Dreaming of spring? Always wanted to grow some fruit? Get into grafting this year with the Hilltown Seed Saving Network! Beginning and experienced grafters are all welcome at this event. You do not need to bring scionwood to attend! This is a great opportunity to learn from local neighbors and get started in the art of grafting and orchard management.
Alan Surprenant, a local orchardist, will be presenting on scionwood collection and storage and offer tips on grafting at 1:30pm. He offers local workshops in pruning and grafting at his orchard in Ashfield. Come learn about grafting and go home with some local scionwood so you too can enjoy the bounty of a home orchard!
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