T-bud Method for Apple Grafting

Today I finally got around to grafting some genetics from two very special apple trees onto some of my Brighton Siberian crab apple stock, which I obtained from my friends at Waverleybrook Farm.

The first tree is from Mont Morillonite, South Portage, from which my pal will be moving soon, so we want to save the genetics.  The second is from an old tree near Dorset which produces really yummy apples.

It is the end of August, so I may have waited too long, but between work and and becoming convinced by my high-school buddy to live a little, off we went, my pal and my two daughters, on an impromptu Provincial Park tour to Sandbanks – we hit Peteroglyphs and Presqu’ile on the way there – and happened upon the suspension bridge at Ferris on the way home. We based at my relatives in Presqu’ile bay.  Great fun making old and new memories.

R.K. Osprey at Presqu'ile 2016
Ospreys are nesting on the little  lighthouse just inside the bay from the big lighthouse on Presqu’ile point.  I took this photo while my uncle was giving us a tour of Gosport Bay in my Grandad’s Shepherd, in which he cruised the waters of Lake of Bays from 1954-1990.

So,  back to the apple grafting.  The T-bud method works as follows:

Obtain a nice, fresh razor blade or box-cutter blade.  Have an alcohol pad on hand to wipe the blade clean between cuts.  Have your genetics from your tree of choice and your root stock on hand.

First: Cut off your bud of choice.  Leave the leaf attached as a handle so you don’t have to touch the cuts.

T-bud grafting bud cut

Step 2: Cut a capital ‘T’ into your root-stock, carefully lifting the cambium so that the slit will be able to accept the graft.

Step 3: Insert your bud from the top of the ‘T’ without touching either cut with your DIRTY fingers.  Make sure the cambium of each piece is in contact with the each other.  Push the bud down so that it sits just below the top of the ‘T’

T-bud inserted

Cut of the tip of the bud piece that is sitting above the top of the ‘T’ and the leaf ‘handle’.

Step 4:  Coat with your grafting wax, and Voila!

T bud grafting with wax
This is a rather sloppy job with the grafting wax – it is a cool day and I couldn’t keep the wax warm, as I was using my friend’s good dishes lined with tinfoil.  Note to self: Get a wax warmer.

Step 5:  Wait patiently to see if the connection takes and wait even further to see if the apples are as delicious as the ones from the genetics you’ve selected.

That’s it for now.  Good luck!  May the forest be with you.