Growing Your Own Apple Tree Rootstock

Last winter our neighbour gave us two apple rootstock saplings and some advice for our developing orchard plans. She said:

.

Save yourself money and grow your own rootstock. Just dig a long trench the same height of the tree and bury them (each in their own one) – they’ll sprout multiple times from their trunks and grow more trees.

Our neighbour is one of the best growers around, so we do whatever she tells us. We dug two shallow trenches, popped them in and forgot about them. The sketch below outlines the key steps to do this whole process – super easy.

saplings

We now have ten young apple trees that we’ve since grafted onto with our desired apple varieties.

What varieties did we choose? The sturmer for its good storing abilities and the red galaxy – an older variety with pink flesh. We couldn’t find any reference to this variety, but how could we go past it with a name like that! Thanks to Fat Pig Farm for letting us lovingly raid their old orchard.

img_7049The young graft line, healing beautifully. 

img_7044Our ten apple saplings

We’re storing all the trees in one trench on the edge of our young olive grove until next winter, when we’ll transplant them into their permanent home in some new ground we’re prepping this summer. Until then, they’ll put on good growth so they’re ready for fruiting the following season.

If we were to buy all the plants we wanted to grow in our property, it’d add up to many, many thousands of dollars. Learning these life skills isn’t only empowering and deeply satisfying they look after the piggy bank too. But mostly, they’re just deeply satisfying – that’s what drives us – developing *useful* skills that all add up to having a good life.

img_7048

3 Responses to “Growing Your Own Apple Tree Rootstock”

  1. Gillian

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, sooo much for sharing this wonderful knowledge your caring neighbour imparted on you.
    HaPPy DaYs!!!

    Reply
  2. Jo / The desert echo

    That’s fantastic. Love finding little gems of info like this. I need to do more research on grafting as I think I tried it too late last year and my grafts didn’t take.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS