Why do people graft trees instead of growing them from seeds?
We graft fruit trees for the following reasons:
- To control fruit quality
- To control disease resistance
- To get fruit sooner
The grafting process allows us to essentially create clones of a tree, allowing us to produce the exact same variety every time. If you grow a fruit tree from seed, the resulting tree is a combination of the genetic materials of the parent tree that bore the fruit and the parent tree that pollinated this tree, creating an entirely new variety. With apples especially, the seedling tree often will vary noticeably from its parents and the fruit may not be very good for consumption.
Although growing fruit trees from seed can be an exciting surprise, trees can take over 10 years to begin producing and grow to an unmanageable size, all to end up yielding small, bitter tasting fruit with mealy texture.
With grafting we can ensure that if you are interested in a Golden Russet tree that only grows 10'/2m tall, you are getting exactly that.