Since I had learned a little bit about grafting, the next step was to find some actual scion wood that I could practice on. Although there are some places that you can order scions from, the ongoing challenge is finding the right apple varieties for the Edmonton area. Fortunately, the timing was perfect and shortly after the grafting course the DBG Fruit Growers group held a scion wood exchange. Many other fruit growers from the area brought wood from their fruit trees that was available for purchase or exchange. Although the weather sure didn’t feel like it was almost grafting season, it was fun to visit the gardens under a fresh blanket of snow.
This was a perfect opportunity, because not only is it a chance to get access to fruit varieties that have been successfully grown locally, but the varieties are actually identified and named. This is a helpful starting point as it is much easier to track different apples when we know what they are! We also had the opportunity to ask some of the attendees if they had any suggestions for cider apple varieties.
After chatting with many of the fruit growers, we ended up with scions for 7 apple varieties and 2 pear varieties. It was exciting to get so many, but now we have to find somewhere to graft them! Our little apple tree already has 5 varieties on it, so there is only so much room for more. There is a month until the time of year suggested for grafting. In that time we’re going to have to try to find space, and more trees/rootstock to graft all our scions onto.
The types of apples we got were:
- Red Wonder
- Edmonton Boris (Admittedly just for the name…)
- Lee 17
And a few pears:
Although it will still be a while before we actually get any fruit from them, we can hardly wait to give them a try and increase the diversity of our little urban orchard.