CRFG holds fruit tree workshop

A grafting demonstration of deciduous fruit trees using bare root stock and desirable scion wood will be Saturday, Jan. 31, from 10 a.m. to noon at 31497 Success Valley Dr., in the foothills above Porterville. This will be conducted by Walter Thoma, a noted area arborist and expert on grafting, propagation and cultivation.

For a $5 donation, participants may graft and bring home two bare root trees ready to plant. Scion wood is free to take home to graft onto your own trees.

Rootstock donated by L.E. Cooke Co. of Visalia is expected to include plum, peach, pear, persimmon, mulberry, apple and cherry. Club members are donating scion wood as well as pomegranate and grape cuttings. Grafted and potted trees will be available for purchase, as will potted blackberries (including thornless) and tropical guava bushes.

Thoma has 15 years’ experience in grafting. During the workshop he will demonstrate two reliable techniques used to connect scion wood with rootstock: whip and cleft grafting. He will explain the materials and tools needed for a successful grafting session.

Thoma grows both conventional and rare plants in his greenhouses and gardens. His work with fruit from around the world was featured in Fruit Grower’s 2011 magazine.

The Sequoia Chapter of CRFG is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information to the public about the care and propagation of fruit trees in the Central San Joaquin Valley, namely Fresno, Kings, and Tulare counties.

California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) is the largest amateur fruit-growing organization in the world with members in 48 states and 35 countries. Its focus is on species not native to nor grown commercially in any given area, though most members also grow familiar California fruit trees.

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