These cuttings were taken from an apple tree of the variety “Duchess of Oldenburg” last winter, and grafted onto semi-dwarfing rootstock in the spring.
Blossoms on grafted cuttings are very unusual in the first year. Usually a grafted tree will grow a stem in the first year, branches in the second year, then blossom and bear fruit in year three or four. I’m not sure what happened here, but it makes for a curious photograph.
Most of the other 40 apples and 5 pear trees I grafted this year have a more conventional appearance. That is, they are either alive or dead. Below, scion-wood from the apple variety “Akane” was double whip-and-tongue grafted onto M9 rootstock.
The whip-and-tongue graft has been quite successful for me. A strong union is formed over the first year, allowing the grower to handle the young trees (re-potting, planting etc) without worrying about breaking the graft. Below, this “King of Tompkins County” apple is pictured one year after grafting, with the paraffin tape removed.
About 80% of this spring’s grafts were successful. That leaves me with plenty of trees, but sadly missing some of the varieties I had hoped to cultivate. Perhaps a trade is in order…next spring I will have yearling apple trees available (all my varieties are good) if anyone can provide me with cider apple and perry-pear scion wood.
In an expanding and rapidly moving world, that means I’m always learning something new, and collaborating with those uniquely qualified to teach me. Lately I’ve become a protein chemist (my day job), a gastronomist, a husband, a homeowner, an orchardist, and a cider-maker.
I’m most comfortable communicating in equations, diagrams, and long paragraphs of technical prose. This partnership with my wife, Elizabeth, offers a new challenge in an unfamiliar medium: photographs and videos that are as vivid and illuminating as my own experience. I consider this blog a cutting-edge laboratory notebook, logging the inconclusive but ongoing experiment of my life.
So, since this appears to be a kind of abstract, I should probably let you know what to expect:
Delight at success, otherwise humor.
Excessive amounts of context- allusions to ancient history, conjecture about the distant future, examination of microscopic mechanisms and macroscopic repercussions.
An aesthetic that reflects joy in the moments the natural world cooperates with human designs.
Newly grafted apple trees, dormant, standing straight in even rows.
Flasks and beakers left in mild disarray, my attempts to tame a wild yeast.
Upstairs, in The Kitchen (coming soon!):
“Fillets of sole stewing in the juice of tangerines / Slices of green pepper on a bone white dish” (Robert Hass, Song)