Hard Graft

Scion, cleft, four flap, and whip are some of the terms we’re getting acquainted with over the next few weeks; words we haven’t used since our college days!

Last week we mentioned that several branches on our plum trees have broken due to an over abundance of fruit.  (As you can see from the picture there’s not much hope for a repair).  We’ve decided that it would be a shame to lose this tree altogether, so after ‘surgery’ to remove the shattered limbs we’re going to take some of the young growth from the old branches and graft it onto what will remain of the parent plant.

There will be problems we’re sure; infection for one from either canker or silverleaf, as well as simple failure of the graft itself.  We’re planning on adding about four scions which will add to the danger of infection but on the other hand increase fourfold our chances of success.

Though challenging there’s something strangely reassuring about carrying out a skill that has been almost lost and perhaps something that our gardening predecessors would have carried out confidently without a second thought.  Wish us luck!!