and wrap in slightly dampened material such as shredded newspaper or paper towels
4. Store in a plastic bag
5. Keep in a cool (not freezing) place such as a refrigerator until you are ready to graft in April or May
Want to learn more?
Check out these resources and you’ll be well on your way to scion success!
- Video on cutting scionwood by Stephen Hayes
- An Extension Article from Michigan State University
- A How-To from an Apple Nursery in North Carolina