I woke up this morning and wanted to watch a documentary so I found one called “The Botany of Desire”, the main point of the video was that maybe plants manipulate us to do what they want, instead of us manipulating them. The first part of the documentary was about the apple tree, and when people talk about apple trees, they bring up Johnny Appleseed who went across the country planting apple seeds.
One thing they wondered was why he went around planting seeds because all seeds will make a variety of apple trees, no two trees will be the same. I always thought that each seed would produce the same tree as the parent tree, but I was wrong. Then the video talked about grafting, and I knew I had to learn more about it.
Grafting is a term I have heard before, for starters, it’s in the Bible. The Bible talks about taking a wild olive branch and grafting it into a tree, which has spiritual implications, but I have never heard this word in regards to apple trees. Here is a definition I got off of a website where I was researching grafting, “grafting is a horticultural technique that’s defined as attaching a twig (scion) from one tree to the stem of a tree seedling (rootstock). The scion becomes a permanent part of the tree over time. If the scion is from an improved variety, the tree will take on those characteristics.”
There are some really interesting videos on YouTube about grafting, where you can watch them graft a tree and then see what the tree looks like 6 months later. So if you have a variety of tree that is not very good to eat, and you really want apples that are sweet to eat, you can graft the branches of a sweet tree into the limbs of your existing tree, and you will get sweet apples.
As you can see though, you have to cut the tree’s limbs down considerably, but I read on one website, that you shouldn’t cut all of the limbs down, you have to keep an original limb on the tree (you can always graft it later) or it will die.
There is some debate as to whether this type of grafting changes the make-up of the scion and the rootstock, or if they keep their own separate genetic make-up. I tend to believe the statement from the above definition of grafting, “If the scion is from an improved variety, the tree will take on those characteristics”, so basically I feel that the entire make-up of the tree is changed.
Obviously this has a lot of inspiration you can add to your daily life, change can happen with a little time, cutting away certain areas, and grafting in what you want, remembering not to cut too much too fast. When you change your life for the better, your entire make-up changes from who you were in the beginning, creating a whole new you.
And yes, there really is a tree that someone grafted in 40 different varieties of fruit into a single rootstock.