You may be familiar with the fact that nurserymen and gardeners commonly graft branches of one type of tree to a different tree trunk. This technique is used for various reasons. Sometimes a sturdy rootstock is chosen along with a different plant that has desirable flowers or fruit. The scion is cut from the desirable plant is then grafted onto the rootstock which creates a sturdier or more versatile plant.
Multi-grafting for a variety of fruit is a creative way to have several fruits produce on the same tree. These are sometimes referred to as “fruit cocktail” trees. Like the 4-in-1 apple tree with Fuji, Gala, Gold Delicious, Red Delicious apple branches grafted onto the same tree trunk. The same can be done with cherry, peach, plums, pears, and citrus.
The grafts are all created by using plants within the same genus. For instance, peaches and apricots belong to the same genus, Prunus, so they could be multi-grafted. Because plums and nectarines belong to this genus, they could also be grafted along side the first two. You’ll find fruit cocktail trees that have as little as two fruit varieties grafted on or as many six.
We small-space gardeners are indebted to those that pioneered these trees and we’re prepared to take full advantage. Not only do multi-grafted trees make it easier to grow multiple fruit varieties in a compact space, but they also allow for an extended harvest. If you want to give multi-grafted fruit trees a try in your yard or garden I’d check out Stark Bros first — just ‘cuz they have great trees and they’re cool people. But, I added a few more resources for your perusing pleasure.
- Almaden Valley Nursery
Have you planted multi-grafted fruit trees? What was your experience?