You may have considered if it’s possible to graft a fruit tree to any other trees. It’s not possible to graft all types of fruit trees to other trees.
Answer: The best advice for grafting a new tree is to plant seeds from your best trees and graft scion wood from your best trees into seedlings to get the best results.
If you want to graft chestnuts or other near-true-to-seed species the best you can do is to plant seeds from your absolutely best trees to see how they produce, before you even think about topworking at all. This will give you by far the best results.
The purpose of grafting fruit trees
It’s common that fruit trees are not grown from seed, because the fruit will then usually not taste very good. The reason behind this is that most of the fruit trees today are cross-pollinated.
A fruit tree contains some DNA from the mother tree and some from the father tree, which gives the result of a completely new genetic makeup of the seed.
When this new cross-pollinated seed is planted, a new tree will grow and the new tree will produce fruit that is nothing like the fruit produced by the mother- or father tree.
Grafted fruit trees have some advantages:
- A grafted fruit tree can provide you with a guaranteed variety of the produced fruits on the tree.
- A grafted fruit tree can often offer pest and disease resistance.
- A grafted fruit tree will be able to withstand cold climates.
Fruit trees grown from a normal seed can have the following disadvantages such as:
- Smaller produced fruits.
- Sour fruits
- No fruits at all for up to 7 years.
Can any fruit tree be grafted?
Answer: You can’t graft any kind of fruit or vine into a tree. A few plants can be successfully grafted onto different species if they are closely related.
As an example, Witch-hazel onto Fothergilla rootstock, as both of the flowers are in the Hamamelidaceae family, which is important before it will be successful.
It is possible that apples and pears will graft onto one another, but they won’t graft onto roses, because they are so far apart and not related. It is important to understand, that not everything can be grafted with each other.
However, all citrus fruits are able to be grafted on each other, because they are so closely related to each other. It’s often seen that it’s debated whether there are any different variants at all for citrus fruits due to their close relation.
One of the most important things to remember when attempting to craft a plant is to have a very sharp knife and to use healthy materials. Having a knife that cuts straight so surfaces meet flush and are regularly sterilized is to be preferred to see the best results.
How to graft a fruit tree in 5 steps
You know at this point some of the advantages of a grafted fruit tree and some of the disadvantages that may happen from a fruit tree grown from a normal seed.
However, it should be manageable to graft a fruit tree if you follow the 5 steps below.
Step 1: Try collecting scion wood in the autumn or winter. The reason for collecting the cuttings in the winter is that it’s the dormant season, meaning this is when the plants will stop growing for the season and therefore use far less energy.
Step 2: Be sure that the wood is disease and pest-free to avoid a diseased tree. Inspect the scion wood by visually inspecting it for any irregularities. It’s important that the cutting is approximately 16” in length and about 7 mm in diameter.
Step 3: Try labeling the scion wood with the name of the fruit tree and also the date of the cutting to be able to remember when the cutting has been done.
Step 4: The scion wood has to be stored safely. To do that, you have to wrap the cutting in a damp paper towel and afterward tuck the cutting into a plastic bag. Hereafter you have to place your package in your refrigerator until the spring to be able to maintain dormancy.
To get the most success you have to remove every other fruit that is ripening in your refrigerator because some fruits produce ethylene when they ripen which can kill the wrapped scion wood.
Step 5: When the spring starts you can begin grafting fruit trees. Try to have a look outside your window. If fruit trees in your own garden and in your neighborhood have started to get buds and start to get open, you will then know that the tree’s sap is beginning to flow.
By that time you will know that it’s a perfect time to start grafting your fruit trees.
The last thing and most important thing when grafting fruit trees is to make sure that both your scion and rootstock will get along.
Can you graft a cherry tree into an apple tree?
It is not possible to graft a cherry onto an apple tree since these two fruits are not related to each other. Just as you can’t graft a pear onto an apple.
Another fun thing you can do with grafting is to make up your own fruit trees, with different varieties of apples. It’s possible to have up to 4-10 varieties of apples on one tree. It’s a fun thing you can do by yourself or with your family and see how many different varieties of apples end up on the tree.
You can actually have several fruits on the same tree considering fruits like cherries and peaches, which is called a “fruit cocktail” tree. The possibilities and opportunities are endless by grafting fruits into new trees.
You can even take an old apple tree from your garden that doesn’t have great apples and from this old apple tree graft several new buds, which can turn into new great apple fruits given juicy fruits year after year.
Can you graft a pear tree to a plum tree?
No, you can’t graft a pear tree into a plum tree, but it’s possible to graft multiple varieties of pear onto a single tree. Plums and peaches are of the same genus, which is equal to prunus.
In theory, they can all either be grafted or budded on the same rootstock, but it can be difficult to practice.
If you want continous fruits you have to ensure graft or bud is taken from a mature tree. It’s recommended to pick a seven-year-old tree or older for the best experience.
Can you graft a peach tree into an apple tree?
Just as you can’t graft a cherry onto an apple tree, it will not be possible to graft a peach onto an apple tree. Even though these fruits are closer to each other, it is still not possible.
Can you graft a lemon and orange tree?
The short answer is Yes.
If a lemon tree’s branches have been grafted into an orange tree or vice versa. However, to get better quality fruit on healthier fruit trees, it is common to pick a variety of strong roots and from here graft new branches from the tree that have the most juicy and desirable fruit.
Both lemon trees and orange trees are grafted as a reliable way to clone other lemon and orange trees. You can also expect to achieve a hardier and more productive tree that shares the same fruit as the parent tree.
A fun fact is that the majority of lemon and orange trees sold are actually grafted trees.
To summarise, it is possible to graft a fruit tree to some species of trees, but definitely not all types.
You can expect that not all grafts will be successful, so to get a higher success rate try graft multiple scions around the main trunk. Remember to always sterilize your tools with alcohol to reduce the chances of spreading disease.
Do your own research before trying to graft a plant. Hopefully, you have become wiser after reading this article.
If you need more information or inspiration on other garden needs and want to be wiser, then take a look at the rest of our website to find some useful information you’ll be able to use going forward.