Grafting is an ancient technique for propagating apple varieties. If you plant an apple pip of one variety, say a Histon Favourite, that pip will not grow up into a Histon Favourite apple tree. It will be a unique tree, maybe better, maybe worse. So if you want to get another Histon Favourite tree, you have to take some wood from the tree and somehow attach it to a rootstock. The rootstock helps to control the height and vigour of the tree. This process of ‘sticking’ the variety wood (the scion) to the rootstock is called grafting.
Last week staff from Cambridge city council and a couple of orchard volunteers came along to learn about grafting fruit trees and practice their grafting techniques. It’s great to keep these skills alive. We also noticed the bees were very active, making natural honeycomb in the observation hive.