98 Poverty Lane, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03766

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So what are these people doing? They are hand-planting young Gala apple trees in a cider orchard where a number of trees have been killed, leaving gaps. Do we want Gala apples from this orchard? No. So what's going on? Well, these carefully-planted young things will have a year to grow powerful root systems. We didn't even know these trees would be Gala, since our interest is in strong young trees on the right rootstocks, variety not important. Late in nurseries' selling season, such useful items are often in overstock, waiting at good prices for customers like us. So in they go, still dormant... and grow for a season...

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And then? Then we will cut the tops off them! And graft a couple of puny-looking sticks of our chosen cider apple varieties to  match the neighboring trees in the row! If all goes well, the grafts will "take" and grow like mad, powered by the strong roots below! And then we'll choose the stronger of the growing grafts and cut the other off -- ending up with the tree we want in the space we want! Here's one that went through this just 2 years ago... grown from something that looked like a pencil. That band of red tape has been relentlessly stretched by two years of growth. Grafting is magic...
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Anyone out there who has trees or shrubs or even herbaceous plants and wants to try some magic, borrow or steal a volume called "The Grafter's Handbook", by R.J.Garner. It's the spell-book we learned from, and it deserves its decades in print. Just a thought  from Farnum Hill -- Happy first week of June!