Grafting: The Secret to Apples
Apples were one of the first domesticated fruits. But they don’t make it easy on would-be growers. Just like us, apples create offspring that differ, often dramatically, from their parents. Every seed inside an apple contains the genetic material for an entirely new kind of apple so each generation looks and tastes different. The only way to get the same type of apple is through grafting. Grafting is an ancient technique of inserting the shoot or bud of one plant into the stem or trunk of another. Without grafting, every apple in the world would be its own distinct variety! We know that humans have been grafting apples for more than 3,000 years.
Here, two boys in New Berlin, Wisconsin show grafts placed on the cut stump of an apple tree. Hopefully, their mothers are keeping a close eye on that big blade!