Hands cutting into apple wood for grafting

Learn how to graft apple trees with the owners of St. Lawrence Nurseries.


Grafting apple trees, a hands-on workshop

  • Saturday, March 16, 2024, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Have you ever found an apple you love; whether it's perfect for cidermaking, delicious to eat off the tree, or special just because it was the apple tree growing in your grandmother’s yard? If you planted a seed from one of those apples, you wouldn’t end up with the same fruit. Just like you are not an exact clone of either of your parents, a seed will not produce a tree identical to the one it came from. To get your favorite apple again, you can graft it!

All the apples, pears, and plum trees grown at St. Lawrence Nurseries (SLN) are propagated by grafting: the process of joining a scion (which becomes the fruiting part, or top of the tree) to a rootstock (which becomes the root of the tree). Grafting allows the two parts to grow together and function as a single plant. Although the rootstock does have an influence on the ultimate size and hardiness of the tree, the scion alone determines what kind of fruit the tree will yield. Grafting is a great way to ensure you will continue to get the same kind of fruit over and over again, which is why SLN uses this method to preserve all 200+ varieties of apples they sell.

Connor Hardiman started working at St. Lawrence Nurseries in 2010, under the previous owners, Bill and Di MacKentley. Connor learned to graft from Bill, just as Bill had once learned it from the nursery’s founder, Fred Ashworth, in the 1970’s. Connor has owned the nursery since 2015.

In this workshop, participants will learn about the grafting process, graft their own apples, and take home several trees to plant in the spring!

Participants are encouraged, but not required, to bring:

  • their own scion wood (think back to your favorite apples!)
  • pruners
  • a utility knife

SLN will provide scion wood as well - the cold-hardy antonovka rootstock - to graft onto, and the other tools needed to complete the process.

*Note, the inclement weather date will be 3/23






Erica LaFountain
Community Horticulture Educator
315-379-9192 ext 240


Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County
2043B State Highway 68
Canton, NY 13617

Last updated January 4, 2024