Multi-Fruit Trees with Javier Rivera

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Welcome to the Urban Forestry Radio
Show here on Reality Radio 1 0 1.

In this radio show and podcast, we
learn about fruit trees, permaculture,

arboriculture, and so much more.

So if you love trees and especially
fruit trees, or if you're interested

in living a more sustainable life,
then this is the place for you.

I'm your host, Susan Poizner
of the Fruit Tree Care training

website, orchard

Thanks for tuning in.

And enjoy the show.

Welcome to the Urban Forestry Radio
Show with your host Susan Poizner.

To contact Susan Live right now, send
her an email in,

and now right to your host of the Urban
Forestry Radio Show, Susan Poizner.

Hi everyone.

When I started to grow fruit trees, I
had no clue that each and every fruit

tree was made up of two separate trees.

The roots come from one tree and
they determine the size of the tree

when it's mature, and the upper
part of the tree is called the fruit

wood and it determines the type of
fruit that you are going to grow.

Now all you have to do is stick those
two parts together through a process

called grafting, and if it works, those
two trees fuse together just like magic.

What's amazing is that grafting
lets you create trees with different

types of fruit, for instance, like
an apple tree with 10 different

types of apples growing on it.

Or you can make a fruit salad
tree that grows different types

of stone fruits on the same tree.

It's also possible to use grafting to
create trees that can survive and grow in

places that you wouldn't expect them to.

Like growing apple trees in
parts of Florida, who knows?

Maybe one day we can use grafting
to create more resilient fruit trees

that can cope with a changing climate.

So today we are going to talk about the
potential of grafting with Javier Rivera.

For Javier grafting is a passion.

He's the owner of the Stone River
Fruit Tree nursery in central Florida.

And Javier is also pursuing his
PhD in Horticultural sciences

at the University of Florida.

And I'll talk to him in just a minute.

But first, I would love to hear from
you, send in your questions, your

comments, or just an email to say
hello, and we will enter you into

today's contest to win a terrific prize.

This month's prize is Color Point
Bypass Pro Pruners by Duran.

They're valued at $28 and 62 cents,
and these lovely pruners come in six

vibrant colors, and the winner of
this month's contest will be able

to choose the color of their choice.

So do you wanna win those hand pruners?

Then enter today's contest by sending an
email right now to intu 1 0 1

That's in

And do remember to include your first
name and where you're writing from.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

So now, Javier, welcome to the show today.

Thank you very much,
Susan, for inviting me.

It is wonderful to have you.

And in the introduction I mentioned
that we can, that you're working

to graft apple trees that will
survive and thrive in Florida.

But tell me a little bit about
where you're located in Florida.

What's the plant hardiness zone and what
types of fruit will easily grow there?

Okay, so I live in the most southern
part of the city of Orlando in Orange

County in central Florida, and we are
classified as U S D A zone nine B.

So this area is famous for citrus.

A lot of people that come from different
parts of the Caribbean will also

incorporate plants like mangoes and
avocados, some tropicals that due to

our mild winters can actually grow very
well and produce fruit year after year.


So here you are in an area where
citrus grows nicely and you

are trying to grow apple trees.

Now apple trees, are there some
cultivars that will grow in your zone?

Oh, absolutely.

The information that is provided by
most agricultural extensions in our area

recommend a few cultivars such as Anna
and Dorsett Golden, maybe Ein Shimmer.

There's a recent release by the
University of Florida with Texas NI

a and m that is called Tropic Suite.

That's another one that
does well in our area.

And there are a few
others, but not very many.

And the main reason for that is because
part of that information tells us that

due to our mild winter climate, we don't
get a lot of what's known as chill hours.

And they are different models that
classify what a chill hour is.

But Simply speaking, the number of
hours before 45 degrees Fahrenheit that

occurred during the coldest months of
the year or during the later part of

the fall season into winter season.

So here in Orlando, at best, for
the past few years, we've gotten an

average of about a hundred to about
125 chill hours, which is very mild.

So cultivars that require many
more chill hours than that are not

even considered by most people.

Unless you want to do something different.


Sorry, I'm just gonna
go back for a second.

You guys have, let's say 150, you
said 150 chill hours, hundred 50 cold

days, and these apple trees need some
cold days in order to what, to produce

fruit in order to be consistent.

What is it about these cold chill hours
that allow you to grow apple trees?

Will the apple trees die if
they don't get enough cold?

What is, what are the ramifications?

Yeah, so the main information that we
get is that if a tree does not receive

enough chill hours during the winter
season, it may not survive as it tries to

cope with the changes in the conditions.

During the daytime, whereas we go into
spring, it didn't receive enough energy

for it to go ahead and blossom or produce
leaves at a certain time of the year.

However, one of the things that I have
discovered recently and ins inspired

by different people, folks like Tom
Spellman of Dave Wilson nursery out

in California, Kevin Houser of Kael
Creek Capital Nursery my spouse, who

is a Michigander and she has known
apples, for pretty much all of her life.

