When to Start Grafting Your Apple Trees

When it comes to Grafting there are a few things to consider; are you grafting to trees already established or to root stock. Also different types of apple trees may bud at different times. In my orchard I have Connell Reds, which will bud first, then the Honeycrisp, with the Wealthy budding last. As for the root stock you will want to wait for the ground to warm up a little more before grafting and planting, typically up to 3 weeks later. I will however graft my root stock and place them into the refrigerator for a week or two before planting them into a fenced off garden. After 1-2 years I will then transplant them into the orchard.

Reading The Bud Sign For Grafting

The time to graft to already established apple trees is when the buds have started to swell. Once this process has started you are good to go, I would just watch the weather and make sure the cold temps are done dropping down into the 30s.

Whip And Tongue Graft

Here is what your Whip & Tongue grafts will look like after a few months. If you look carefully you can see the tongue scar.

When To Graft Root-Stock

The time to graft root-stock, except for Bud grafting, is in mid to late May, when the ground temperature has warmed up enough to do garden planting. Scions can be kept in the refrigerator until needed.

When to Bud Graft Root-Stock

The best time to graft Buds to a root stock is Mid July to Mid August. So you will need to have your root stock already planted before you cut your new Scions and remove the buds to use for grafting.