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 grafting kiwis 
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post grafting kiwis
Viron, in response to your question, I have grafted many kiwis this year after checking on the web last year to make sure that it was doable.

My motivation was varied. I had several male hardy kiwis that I had propagated as cuttings from my "mother plant" over the years as a process of pruning. I had been pollinating successfully with an artist's paint brush, due to kiwis apparently unattractive pollen. I thought it would be easier and more effective for bees if they were on the same plant. I had had problems growing fuzzy kiwi from cuttings, and I had had some die.

I had also heard that a fuzzy kiwi plant takes many, many years to bear fruit. It apparently often breaks the trellis you build for it, and then you get 300 pounds of fruit. I don't need to eat that much. To tell you the truth I should probably lose a few pounds. By grafting fuzzy on hardy, I can get a smaller plant that comes to fruit earlier and is hardier. I also wanted to get several varieties of kiwi . There are approximately 125 varieties of edible kiwi.

I have grafted several kiwis. I grafted 2 types of fuzzy onto the hardy and they both took. I also grafted on Ken's red, which is a different species of hardy kiwi. I also grafted ANNA female kiwi, so I have a variety. Even one of the ones that was bleeding excessively took, which pleased me. The vast majority have clearly already taken, although there were a few of each kind that have not taken yet and may not take. I have seven plants of hardy kiwi, but I plan to take at least one to school for the school garden of which I am in charge.

I also think that in this day and age, not everyone lives on a farm in the Willamette Valley. More and more fruit enthusiasts will live on small lots with large houses, and so will probably want to take up only a little space. I am fired up to see how they will grow. I will keep you informed on this and I plan to write another article in a few months for the Pome News about my experiments with grafting, volume two.
john S.

Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:59 pm

Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1188
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
John, thanks for answering - I am fascinated! But afraid my questions might preempt your next article..? I'm surprised anyone buys Hardy Kiwi, they're so easy to start from pruned cuttings... And come to think of it, I'm not sure if I know anyone who's started a Fuzzy that way? So, you're using hardy K’s as dwarfing rootstock for the Fuzzy's, with the size limiting effects, as well as earlier ripening characteristics (like "It feels like I’m gonna die - so I'd better hurry up and make some seed!) of restricting rootstock..?

I’m glad you mentioned smaller yards, if larger, more shading houses. Both Fuzzy and Hardy Kiwi should work wonderful with their roots and 'trunks' shaded by a deck, and their fruiting tendrils trained over a handsome trellis. Shade would conserve the moisture around their mulch-loving roots, and perhaps retard their tendency to send up sap with late winter sun directly on their trunks ... whereas you could train the upper vine in any direction, utilizing a sunny spot to its fullest. I haven't always lived with acreage... I grew up between houses in Portland, where my Dad kept bees in our tiny back yard!

Your 'experiments' may be cutting edge, or not, but they're the first I've heard of this grafted combo. I've had my Fuzzy's around 8 years, and don't remember how long until they fruited, but don't think it was over 3 or 4 years - which is sooner than some apples. As I'd read the same about them 'taking over' - and setting hundreds of pounds of fruit :shock: -- not if you stay on them! It took awhile, likely due to such conflicting recommendations, to figure out their care, but I've since learned their ways. And much of what I read turned out to be wrong.

What I've learned about Fuzzy Kiwi is to leave their established fruit producing 'vines,' selectively (if occasionally) 'replacing' a couple with a well placed (8 foot long) 'sprout.' They develop what I'd best describe as 'fruit spurs,' and will set fruit from the same set of spurs year after year. As far as those “hundreds of pounds of fruit”... thin it! And just like an apple tree, some years the set is too much, some too little, and like last year (for me) – just right!

I'd mentioned transplanting an Anna Hardy from my Uncle this winter; it's looking great. It will be competing with a start of the same he'd given me a couple years ago that's not near as large... sooo, with your experience in grafting them, I may use it as 'rootstock' for... a Ken's red..? Anyway, I hope you describe the time of year, type of grafts, and any quirks you’ve discovered ... or can I simply search "grafting Kiwi" and find more-than-I-can-digest on the subject..? ...I think I'll wait for you!

Temperate Orchard Convservancy:

Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:40 pm

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post kiwi grafting
Sorry, I tried to respond a few days ago but it looks like it didn't "take".

All of the grafts were tongue and groove, done in the Spring.
I tried to time the graft to get it just before the tree buds out, so it is different for quince, flowering quince, hawthorne, medlar, apple, aronia, shipova, etc.

The other reasons to graft fuzzy kiwi onto hardy kiwi is because it is hardier, and because it makes a smaller plant. For most people, they have limited space period.

Most of the plants took, and it looks like they are really taking for good. I'll leave the final results for The POME NEWS article> .
John S

Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:13 pm
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