Why harvest one type of apple when your single tree can be an orchard? This is done by grafting branches from various types of apple onto a single apple tree. This practice is a natural extension of saving seeds and farming, something people have done for more than 10,000 years. Grafting is also an ancient practice; 7000-year-old Chinese writings are the earliest description of grafting woody plants. Aristotle wrote about grafting, and the Romans were famous for grafted olive trees.
Fruit trees are often grafted. This lets you grow fruit on trees using a sturdy rootstock that is perhaps better suited for the soil, or more resistant to disease. Grafting helps ensure a bountiful harvest of a fruit variety—with more predictability than is possible when you start apple trees from seed. In this workshop, we’ll talk about several methods used in grafting, and how grafting works within families of plants, such as (of course) apples, and also the family of stone-fruit. (How about one tree that grows peaches, plums, and cherries?)
In this class, we’ll start with some apple tree rootstock, then graft onto it a scion—a branch of an apple variety. We’ll also talk about selecting rootstock and how you can collect your own scions. As to the grafting—no need to worry—you won’t do your first tree surgery on your allotted rootstock. We’ll have some wood on hand that you can use to practice the steps to follow in grafting before you tackle the real thing. You’ll leave this workshop with your own grafted tree, and some fundamental grafting skills.
Instructor Wesley Swartz has always been close to nature. He first started working in nurseries at a very young age and eventually traveled to Europe to supplement his education by working on organic farms and nurseries in Italy and Spain. He has been managing a private orchard in Boulder for the last 5 years and teaches classes on orcharding and permaculture to interested community members. Wesley truly loves everything associated with orchard life—beekeeping, composting, guild planting and grafting–and his passion for what he does is contagious.
No experience necessary. All materials and supplies provided, all participants will leave with a grafted apple tree ready for planting. For participants ages 14 and older, minimum of 4 participants, maximum of 15. Pre-registration is required. Participants at all LAS workshops are required to sign a liability waiver and an image release as a part of our "Peace and No Worries" policy. Thank you for your understanding.
Saturday, April 26th, 1-3:30pm