When To Order Your Root Stock
The time to order your root stock is in late Summer or early Fall. You want to be one of the first to get your order in so you know it will be full-filled. You will also need to purchased them now locking in your order, even though they will arrive sometime between late April to early June, depending on the last seasons growth and where they are being shipped.
Preparing For Your Root Stock
Here are a few simple steps for preparing for root stock. I order my Apple Root Stock from www.raintreenursery.com
1. Choosing your Root Stock; research the web for the type of fruit tree you want to produce; Standard, Semi-Dwarf, or Dwarf.
EMLA-26 Dwarf Root-stock grows to between 10 to 13 feet in height, does not need to be staked, does well on a wide variety of soils, is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9 and sometimes in zone 3 with the hardiest varieties grafted to it like Honeycrisp.
EMLA-7 Semi Dwarf Root-stock grows to between 12 to 16 feet, does well on a wide variety of soils, and is hardy in USDA Zones 4-9.
Very hardy Antonovka (Standard) Root-stock grows to 25 feet or more. It will also take longer to mature and bear fruit, but will last for years.
2. Choose your grafting stock. If using Scions you will want to cut and store your scions in late October, early November, or even in early March. Or you can use bud grafting and wait until late July or early August to cut your buds. In this case you will want to have your root stock already planted.
3. Grafting Technique to use. You have multiple choices here, Bud Graft, Cleft Graft, or the Whip & Tongue graft.
4. Planting your new trees. For the first two years you will want to prepare an area with rabbit and deer fencing protecting them. Also, use wood chips around your garden tree plot to keep the ground moist and to help with controlling weeds. Plant your trees just a couple of feet apart.