Why don't we actually try to grow
certain apple varieties besides what we

know besides Deanna, the Dorson Golden.

Let's go ahead and stick 'em at
the ground and see what happens.

And doing a little bit of research about
root stocks that would be able to survive

the conditions that we have in our area.

We have discovered that many
varieties that come from different

places all over the world.

We're talking about France, we're
talking about England, we're talking

about the Northern United States.

They have been not only growing well,
but they have been producing fruit.

And I'm like, wait a minute, but
r and these apples from these

places, they get thousands of chill
hours, or they're supposed to get

thousands of chill hours and they're
growing here just fine with 150.

So what is really going on?

And of course there is
a method to the madness.

So there are cultural practices
that are applied in order to ensure

that the trees are managing with
that small number of chill hours.

One of the things that is done in,
not just by me but in different parts

of the world, in the tropics places
like Uganda, Rwanda, and Central

Africa, is that there's a time of the
year when the trees get defoliated.

So by defoliating the trees.

You are sending a signal to the buds.

Don't count cold hours in order to get
prepared for when you have to go and

wake up and produce leaves and balloons.

So we're just gonna let you
like rest for a little bit.

And then when the next season comes
on, when winter is going away, days

are getting longer, temperatures
are getting warmer, those are gonna

be the signals you're gonna pay
attention to and that's what you're

gonna use as your guide to awaken.

So interesting.

So I just wanna clarify.

You're saying like how do you
communicate to the tree to say, Hey

tree, by the way, listen, don't count
chill hours, just hang in there.

Listen to me.

How can you communicate to
the fruit tree to tell it?

I know you're used to having lots of chill
hours, but don't worry about this here.

We don't need to offer that to you.

So it's a process that, believe it or not,
doesn't really begin in wintertime alone.

It starts getting ready in late summer.

So dormancy, those folks know, oh
yeah, that's when it's wintertime

and the trees are sleeping.

There's actually different
stages to dormancy.

During the summertime.

You have the para dormancy in which
buds under a certain level of the

tree are basically not growing out.

So they're not producing leaves.

They're just like staying put.

And then when the temperatures are
getting colder, the trees enter into

a stage that's known as endo dormancy.

The endo dormancy is the critical part
because once the trees get into that

stage, the bugs are gonna start counting
cold and they say, you know what?

I'm not gonna awaken until
I get the cold that I need.

So if we can skip that process,
if we are able to reprogram.

Those buds into don't follow the
endo dormancy, you're gonna be okay.

Then we can get them to produce even
if you have areas where there is not

enough winter chill according to the
information that we got as of today.

So we are trying to change the paradigm
on how these apples are grown simply

by doing those cultural practices that
allow us to let the trees manage in the

different climates, which they are grown.

That's incredible.

Let's just have a look here at an e.

We've got one email here from Greg.

Hello, Susan.

I was waiting for this show today.


Listening to you from
San Diego, California.

So thank you so much for rating in Greg.

Okay, so you, this is
what you're working on.

How are you using grafting in
order to achieve the that goal?


I was very fortunate to find
a series of rootstocks that

works well for me in my area.

And those are the rootstocks
from the Geneva series they

developed by Cornell and Dr.

Jim Cummins.

So I use the Polish three root stocks
of that series, which are Geneva 9 69,

Geneva two 10, and Geneva eight 90.

And of course, Geneva
eight 90 is my favorite.

Because they are able to tolerate the
excessive rains that we get during silver.

So when you plant a tree, you don't
want a tree that will die when

it's not able to be plant like.

It's not able to drain
water away properly.

Of course, trees need to breathe.

So if you're putting the roots
in an area that doesn't drain

well the tree is gonna die.

And there are root stocks
that will absolutely.

Go and die if that's the case.

But with the Geneva Series, they
are tolerant to water logging,

so that's one big advantage.

Another one is that they
are disease resistant.

So there are many Pests and diseases
that will leave those trees alone

simply by the rootstock that
you're grafting your trees onto.

So you're not gonna have to worry
about Willy apple afis with the tallest

three trees of the Geneva Series.

You don't have to worry about phyto for
root rod, so you don't have to worry

about a colds spell That will come out
of nowhere and oh my God, it's going

to die because it's gonna get too cold.

No, no worries at all.

So it's just a fantastic series of
rootstocks and for the most part, those

are the ones that, that I use for my
personal collection as well as for

part of the project that we're doing
as part of my doctoral dissertation.

And then lastly, when you are planting
a tree, whether it's from a seed or even

grafted in a seedling, there's gonna
be a long wait time before that tree.

Passes the ity period and is able
to be reproductive competent.

But when you're grafting it onto those
root stocks, the average turnaround

for fruit production is two to three
years, sometimes the very next year

after you graft them, depending
on the variety and the conditions

where the tree is growing it.

So for me, that is a time saver because if
I want to evaluate something, let me know,

graft it on a ceiling that's gonna take
possibly eight to 10 years, let me graft

it here, and then you can get a quicker
response time and see how it manages.

