This week, with the help of Peter Nichol from the Northern Fruit Group, the trees that were created at our March grafting workshop were pruned. Mainly this involved pruning out the growth underneath the graft, where the rootstock was growing vigourously. This was also an opportunity to look closely at how the trees were growing and to take the tape off a few to see how the union between the rootstock and the scion had taken.
For first time grafters there was some very good work (said Peter). None of the plum grafts took, but the rootstock has bulked up over the year, offering a better chance of success next year. The other interesting development is that where the grafting failed some of the rootstock has branched out - providing two stems on which to graft. This means we could grow a damson on one side and a greengage on the other (for example). These are called family trees, and are available commercially, but we will be able to choose material from particularly tasty plums or apples available on the allotment site or from other communtity orchards locally to graft.
We have 30 apple trees, some of which are duplicates. The most prolific grafters were Teresa and Natalia who both created 6 trees with Pete creating 5 trees.