May 2012

What:    Fruiting Tree and Plants Fundraiser For Youth Group
Where:  wood’sEnd Church Parking lot  in Edgewood
When:   This Saturday June 2nd, from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm.
Why:     Help raise money to send young kids to summer camp
This year we are taking our plants off farm for one day and offering them to the public.  A portion of the proceeds will go to the wood’sEnd Church Summer Youth Camp Program.  Trees and plants will be available in the wood’sEnd Church parking lot this Saturday morning, June 2nd.  wood’sEnd Church is located in Edgewood on the west side of Highway 344 just north and across the street from Wal-Mart and south of the library.  So tell your friends and spread the word for a good cause in our community! 

This year’s grafting is finally complete.  We ended up grafting about 280 new little trees.  This is exciting because it allows us to grow and evaluate many antique or rare varieties we normally would not have available.  Names like Bell-De Boskoop, Karmije De Sonnaville and Caville Blanc D’hiver evoke thoughts of the faraway countries and places they came from.   Chenago Strawberry, Pitmaston Pineapple and Apricot on the other hand are intriguing because their flavor is reminiscent of a different fruit than apples.  Williams Pride and Westfield Seek No Further are obviously just the best there is.

This season we are doing things a little different. We bench grafted this scion wood to both semi-dwarf and full dwarf rootstock so we could offer a variety to those wanting smaller trees.  After grafting we planted into 3”x 3” x 8” tree pots and will grow them indoors until all frost is past.  At that point we will transplant and grow them for probably 2 years in the field. The first winter the whips will be pruned back to encourage branching and the second winter

Starting grafted trees in 3″ x 3″ x 8″ tree posts

the trunk and branches will be cut back again.  By the second summer, 2014, they should be ready to go to new locations.  About 45% were new types of apples and the rest were from the ones we have growing.  This picture shows a few in tree pots starting to leaf out

We also grafted sweet Cherries, about 8 types, European pears 6 kinds and European plums 6 kinds.  Earlier we had grafted about 14 new jujubes.  Matt is getting to be fast at bench grafting and with Connie and myself wrapping the grafting tape and labeling the varieties we have worked out a pretty good and simple system. All in all it was a fun and worthwhile springtime project

 It is funny to see a little 10″ tree with blooms on it! 

Some 10″ grafted trees blooming!

I admit it, I have killed trees.  Some I have murdered outright, others I have tortured like a horticultural Jack Bauer In case you think I have something against trees, let me assure I don’t.  I practice equal opportunity “agricide” having done in everything from strawberries to bushes, shrubs and even a few vines for good measure.  Mind you I didn’t intend for it to be this way, it just happened.  But in every case I have learned something, either what to do or maybe more importantly what not to do. This is how we learn real life gardening instead of the theories in some book.  With every loss our knowledge expands and we can share that knowledge to help prevent other unnecessary plant deaths.

 It has often been said that we learn more from our mistakes than our successes, but successful results, especially in the East Mountains are important to know also.  You, our readers have a vast amount of knowledge that you can share to help us all be better and more productive gardeners. So step up.  Don’t be a lurker.  Help others in need!  Post your successes here as well as your horror stories under “comments”.  If you prefer, post on our facebook page on this article.  If you are afraid of reprisal or your neighbors finding out just send an email to  and I will assure that you and your story remain anonymous.  And don’t worry we won’t turn you in to the Plant Police.