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graft multiple varieties on one tree so that they may enjoy an extended season and harvest peaches from the end of July until September. Some ornamental trees are grafted because that is the only method of propagation that works. For example, you’ve probably all seen maple trees with very unusual leaves, either var- iegated with multiple colors or deeply dis- sected (laceleaf). Seed from these trees (if they set seed at all) will rarely germinate and grow into something that resembles their momma. Cuttings of many types of maples are also an iffy prospect. But someone with skill and experience can approach a hundred percent success rate grafting maples. Grafting can be used to repair a damaged tree, and those practic- ing the art of bonsai can graft a new branch to satisfy esthetic balance. Believe it or not, grafting is also used


to test plant material for disease and virus. I first learned about this aspect of grafting when I visited the Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis in September. The tour was part of the annual meeting of the International Plant Propagators’ Society (IPPS – a very cool group if you’re interested in propagation). The


FPS has various programs for distributing disease free propagation stock of a variety of commercial plants including grapevines, roses and strawberries. When the FPS is asked to test a particular grapevine, pieces of that plant are grafted onto “grape indicator plants.” The result- ing growth clearly shows the presence of disease and virus. There are two main differences


between grafting and budding. First is the size of the scion (that’s what you call your piece of desirable plant) and second is the season in which you make the connection. When you graft, the scion includes a sec- tion of stem plus one or more leaf nodes. The scion material is dormant, and the root stock can be dormant or in active growth depending on the method used. Budding uses only a single bud, and a lit- tle bit of the bark around it. For budding to be successful, the root stock must be actively growing, and you must also have a well-developed bud. I’m not even going to try to tell you the


techniques of budding or grafting since there are whole books devoted to the subject. But


CARMAN’S NURSERY greenthumb@carmansnursery.com


Gilroy. California 95020 (408) 847-2313


www.carmansnursery.comwww.bulbmania.com Please Call for Hours - Usually open Thurs, Fri & Sun 10-5


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one place you can learn more is at the 2011 Scion Exchange, hosted by the Santa Clara Chapter of CRFG (California Rare Fruit Growers). This event takes place January 15 from 11am to 3pm at Prusch Park Cultural Center, King and Storey Roads in San Jose. There will be grafting classes/demos at 11:15am and 1pm. See you there!


~Third generation owner of Carman’s Nursery, Nancy Schramm and her husband recently moved the nursery from Los Gatos to Gilroy where they have lived for 26 years. The nursery is known for growing rare and unusual


plants including bonsai starters, dwarf conifers, rock garden plants, shade lovers and less common fruiting plants. Contact: green- thumb@carmansnursery.com.


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