So there are many advantages to
knowing what the root stock will do

in your area and which is the one
that's right for your situation.

Which I think is interesting because
let's say I, live in Florida and I order

my fruit tree from a big, Nat national
nursery and maybe I don't even know

what rootstock they've planted it on.

So they send me any oil.

Maybe it's a dwarfing
tree, so a smaller tree.

If I don't know what the rootstock is,
it really may not thrive and it may

not produce fruit in that warm climate.

So that's very interesting how
important it is to have control and to

know what rootstock you're choosing.

On the other hand, from the
experimenting that you have done, does

it matter which cultivars you choose?

You said that possibly in Florida you
can grow cultivars that need hundreds of

chill hours rather than a hundred or 150.

Are there some cultivars that are
just stubborn and won't go for it

and others that are more flexible?

Absolutely every cultivar will have
its own flexibility, so to speak.

So there are cultivars that
will be better adapted.

For example, we're talking about Gold
Rush, which is a release from the P R I

program, and many people think it needs
800 to about a thousand chill hours.

It does very well here.

And many people tell me, what, here's the
thing, you're getting a Scion sent from

a nursery, and that Scion is dormant.

You're gonna graft it, it's gonna
wake up, it'll give you fruit

that one year, and that's it.

That was a fluke.

And it's just okay, it's possible.

But then what happens is the next year
comes about, and that same scion that you

grafted sprouts again and starts giving
you flowers and it can give you fruit.

So that's not a fluke, that's just that
the cultivar was able to become adapted.

To the conditions where it's growing.

And it does that with the
motivation of the rootstock as well.

There, there are physiological situations
that are coming in play and, they, we

can definitely go down a rabbit hole
and talk about those, but because we

have limited time the idea is that the
rootstock is a propeller and then the

scion is going to have an adaptability
based on what that rootstock is doing

and how you're doing the horticultural
practices to make sure that it thrives and

produces in the environment that it's in.

Fantastic explanation
and you make it so clear.

I really appreciate that.

We have an email here from Tom.

Tom says, Susan, I love
the term chill hours.

My teenage son is here and he
heard this coming from your show

and he thought, Ooh, this is cool.

I can chill out and not do any work wrong.

I live in Dallas, Texas,
so yeah, chilling.

The chill hours, yeah, I guess
the tree chills out a little bit.

It's not doing a lot
but it's very important.

Now you talk about the
horticultural practices.

So again, let's say in my situation,
let's say I lived in Florida and I think,

okay, I'm gonna graph myself a tree,
going to take those recommendations.

I know which root stocks to choose.

I am gonna choose the cultivar.

What are the fancy horticultural practices
that I then need to do in order to

encourage my tree to grow in a climate
that it wouldn't ordinarily be growing in?

That's an excellent question and it can
be a little bit complicated to address.

Now, folks that have been tinkering
with crops like apples for example,

they have discovered, as I mentioned a
little bit ago, that defoliation is a

process that will tell the tree, let's
go ahead and override these signals

in which you require this amount of
coal to wake up and produce fruit.

So by doing that, the tree gets
redirected or reprogrammed to produce.

That's one way.

Sometimes folks use water stress
in order to make the trees produce.

For example, if there's a period of time
where the trees are not getting any water,

that will send a signal to the tree that,
Hey, I'm running low on these resources.

Better go ahead and produce
my fruits right now.

That's something that happens as well
treatments with GI giin or GI acid,

that's another way in which trees can
be triggered into fruit production.

So they are different ways and it,
there, there isn't really like a

manual for every single variety.

So you have to discover
what works and what doesn't.

Sometimes by trial and error, that's
what researchers are constantly doing.

We're trying as scientists to
figure out, Hey, we're doing this.

What are gonna be the consequences?

What do we observe?

And based on that constant application
of scientific concepts, we are

able to determine what will be
useful for a particular location.

I wanna clarify, just when you
talk about defoliation, that is

the natural process of all the
nutrients coming out of the leaves.

The leaves go brown as those green
lovely nutrients go into the root system,

and then the leaves just fall off.

Is that what you are talking about?

Or are you talking about go pull
off the leaves from your trees

and it'll give the tree a signal?

It can be in either way.

So sometimes the affiliation
happens by applying a chemical

and basically the trees are shaken
off and then the leaves fall.

Sometimes you can just go
ahead and do it manually.

So I'll just go before a cold spell in
the latter part of the year, and I will go

ahead and manually defoliate my own trees.

And the reason I can do that
is because I grow my trees so I

can reach them from the ground.

So all of my trees are sometime probably
around Eight feet tall at most, so

I can reach them from the ground.

And even though Geneva eight 90 is
a rootstock that if you set it and

forget it, it's gonna produce a tree
somewhere between 15 to 20 feet tall.

I can always control the size
of the tree myself by pruning.

So that's one of the things that, as
someone who promotes the philosophy

of backyard or culture, we can
do that in order to make it more

manageable for the home garden.


