Mission Accomplished

Since mid-March, we've been preoccupied with grafting apple trees. It's a practice that's centuries old and the only way to make an exact copy of a particular apple variety. No, you can't just plant a seed from a King of Tompkins County apple to make another King of Tompkins County tree. You need to graft it.

Peri is our grafting guru. She's made something more than 10,000 trees since we embarked on this adventure, with about a third of them going into our orchard and the rest going to orchards and backyards all over the place. We never expected to be in the nursery business when we started working on our orchard, but it turned out that way and we're pretty proud to see more and more of our weird and wonderfully obscure apple varieties spreading around our region and beyond.

Now that we're wrapping up our spring grafting for 2018, we can report that there are 3,285 new little trees in our nursery. They won't all make it to adulthood, but we'll do our best to make sure as many as possible do. A few of them will end up in our orchard as replacements for dead, diseased, damaged or non-performing trees. The rest will be offered for sale.

If you want a sense of what varieties people are asking us about most, you might find it interesting to review our top 25 varieties from this year's grafting. While we grafted some 170 different varieties this year, almost two-thirds of the trees Peri has made have been of these 25 varieties:

Chisel Jersey

Chisel Jersey

155 grafts -- Chisel Jersey

144 grafts -- Yarlington Mill

142 grafts -- Dabinett

142 grafts -- Kingston Black

121 grafts -- Wickson

108 grafts -- King of Tompkins County

102 grafts -- Tremlett's Bitter

97 grafts -- Belle de Boskoop

92 grafts -- Stoke Red

89 grafts -- Bulmer's Norman

87 grafts -- Ashmead's Kernel

76 grafts -- GoldRush

76 grafts -- Sweet Sixteen

75 grafts -- Muscadet de Dieppe

66 grafts -- Golden Russet

63 grafts -- Winter Banana

56 grafts -- Gravenstein

52 grafts -- Airlie Red Flesh

52 grafts -- Calville Blanc d'Hiver

51 grafts -- Cox's Orange Pippin

51 grafts -- Liberty

49 grafts -- Bramley's Seedling

46 grafts -- Pristine

43 grafts -- Melrose

42 grafts -- Wolf River