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NMSU offers fruit tree grafting workshops

New Mexico

Grafting various cultivars to a fruit tree with a good root system can provide a wide variety of growing options.

"A homeowner might only have one apple or peach tree, but they can have different kinds of apples or peaches in their backyard orchard," said Shengrui Yao, New Mexico State University Extension fruit specialist. "They can accomplish this by grafting different cultivars to an established fruit tree."

Other benefits of grafting fruit trees include changing the tree's fruit variety, keeping an heirloom family apple alive, or establishing a pollination branch on a solitary apple tree to provide pollen for the blossoms.

Yao will explain the techniques for grafting fruit trees during two workshops: July 26 at the Santa Fe County Extension office and July 27 at NMSU's Sustainable Agriculture Science Center in Alcalde. Both workshops will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Each workshop will include a 30-minute presentation and an hour of hands-on experience. Participants are asked to bring a small sharp knife or grafting knife to participate in the hands-on activities.

The events are being hosted by the Alcalde science center and the Santa Fe County and Rio Arriba County Extension offices.

Space is limited to 20 participants at each location. For additional information or to register for the Alcalde workshop, contact Yao at 505-852-4241 or Tony Valdez, Rio Arriba County Extension agricultural agent, at 505-685-4523.. For the Santa Fe workshop, contact Yao or Pat Torres, Santa Fe County Extension agricultural agent, at 505-471-4711.

The Santa Fe County Extension office is located at 3229 Rodeo Road, Santa Fe. The Alcalde agricultural science center is north of Espanola off NM 68 at 371 County Road 40 in Alcalde.

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