Okay, so if you are actually going
to defoliate your tree and pull off

all those leaves, do you wanna make
sure that they are not green anymore?

Because if you're pulling off green
leaves, you're pulling off nutrition

that the tree actually needs to stash
away its roots over the colder season.

What's interesting is that sometimes,
depending on the use of the nitrates that

are still found in the ground, it can be
later in the season or later in the year,

and the trees will not wanna change color.

They will stay, still, stay green.

We'll still do it that way
just to make sure that we can

trigger the signal on the trees.



We've got an email from Tina.

Tina writes Susan Does Mr.

Rivera have a website?

Do you?

We currently don't have a website,
but we do have a Facebook page.

For the small operation that we run,
that's called Stone River Nursery.

So you can find that on Facebook and
you can also find those on Instagram.

So the Instagram page is a little
bit more active as of the time.

My spouse, who is my better half, is
the one that does all the updates, and

she takes videos of the fruits that
we are growing and make sure that we

can have chronological progression
of what's happening in our yard.

And it's incredible.

Sometimes when you see the pictures like
from one year ago to where we're at right

now, the changes are just incredible.

And I am so happy that we are able
to put that in a perspective for

different people because if we are able
to do it, then so can everybody else.

So there's nothing really
hard science that we're doing.

We're just applying some practices that
are scientifically based, but they're also

common sense and everybody can get them
done if they know where to go and just

to follow the guidance on how to do it.

That's great.


Thank you for the question.

That was fantastic.

Now, I know another passion of
yours is creating multi fru trees.

So that's about kicking
it up a notch here.

So here you are creating, using
grafting to create fruit trees that

can grow outside a climate zone that
you, that we think we can grow them.

I want to talk about fruit variety.


Trees where you can grow, I don't
know, apricots and plums and

cherries all on the same tree.

I'd love to do that after
the commercial break.

Can you hold on the
line just for a minute?

Absolutely Susan.

Okay, so that's what we're gonna do.

We are gonna dive into multi
fruit trees in just a minute.

But in the meantime, you are listening to
the Urban Forestry Radio Show and podcast,

brought to you by the Fruit Tree Care
training website, orchard

This is Reality Radio 1 0 1, and
I'm Susan Poizner, author of the

Fruit Tree Care Books, growing Urban
Orchards and Grow Fruit Trees Fast and

we'll be back right after the break.

Hi, I'm Susan Poizner
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Welcome back to the Urban Forestry
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Hi, there you are listening to
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This is Reality Radio 1 0 1, and
I'm your host, Susan Poisoner.

In the show, we've been talking about
the potential of fruit tree grafting,

and in the first part of the show we
talked about grafting apple trees that

can survive and thrive in Florida.

But one of the most exciting types of
grafting projects that we can do is

creating a fruit tree that can produce
multiple different kinds of fruits.

So for instance, on one tree you might
have peaches and apricots and plums

all growing together on a single tree.

So how do you do that?

We'll find out with my guest today
have your Rivera owner of Stone River

Nursery in central Florida, who is
also pursuing his PhD in Horticultural

Sciences at the University of Florida.

And by the way, anyone can
learn to graph fruit trees.

You can learn how in my new online
course Fruit Tree Grafting for

Everyone, which you can find on

But before we continue chatting
today, I want to hear from you.

If you're listening to this show live,
why not enter today's contest and you

can win this month's amazing prize.

It is color by Color Point
bypass Pro pruners by dram.

They're valued at $28 and 62 cents, and
the pruners come in six vibrant colors.

The winner of this month's contest will be
able to choose the color of their choice.

So why not enter the contest right now?

Just send us an email.

Send the email to intu 1 0 1 and include your question,

a comment, or just email us to say hi.

Be sure to include your first name
and where you're writing from.

So now back to Javier.

Are you still with me?

I'm still here with you.

That's great.

Okay, so next let's talk about
creating malf fruit trees with various

different types of fruit on one tree.

Can you tell me a story?

When did you start doing this stuff?


So I guess my first experience
getting the idea of what it would be

like was back in 2 20 14 when I got
my very first orchard established.

And that time it was only stone fruits and
different types of stone fruit hybrids.

As time went on, and I noticed that even
though I got flowers from these different

trees, I noticed that many of those
flowers that were supposed to produce

because the trees were considered self
fruitful, really didn't, and they needed

a pollination partner in order to produce.

Some of them, whether they're considered
self fruitful or not, will always do

better when you have a pollinator, a
pollinating variety, a colonizer, and

I think, wait a minute some folks have.

Multiple varieties of
fruit in a single tree.

And they have the multi grafted ones or
the fruit cocktails or the fruit salads.

There's different names for
them, so why can't we do this?

And of course, one impediment is
whether the variety that you want to

put on the tree is patented or not.

So we wanna respect the industry.

We wanna make sure that we are not
propagating varieties that are patented

cuz otherwise that would be infringement.

And we wanna make sure that the
folks that spend the time developing

those varieties have the respect,
have the income for the royalties

that they get from those patents.

