Growing Your Own Apple Tree Rootstock

Nov 16, 2016

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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]]>

your thoughts:

8 Comments

  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
  3. Garry

    Hi.
    For ages I’ve been scouring the internet for this info! 👍
    Can you recommend a few varieties of apple rootstock that this works with? My aim is to even further cheapen this exercise by growing them from seed. (well, when you don’t have the money, you gotta find other ways 🤷‍♂️)
    Thanks so much for sharing this tip!
    Cheers
    Garry

    Reply
    • Hannah Moloney

      Hi Garry, technically it’d work with any rootstock as the nature of rootstock is that it’s vigorous and *really* wants to grow. So use what you have around you 🙂

      Reply
  4. Vikki

    Hi, this is great information thank you so much. I have 5 apple rootstock in very large pots that we planted but the grates failed as we were really too late in doing them. We removed the grafts and now they are just growing as normal little trees. Are we able to bury them at any point of their life cycle? The rootstock in pots are now around 6 months old with lots of shoots and leaves. Can we just bury them or should it only be done at a certain time of year? Seems a waste to not manage to use them or can I just trim them back and try grafting again next year? Been trying to figure out what I can do with them for a while! Thanks

    Reply
  5. lala

    akiva silver has a great video on YT!

    Reply
  6. Leanne

    Hi there. Thanks so much for this! Can you tell me what time of year the sapling should ideally be buried? It’s spring where I am right now, was wondering if it’s too early to do so.

    Reply

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