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Have you done any grafting this year? It’s so nice when things work as they’re supposed to in the fruit tree nursery.

The winter grafting in Carr’s Organic Fruit Tree Nursery is usually done in September. By November we can see whether they worked or not. Excitingly, most of them usually do!

A successful grafted cherry tree in the nursery
A successful grafted cherry tree in the nursery

This is always a time of some trepidation. We’re faced with irrefutable evidence of the quality of our grafting technique.

Our fruit tree nursery mentor (and Katie’s dad) Merv is always there teaching and advising us. But he’s handed over the actual grafting to us – so there’s no hiding. The success or failure is ours to own.

It’s the same for our Grow Great Fruit members. We teach the techniques and are there to mentor them, but they’re the ones who actually have to practice the knife skills.

So it’s incredibly satisfying to see that the success rate this year (both here on the farm and for members) has been pretty good.

Spring is also when you get confirmation on whether last summer’s budding was successful. We recommend checking whether the buds appear to have “taken” before you cut the rootstock back to the bud in late winter.

But you’re never really sure until you see this:

Looking for pruning success

Outside of the fruit tree nursery, spring is also a great time to check whether the establishment pruning you did on your young trees in winter has produced the desired effect.

The point of making a heading cut (as we describe in Pruning Young Fruit Trees) is to create new branches, in the desired location in the tree.

And here’s an ideal result. The three shoots directly below the cut have all started growing. This will create three new branches in this young cherry tree exactly where we want them.

A headed branches with three new shoots
A headed branches with three new shoots

Success is so satisfying!

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