So I don't do that, but any
material that the patent has

already expired or that is a variety
that has been for many years ago.

Heirlooms, all of those are fair game.

When I moved from my first
property where I established

the orchard, I had to sell it.

And then I bought my next property.

We started from scratch and I was
gonna start with stone fruits again.

But then my wife said, you know what
is one thing that we may want to do

that a lot of people aren't doing?

And we have tinkered with apples
before we've and that was something

that we started doing months
before we left the other property.

So my wife suggested, why
not do it with apples?

And for the most part, because that
would be something more exclusive.

Not a lot of people are doing
it and being smarter than me.

I was just like, okay, fine.

I will just go ahead and do it.

And that's how we started our own
Apple orchard slash investigation

slash research into everything
that we have developed into today.

So when I grafted multiple.

Varieties into one tree.

I wanted to make sure that I had
pollinating varieties or varieties that

when they wake up around the same time.

So when the bees visit the trees,
they can go from one flower type

to another flower type, and then
the pollen can be exchanged.

That in principle sounds
very straightforward.

For some reason, my experience has
been that the bees don't like to visit

those flowers, so I become the bee.

So I will take a small stemc cell
brush and then when I know that they

are flowers from different trees that
are coming on, I will go ahead and

move the pollen around and it works.

So it is it ideal?

No, but it's a way that we can have a
little bit of backup just in case that

you don't have the pollen exchange that
you would require for having fruit.

So let's, so we're starting off
with apples and you're creating,

you're putting on these different
cultivars of apples on one tree.

You're thinking, the
bees aren't cooperating.

So you go around with a paintbrush,
you dust the little open flowers

and you're moving the sort of the
pollen from one flower to the next.


So that's when you are doing
multi grafted apple trees.

What about stone fruit trees where
you have many different types of

stone fruits that wouldn't even
cross pollinate with each other?

Like you can't, you can have one tree
with plums and apricots on it, but those

plums and apricots won't cross pollinate.

It's interesting that you say that
because zer Genetics, which is a

company out in California I think
that they are located in Modesto.

They have created different hybrids of
stone fruits by crossing the pollen,

say from an apricot into a plum.

And then they can get either
an apron, they can get a plum

Cot, they can get a flu o.

And depends on the percentages
of the fruit resembling

either one of the parents.

So if it's more apricot
than plum, it's an apron.

If it's about the same,
it will be a plum cot.

If it's more of the
plum, it will be alu, ot.

It doesn't always happen, but that's
what they're dedicated into doing.

They're trying to find the best
attributes from different types of fruits.

And then those pollen crosses create
natural hybrids that will enhance

the fruit content of the crops.

And then they will have different
types of flavor profiles.

And I have tasted some of them.

They are amazing.

So it's really great.

That sounds great.

And so if you have like this, one
of these crosses in your orchard,

It will the pollen from like the,
a apron or whatever the, a plum.

Apricot plum can possibly crosspollinate
with your apricot cultivars.


Or with your plum cultivars.

Oh, boy.


That's amazing.



We have an interesting
question here from Spencer.

I'm listening from Kaysville, ut
Utah, I would like to know what

recommended combos are for multi
grafted horizontal cordon trees.

I would like to graft one row of
apple cultivar and then another row

of a complimentary apple cultivar
that will grow at the same rate.

As my first row, my horizontal cordon
trees will have three or four horizontal

rows, and I'm interested in having one
cultivar on the odd number horizontal

rows and a different cultivar on the
even numbered horizontal roads, any

perfect combos, so that even an odd
rose looks similar in growth rate.

Thanks, Spencer.


So basically Spencer is doing
some beautiful, interesting bolier

growing his fruit trees up a flat
two dimensionally against a fence.

He wants to intermesh these two varieties,
but he wants them to blossom at the

same time and grow at the same rate.

Any suggestions?

Okay L aside from the somewhat
complicated schematics one thing

that I could recommend is to make
sure that you become informed of the

varieties that grow in your area.

Because since you live in Utah and you
will get the cold, there's more likely

records by the county extensions promoted
by the universities that provide the

information to the rest of the state on
what cultivars grow at the same time.

So if you have like different
ones, that's how you want to do.

In order to ensure that they have the
same growth, they have to be planted in

an area where they're gonna receive equal
amounts of sunlight, that the ground is

gonna have the same type of composition,
and that the root stock that you're

using to propagate them is the same.

So the more equal you can create
the conditions for those cultivars.

The uniformity that you can provide,
then it's gonna work better for

the plants that you have laid out
in your question, saying, that's

a great answer, saying that.

However, I know that in our orchard we
have, for instance, liberty apple, oh my

gosh, that thing is so vigorous and grows
so quickly compared to, a rusted apple

tree that we have that is just, you could
sit there and watch it for a hundred years

and you'd see maybe an inch of growth.

So I guess you're right.

It's really about the research, but
I love how you say the most important

thing is to find out what thrives in
your community that is so important.

Got a couple of other
quick questions here.

One is from John from Toronto.

