Grafting Season

GGrafting SeasonHeres a program from our archives.ambience: grafting, cuttingApart from the four seasons, there exists a wide variety of fluctuations in climate. The success of a crop often relies upon a farmer’s awareness of these subtle changes. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.For apple tree growers, there’s a brief period of time tucked between winter and spring upon which their whole future crop depends. Bill McKently is the owner of Saint Lawrence Nurseries in New York. This time of year he’s grafting apple trees – cutting a branch off of one apple tree and carefully joining it to the detached root of another tree. When planted, the branch and root will grow together to form a new tree – with the same quality apples that grew on the tree the branch originally came from. But if this process is done at any time than the last few weeks of winter, the graft will fail.McKently: Once the sap stops flowing, you don’t graft. It has to be done at a very, very specific time of the year when the plants are ready. And when they say we’re ready, we do it cause if you don’t do it, you miss it for that year.The time for grafting is usually early March. For three long weeks, McKently and his fellow workers will go down to a warm cellar to tie thousands of branches and roots together and wrap them with rubber bands. Although the job may sound tedious, McKently says that it’s a way for him to stay in touch with natures cycles.McKently: Spring is on it’s way when I know we are going to be downstairs making new trees. We do anywhere from ten to fourteen thousand grafts a year. Just about when you’re done, you’re just about getting sick of it. But boy, next time it roles around, you’re really looking forward. You see that sun rising in the sky in the morning, you know the days are getting longer, and wow, you can’t wait to get down here and start making some cuts.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. If you want hear more, check out our podcast. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Grafting Season

For apple tree growers, there's a brief period of time between winter and spring upon which their whole future crop depends.
Air Date:03/18/2021
Scientist:
Transcript:

GGrafting SeasonHeres a program from our archives.ambience: grafting, cuttingApart from the four seasons, there exists a wide variety of fluctuations in climate. The success of a crop often relies upon a farmer's awareness of these subtle changes. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.For apple tree growers, there's a brief period of time tucked between winter and spring upon which their whole future crop depends. Bill McKently is the owner of Saint Lawrence Nurseries in New York. This time of year he's grafting apple trees - cutting a branch off of one apple tree and carefully joining it to the detached root of another tree. When planted, the branch and root will grow together to form a new tree - with the same quality apples that grew on the tree the branch originally came from. But if this process is done at any time than the last few weeks of winter, the graft will fail.McKently: Once the sap stops flowing, you don't graft. It has to be done at a very, very specific time of the year when the plants are ready. And when they say we're ready, we do it cause if you don't do it, you miss it for that year.The time for grafting is usually early March. For three long weeks, McKently and his fellow workers will go down to a warm cellar to tie thousands of branches and roots together and wrap them with rubber bands. Although the job may sound tedious, McKently says that it's a way for him to stay in touch with natures cycles.McKently: Spring is on it's way when I know we are going to be downstairs making new trees. We do anywhere from ten to fourteen thousand grafts a year. Just about when you're done, you're just about getting sick of it. But boy, next time it roles around, you're really looking forward. You see that sun rising in the sky in the morning, you know the days are getting longer, and wow, you can't wait to get down here and start making some cuts.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. If you want hear more, check out our podcast. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.