Grafting Tree Fruits and Some Of Its Benefits
It can be difficult for farmers to earn their livelihoods from growing only grain crops. That’s why it’s good to learn new methods which increase production to farm our own land. One method is by making a nursery to grow improved fruit tree seedlings. This means you can grow tasty and nutritious fruit on your own land, and at the same time sell or trade extra production to earn cash. There are many methods of joining local wild fruit tree rootstock to high producing improved varieties. One of those methods, is called grafting. Grafting is a method of joining the cutting (scion) of an improved variety of fruit tree onto the root (rootstock) of a local compatible variety.
Many garden plants that we love and grow are actually made up of two different plants that have been skilfully joined together by the grower. This grafting has overcome many a propagation problem but it has also given us the opportunity to grow a far greater range of plants in our gardens. This is the benefit of grafted fruit trees to the nurseryman and also to the gardener.
You see, it is all very well finding a new variety as a side shoot of a plant but, if that little piece will not grow roots as a cutting, then the opportunity to propagate it and make it more widely available will be lost. You might think that the answer is to wait for that desirable piece of the plant to produce seeds. Sadly, few plants will be exactly the same when raised from seed and will have reverted to the original unimproved mother plant or will have hybridized into something quite random!
So for hundreds of years, both gardeners and nurserymen have been practicing the age old technique of taking a little piece of a plant and very skillfully attaching it to another so that it grows as one plant. The root part of the plant is called a ‘root stock’ and the little piece that is attached to it is the ‘scion’.
The kind of plants that we take for granted that are regularly grafted include flowers, virtually all fruit trees, many ornamental garden and street trees and a fair few of the most desirable garden shrubs!
- Grafted trees produce fruit quicker. A tree grown from seed may take 8-10 years to fruit, but a grafted tree will only take 2-4 years.
- A tree grown from seed may produce poor tasting fruit. Grafting is done to improve the taste and size of the fruit.
- A tree grown from seed may not produce fruit the same as the tree the seed came from (mother tree). But a grafted tree will be just as good as the tree the cutting (scion) came from.
- A grafted tree will continue to give the same quality fruit for many years.
- Grafted fruit trees can be sold to give an income to the household.
- By producing your own seedlings and fruit, you save money.
- Seedlings can be produced locally, saving time in searching for the right fruit trees to plant
- Some trees end up developing more resistance to diseases and adverse conditions than other trees. This disease resistance and hardiness is transferred from the rootstock (the plant being grafted onto) to the scion (the plant being propagated).
Below are some of the grafted fruit trees that we have. If in need, kindly contact us and we will deliver.
Soils should be well drained. Wet soils lead to poor aeration and increased incidence of crown rot in apples (Phytophthora cactorum). Generally, rooting tends to be shallow, and wet soils will restrict development, resulting in poor anchorage of the tree and a reduced area of soil from which nutrients can be extracted. Soils with high organic matter contents are normally better structured and allow good rooting.
Irrigation is necessary on dry soils, particularly when establishing and growing young orchards. Trickle irrigation and fertigation are increasingly used. In young orchards fertigation helps increase early tree growth and brings trees into bearing earlier. Sprinkler irrigation can be used to protect the tree buds and fruitlets against frost damage.
Sowing of a grass mulch between the tree rows is common practice, which together with any clippings, helps to increase water holding capacity, infiltration rate, soil aggregation and recycling of nutrients.
Apples prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH between 5.8 and 7.0). Extreme soil pH values result in nutrient tie-up or toxicity and poor tree and fruit development. It is important to amend the pH in acidic soils by incorporating lime before planting
Tangerines are relatively cold-tolerant, making them easier to grow than oranges, grapefruits and other types of citrus. Some varieties, such as the Citrus reticulata "Dancy," are heat-tolerant and do best when summers are hot, but other types, including the Citrus reticulata "Sunburst," do best when summers are on the cool side.
Citrus species can thrive in a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. Citrus is grown from sea level up to an altitude of 2100 m but for optimal growth a temperature range from 2° to 30° C is ideal. Long periods below 0°C are injurious to the trees and at -13° C growth diminishes. However, individual species and varieties decrease in susceptibility to low temperatures in the following sequence: grapefruit, sweet orange, mandarin, lemon/lime and trifoliate orange as most hardy.
Temperature plays an important role in the production of high quality fruit. Typical coloring of fruit takes place if night temperatures are about 14° C coupled with low humidity during ripening time. Exposure to strong winds and temperatures above 38° C may cause fruit drop, scarring and scorching of fruits. In the tropics, the high lands provide the best night weather for orange color and flavor.
people; they don’t need to work so hard nor climb to pick the nuts but wait for them to fall. The macadamia nut tree is indigenous to Australia but introduced in Kenya in 1945 to 1948. In Kenya, it grows roughly in the same climate suitable for growing coffee.
The grafted seedling takes 3-4 months to be ready for planting out in the farm. Seedlings are planting out in the field at a spacing of 9m x 9m or 10 m x 10 m or more if the trees are
intercropped with coffee or any other crop e.g. maize; however, if they are being planted as pure orchard, the spacing should be 4m x 10 m or 5 m x 10 m.
Kenya is sitting on a gold mine that if properly utilized would reap huge benefits for the country.
For many years, tea and coffee farming has been the major source of income for thousands of
farmers, however they are now changing tides and switching to macadamia nut farming.
Macadamia has become a lucrative produce all over sudden with a kilo of the nuts selling for
more than a hundred and a grafted seedling price shooting up from 300 to 500 Kenya Shillings.
Between1986 to 2002 the price ranged between 7 to 23 Shillings per kg., and in 2005 it averaged
80 Shillings per Kg.
The Kenya macadamia nut industry is currently made of approximately 900,000 trees of varying ages from one year to 20 years, grown by over 100,000 small scale farmers with an average of 6 -12 trees per grower. Annual production is about 4,000 metric tons of nuts-in-shell. These produce about 800 metric tons of marketable kernels, making the main commercial product. Other by products such as oil, are minimal. Producers get from nuts-in-shell Shillings 92 million per year.
Kenya is the third largest macadamia producer and the second largest exporter of macadamias. Many Kenyan farmers are integrating macadamia trees into their coffee and tea plantations. They view macadamia output as insurance against the uncertainties of weather which affect coffee and tea.