John says, hi Susan.

It's John just joined in listening
regarding triggering blooming.

Has our host ever triggered
blooming by scoring the trunk?

Of course, I have to ask.

I have not done it that way, so I'd
probably be afraid of doing that.

But that is something
that is applied in order.

It's one of the practices that
sometimes gets applied in order to

encourage production from fruit trees.

I haven't per, I haven't
personally done it.

The management that I provide is
simply defoliation at the specific

time of the year, and also providing
nutrition that's going to encourage

fruit production and root stability.

So when I use a fertilizer at ufs, a
fertilizer that's slightly lower in

nitrogen compared to phosphorus and
potassium, because the phosphorus

and potassium will trigger or help
with the production of flowers

rather than vegetative growth.

So if I get more vegetative growth,
I'm not getting as many flowers.

There's a competition.

Be between the resources of the tree.

What are we gonna use for
Vegeta vegetative growth?

What are we gonna use
for fruit production?

What are we gonna use as
research for the next year?

So this pie of sorts, it's getting split
into different parts, but I wanted more

dedicated to one particular mission.

And if it's gonna be for flowering and
fruit production, then I'm gonna feed

according to what I want the tree to do.

If I want the tree to grow
big, go with nitrogen.

If you want the tree to stay small, but
be a little bit more productive, switch

gears on the nitrogen and go a little
bit more on phosphorus and potassium.

That's again, a great answer because
I know John has been struggling with

his tree that just doesn't flower.

It's a tree, it's an heirloom,
and he's just so frustrated.

So maybe he's using too
much nitrogen, who knows?

It's awesome.

So John, yeah, I'm sure you'll get
back to us about that at some point.

We've got an email from
Dawn from Michigan.

Hi Susan.

Great subject today, backyard
Orchard culture and multi

graph trees are my favorites.

Thank you, Dawn.


Oh, and we have another email here.

Oh, also from John, we're hearing
back again from John in Toronto.

I, Susan, as your guest ever successfully
hand pollinated an apple Triplo.

Any advice?

Yeah, so it, it's a great question
and yes, because I have a few

trips in my collection of apples.

Probably the most The most productive
one of them is Bramley Seedling, which

is an apple variety from England.

If you ask any English person,
which is the pie apple that you

want to use, is gonna be bramleys a
beautiful tree, and it is a triploid.

So what happens is that
it's pollen sterile.

So the pollen due to the number of
chromosomes that it has, is not able

to pollinate itself and it's not
able to pollinate other varieties.

So you'll need pollen from a deployed
variety, and that's probably where the

majority of the apple trees are at.

So you'll take the pollen safe from a
Coxs orange Pippen, or see granny Smith.

You can take it from Gold Rush, any
variety that is deployed, and then you

can pollinate the flowers of the Brandley.

It will produce fruit and
currently we were successful.

It's just starting to wake up from
a few weeks ago and we have a few

fruit clusters already in development.

Oh, fantastic.

So back to, we were talking about multi
graft trees and we were talking about

stone fruit trees, and I know that
you do multi graph stone fruit trees.

What types, what type of root stock works,
works best for that purpose in order to

accommodate different types of fruit?

Okay, so in the industry, the one that
happens to be used the most is nemaguard.

So nemaguard is a peach seedling
because peach has great compatibility

with the majority of the stone fruits.

It's compatible with itself, is compatible
with nectarine, plums and apricots.

So it, it's very commonly used
for multiple grafted trees.

With my situation, it's.

Problematic because both properties that
I acquire here in the state of Florida,

they don't have the sandy soil that is
so famous in most of the households.

I have soil that is compacted that
when it rains in the summertime,

it's always soupy, it's always wet.

Petros do not like wet feet.

They will not tolerate
the excessive rainwater.

So if I do have something on nemaguard,
which absolutely I must have, I

will plant it in a raised bed.

But to go to the question, what do I
use because I have soil that is wet, the

plum rootstocks are more adaptable to
be planted in areas where the soil stays

moist for a prolonged period of time.

Things like my Roblan 29 C Mariana 26 24.

But then they don't have the
compatibility with say, like a peach

or an nectarine that you would like.

So there is one solution.

There is a root stop that
is known as citation.

It was developed in California
probably more than 20, 30 years ago.

The patent on it expired already.

And for plums and apricots, it's
good on its own, but for peaches

and nectarines, if it rains, it is
susceptible to transmitting viruses

and then the tr the case quickly.

Otherwise, it's a fantastic rootstock.

So if you live in an area where it's
not gonna be constantly moist by rain,

so the irrigation can be there, it
likes the irrigation, but it doesn't

like the water when it remains in
the soil for a long period of time.

So maybe we can take a cutting of
that citation, connect it with.

The plum rootstock, and it can
be connected because citation

is a plum peach hybrid.

So there is plum in the
genetics of the citation.

And then once that connection occurs,
you can graft a peach or nectarine

on top of the citation bridge, and
that's what's known as an inter stem.

