The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

When to gather scionwood


If you read between the lines in my Homesteading year post, you'll figure out that late January or early February is a good time to collect scionwood.  It's handy to cut scionwood before you start pruning so you take only wood the plant doesn't need for the year ahead, and, of course, you need to get your scionwood before buds begin to break.

Icy peachI'm swapping scionwood (and cuttings) with several readers this year and am enjoying the subtly beautiful colors and patterns.  I come in from the garden with twigs in all my pockets to add to those already in labeled ziploc bags.  So I guess I'm not staying out of the garden in this icy weather after all (although I did wait until the rime melted off the twigs before cutting any).

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I would just like to throw my pennies worth at this one.

I have read all the books, on and on. The thing is, most of my fruit trees don't drop their leaves, and never really stop putting out new growth.

This of course was, what I first thought, a major hurdle to growing and reproducing my own trees. Well as with it supposedly being impossible to grow some of the trees I do grow, as pointed out by growers with way more knowledge than myself. Those in the know, don't always have all the knowledge.

It turns out, you can pretty much do all the things required to graft year round. It may be more convenient for those in proper climates to gather wood and graft at the "right" time, but things are a bit more not set in stone.

I for instance yesterday, grafted over 50 sprouted plum buds onto roots. I expect around 90%+ to survive and very likely give me some fruit next year.

Comment by T Wed Jan 30 00:47:52 2013
Excellent information! I was reading in The Holistic Orchard about a gardener in California who purposely grafts out of season to prevent (can't remember what....some disease) from hitting the open wounds. It's definitely worth knowing which "rules" to break to suit your specific homestead.
Comment by anna Wed Jan 30 07:46:34 2013

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