Is it possible to plant an apple tree on a birch: an interesting experiment and its results

 Is it possible to plant an apple tree on a birch: an interesting experiment and its results

Attempting to plant an apple tree on barren plant species, such as birch, is an interesting experiment that most likely will not be crowned with success. Nevertheless, such experiments did exist.

The theory of grafting fruit trees on non-fruit trees

Every gardener wants to have fruit trees in his garden that are resistant to harsh climatic conditions and at the same time give high yields. Perhaps this would be the result of combining birch and apple trees. Such attempts have been carried out by some breeders. Indeed, in the first half of the last century, the famous Russian breeder IV Michurin argued that "... you can graft everything on everything, the main thing is to do it right."

Nevertheless, in the process of grafting, it is important that the rootstock and the scion are in a botanical relationship, since in the future a complex relationship develops between them and over time they become a single organism. There are some exceptions, for example, it is known that Michurin managed to plant a pear on a lemon. It took five years. But such exceptions do not override the rule.

Practice shows that the most successful options for grafting an apple tree will be the rootstocks of the following plants:

  • Apple tree,
  • chokeberry,
  • cotoneaster,
  • pear.

It is quite possible to see apples and pears on the same tree.

But with incompatibility between the scion and the rootstock, one of three complications arises, and then the experiment is doomed:

  • rootstock point disease, in which plant tissue necrosis occurs;
  • fragile fusion of the scion and rootstock, as a result of which the scion dies;
  • rootstock starvation.

It seems that the scion is being rejected by the stock

The history of experiments and jokes about grafting apple trees on birch, poplar, aspen

In Soviet times, there were jokes and anecdotes about breeders who wanted to plant an apple tree on a birch or something like that. Especially often the same Michurin appeared in them. They said about him: “Do you know how Michurin died? I climbed on a poplar for dill, and there it was filled with watermelons ”.

Michurin did a lot in breeding science, but for the same reason he became the hero of anecdotes.

Evening. There is a birch tree at the central telegraph office, and in its foliage a light bulb sways in the wind, scattering light through the foliage ... A drunken man walks past. He stops, looks at the light for a long time and says: - Well Michurin, well, he does, I didn't expect it!

Michurin crossed a pumpkin with a cherry to make the hybrid taste like a berry and the size of a vegetable. The opposite happened.

Alas, all attempts to achieve a long-term positive result when crossing an apple tree with barren trees ended in failure.

In about 80% of cases, the birch stock simply rejects the apple scion.

An attempt to plant an apple tree on a birch will most likely fail.

If this did not happen immediately, then a physiological incompatibility arises between the scion and the stock, which leads to the appearance of growths in the places of contact of the scion with the stock. The rootstock in this situation stops growing, the tree loses its vertical. Such trees are called "drunken" trees.

Current state of the art: vaccinated or not and why

Modern breeders continue to experiment in grafting apple trees on related crops: plum, cherry plum, mountain ash, chokeberry. In the process, there are both successes and failures. But vaccinations on unrelated crops are practically not carried out.


But one variety of apples is perfectly grafted onto the graft of another. So, in our garden, we once grafted White filling into a winter variety. Now this part of the apple tree has grown and even predominates. At the beginning of summer, we get the most tender early apples from it, and by autumn the late ones ripen. Wonderful neighborhood!

These are not very inspiring conclusions about the possibility of growing apples on a birch. That is, if you set a goal to grow apples, then it is better to vaccinate on an apple tree. And if the talent of a breeder has awakened in you and it is important for you to experiment, then you can try. What if your attempts will still be successful! Or enjoy the process, even without result.

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