And then you are able to create a
tree that has the plum root stock

that is resistant to the soil, and it
has the adaptability to connect with

the citation as part of that bridge.

So the citation.

Will impart properties that are positive
without having to mess with the roots.

So it will make it to have bigger fruit.

It will increase the sugar content
and it will be compatible with

the peach and the nectarine.

So that is magical.


That's incredible.

So essentially with this
interest stem, we are having

more than one graft on the tree.

It gives you the flexibility.

My question is, let's say I want
to create a tree using that system

with an interstem that has five
different types of fruit on it.

Do I, do you know, this spring
or whatever, do I do all

seven grafts at the same time?

I'm like, okay, I'm gonna
assemble a fruit tree.

I've got my root stock, and then I'm gonna
graft on the inter interstem and then

I think I'll graft on something else,
the my rebellion, and then I'm gonna

graft on five different types of fruit.

Can you assemble a tree
all in one shot like that?

Or is this a multi-year project
that you let each graft take?

See what happens, let it grow and
then continue grafting onto it.

I think that if you're trying to use
the inner stem to do multiple graphs

at the same time, it'll take you two
years because the first year you're

going to graft the inter stem as if
it was just a regular scion, and then

you're gonna let that inter interst
stem grow and develop branches.

So those branches are gonna develop
for a full year, and then when the

next winter comes, then you're going
to select the branches that you want

to keep, and then you can graph science
onto those branches in order to create

the multicrafted tree that you desired.

And they are great
advantages in doing that.

For example, for folks that are
short on space, having multiple

varieties in one single tree, it's
going to solve problems of spacing.

It's also gonna give you.

An extended harvest or what's known
as successive ripening because you're

gonna have things that are gonna be
ready at different times of the year.

So instead of getting fruit two to three
weeks at a time, and then that's it.

You can have a tree that can give
you fruit possibly for months.

So it's great.

You're gonna have different varieties
or different types of fruits.

So you can have apricot, you can
have nectarine, you can have peach,

you can have plum, you can have pout
all in one tree, which is fantastic.

So it's conversation maker of sorts.

So there are many advantages, but
there's also things to watch out

for when you have multiple grafted
trees, just like with everything.

And when you mention the situation
with the liberty, which grows like

a weed, and then you have the other
apple that grows very little when you

have multiple grafts in the same tree.

One or a few varieties will want
to take over the tree and then

they will shade out the rest.

So when they are growing more vigorously
than the others, is your job to prune

them accordingly, to keep them in
check with the rest of the varieties.

So there isn't really like a
domination or an overtake of one

variety compared to the rest.

However, in reality, there are times
when you buy a multiple grafted

tree, say from a nursery or from
a maor place, that when it arrives

it will have a few thick branches.

And then a couple of them
will be like CUNY or thin.

And if that is the case, when you're
planting your tree in the ground, you want

to orient the tree with the section that
has the smaller or the punier branches

facing the south or the southwest.

And the reason you do that is
because you want them to catch up.

And facing in that orientation will
allow them to receive the maximum

solar exposure, so they will get
those nutrients, and then eventually

they will catch up to the other
varieties that are more vigorous.

So those are important things
to watch out for when dealing

with multiple grafted trees.

Something that I'd love to add because
I have a little bit of a pet peeve

for purchased multi graft trees.

What I find is that they're really not
designed for people to graft the nut

graft to prune these trees correctly.

So if you know how, if you know have
some skills in fruit tree grafting, you

will be able to choose a better tree
or better yet, graft your own tree.

Fruit tree grafting is incredibly
important to keep your tree

healthy and productive.

But if you don't know how to do it, you
may get a tree and you're like, oh my

gosh, how do I prune this now so people
can learn Grafting it orchard

I've got courses on it
and articles and stuff.

We have a few quick emails will go through
cuz believe it or not, we're coming up

to the end of the show, so let's see.

I know it's crazy.

I know.

It's crazy.

It happens just like that.

You're so interesting.

That's why.


Okay, so Hi Susan and Javier.

I am so impressed by this concept.

I'm sorry if I missed this at
the beginning, but how did Javier

get into this research and work?

And this is thanks from Olivia and your
friends from Fort Ha Spirits in Brooklyn.


So quick, how did you get into this?

Just watching videos and just
seeing, wow, I, I wanna have

what they are doing right there.

So I'll just learn and just watch a few
things, get, some material where you

can practice and practice makes perfect.

Protect yourself at all times.

Grafting knives are sharp, so having
an instrument like, like a cutout

board where if you're doing insertions
or where you're doing the cut on a

rootstock so that your hae is protected
in case that your knife slips.

That's really important.

Make sure that you're getting
the right instruments.

Sometimes you can get by with
what you have at your house, but

there's a reason why materials are
specialized because they are designed

to let people take advantage of.

What they're trying to do with
grafting and the quality is great.

They're gonna last for a very long time.

So just gonna watch
some videos on YouTube.

Do a little bit of research from local
universities and also from farmers around

the area that might do that type of work.

