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Apple grafters preserve heritage flavours in Metchosin
Derek Wulff was hooked on producing fruit from the moment he acquired his first apple tree 12 years ago.
However, his trees didn’t grow any apples that first year due to a pollination issue. To combat his fruitless sorrow, he started beekeeping. With bees on his property, the apples began to grow and Wulff bought more trees.
“Beekeeping is the most labour intensive way of getting pollination,” said Wulff, who now has about 40 fruit trees on his Metchosin property.
Eventually he started grafting his own trees and now he’s sharing his knowledge so others can learn the skill, too.
Wulff, co-president of the Metchosin Pomological Society, will lecture on grafting and lead a workshop on tree grafting as part of the third annual Metchosin Grafting Day on Sunday (March 16).
“I would find fruit I liked by tasting the apple, pears and plums,” he said, adding he would clip a small branch, known as scionwood, and add it to a rootstock. He’d plant it and if all went well, the delicious fruit would grow in his yard.
“I was eating pears from 100-year-old trees and (they) were delicious,” Wulff said. “Now I have that in my garden and they are great.”
Participants in the workshop are encouraged to bring a piece of scionwood to connect to the rootstock.
The Society is providing rootstock for $3 each.
The lecture and workshop happen from noon to 2 p.m. at Metchosin Community House, 4430 Happy Valley Rd.