Grafting Mistletoe onto Apple Trees and Pruning Tree Peonies

One of my favourite christmas rituals is hanging sprigs of mistletoe!!!  We’ve recently acquired a small cider orchard, so this year I’m keen to grow my own!  I’ve used the mistletoe left over from christmas to graft onto my tree, but if you’ve thrown our your  mistletoe  new seeds can be sourced from www.mistletoe.org.uk

Mistletoe berries in Wye Valley

Image via Wikipedia

 Grafting mistletoe is not an exact science.  Historically the seeds were ingested and deposited onto fruit trees by the Mistle Thrush.  For the mistletoe to produce berries both male and female seeds must be present.  Unfortunately, this won’t be apparent for several years depending on whether your mistletoe bears berries or not.  The whole process is a bit of a gamble but tremendous fun if it succeeds!

I began by selecting a suitable apple tree in the orchard to  graft the mistletoe onto.  I’ve used a tree that is healthy and is easy to identify later on.  I began by making an inverted T sign on the underside of the apple tree branch using a small kitchen knife

Next, I pushed back the inverted T incision and squished a mistletoe berry into the bark using the incision to secure the berry into place.

Now all I have to do is sit back for the next few years to see if the mistletoe takes.  I should see signs of preliminary growth in the next few months.  I’ll keep you posted.

The best time for grafting mistletoe is between February and March.  For further information on grafting mistletoe visit mistletoe.org

Pruning Tree Peonies

Before we moved house, I wasn’t at all familiar with tree peonies.   Alan Titchmarsh describes them as “real show stoppers, with giant crumpled tissue paper flowers” with a width span of up to 30cm!   Like traditional peonies they blossom in May.  Having consulted an expert, I’ve just pruned my dead tree peonie heads ready to bloom in late spring.

Pruning Traditional Peonies

I’ve cut my peonies right down to the crown

Before

after pruning
January in the garden
 

witch hazel

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Daphne

winter iris

Happy Gardening!

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