And the more that you can learn
and gather, you are gonna become

like a more informed consumer
and, enjoy more of what you do.

I really think having, being new to
grafting and I'm so passionate and excited

about it, I think everybody who grows
fruit trees should know how to do it.

Seriously, if you have a fruit tree
in the back in your backyard already,

there is no reason why you shouldn't
have grafted branches on it with

different types of compatible fruit.

Okay, we've got an email here from
John, our buddy John, again in Toronto.

Thanks for the advice on favoring
phosphorus and potassium over

nitrogen to encourage fruiting.

Very helpful.

That's from John.

Now, let's see, we've
got an email from Oscar.

Hey, Susan.

Oscar from New York here.

Just writing to say hi.

Very interesting show today.

Thank you, Oscar.

And who do we have here?

Elaine writes, aha.

Elaine writes, why don't you just use
super dwarf, high density planting?

In the case of multiple
Apple, apple varieties.

Good question from Elaine.

So why, rather than grafting,
why don't you just get a lot of

little super dwarf trees instead?


I think that one thing that people
commonly misunderstand about rootstocks

is the actual size of them will they
be like dwarf, semi dwarf or standard.

And one of the things that I learned
from the great Tom Spelman of Dave Wilson

nursery, and it's absolutely true, both
in practice and in theory, is that you

don't wanna choose a rootstock because
it's dwarf, semi dwarf or standard.

You wanna choose your rootstocks
for the adaptability to your

climate and to your soil.

So those are the considerations.

If I choose a dwarf tree, it
might be dwarf, but it might

be susceptible to fire blight.

So I am dedicating all this time.

Getting a dwarf tree in the ground,
couple years it's producing yay.

And all of a sudden a bad
summer that's really rainy.

It develops fire blight and
then the trees are decimated

and then I'm crying about it.

I would cry.

So I would rather choose a rootstock and
varieties that are gonna be susceptible

to that fire blight and then I can
control the size myself by bruny.

So that would be per, that
would not get fire blight.

Yeah, absolutely.



That makes sense.

Okay, it's time for us to
find out who won the contest.


So Gary, are you gonna help us with this?

I am going to help you.

Now what I have Javier, we, I have.

All those names that wrote in into a
little bucket, I'm gonna shake the bucket.

You'll be able to hear that.

And you tell me when to stop.

And then what I will do is
pull out that piece of paper.

Now we have a studio audience.

They're very excited about this.

I'm trying to control them,
but we'll see what happens.

Are you ready?


Oh, here we go right now.

All right, let's pull this guy
out and we will see who this is.

And it looks like the winner
is, Oscar of New York.

It looks like.


Down people Down.

Take it easy.

Oscar of New York is
the winner of the prize.

Thank you.


That studio audience, I'll tell you, they
really get excited with these contests.

It's amazing, isn't it?

Oh my goodness.

So the prize that Oscar is getting
lucky Oscar, I wish I could

put my own name for this prize.

I want one of these bypass pro pruners.

So it's a color point
bypass pro pruner from Dr.

Valued at $28 coming
in six vibrant colors.

I would, if I could choose, I would
maybe choose blue or purple or something.

Oh, I can't have it.

It's Oscar's.

Oh and you can't have it either.

I'm sorry, Jer.

So it's not ours.

It's Oscar.

I know you're crying.

That's okay.

So we have our winner.

We will reach out to Oscar to get
his address and send him that.


So thank you so much, Javier,
for coming on the show.

Like what?

Fun to talk to you.

Great to be here anytime.


And I'd look forward to
checking out your Facebook page.

I'm not on Instagram yet, probably
never will be, but you never know.

It's okay.

I get very overwhelmed by social media.

But thank you for coming on this show
and we will get you back someday to talk

about your project and how things go.


I'm looking forward to the opportunity.

All right, so if you want to learn more
about today's topic and see visuals soon,

in the next few days, I will have the
video version of this show ready for you.

So you'll be able to see
the two of us chatting.

But not only that, there will be
photographs and little bits of video so

that you can really get a full experience
of the learning that you had in this show.

If you wanna do that, if you wanna see the
video or other episodes you can do, you

can go to Orchard People's YouTube channel
and find all the videos available there.

Now if you wanna learn how to graph
fruit trees, if you're ready to

do this, I'm ready to teach you.

Go to orchard,
click on courses.

There is a wonderful course that
I worked on with Steph Roth of

Silver Creek Nursery, and we
will teach you how to do this.

You can do this.

I can do this, we can all do this.

If you want to listen to this podcast
again or download previous episodes,

go to orchard

And that's all for now.

We've got another great
show coming up next month.

I know what the topic is.

It's gonna be fun and hopefully you will
tune in again next month to the live show.

Thanks for tuning in everybody,
and I'll see you next time.

Bye for now.

Creators and Guests

Susan Poizner
Susan Poizner
Author, fruit tree educator, and Creator of the award-winning fruit tree care education website
Multi-Fruit Trees with Javier Rivera
Broadcast by