Sunday, April 01, 2012


Successful graft of Meyer Lemon to Anna Apple.

They said it couldn't be done ... heck, I said it couldn't be done.

But, I did it anyway.

If you are familiar with grafting, in which a living twig from one variety of plant is grafted to another, different variety, you know that the process is tricky enough with similar plants, but next to impossible outside of the "family tree".

Here in Florida for example, almost all of our nursery grown citrus trees are grafted plants. At the citrus nursery, they graft twigs from known and desired varieties of citrus to sour orange rootstock.
The sour orange tree is almost bulletproof when it comes to diseases in the soil, drought, and even cold weather. The more delicate, but tastier citrus variety is surgically grafted to the sour orange stump and the two become one.

Generally crossing the family tree barrier is an EPIC FAIL.
That is why I can go out and buy a lemon-lime tree that has lemon twigs grafted to a lime tree, or vis versa, but I can't go buy a mango-peach tree.

The difference is just too great genetically.

Of course the thing about "the impossible" is, well, it's just so dang challenging.

So this winter, I tried the impossible.

And I failed, over and over again.

But, you know, sometimes it's that last turn of the wrench that loosens the rusted bolt.

For me, it was the 30th grafted twig that did the impossible.

29 withered and died, but one, the one you see in the picture above ... well, it took!

In my backyard, I now have a twenty year old Anna apple tree that is not only producing apples, but it also has one branch that is producing Meyer lemons. I chose the Meyer variety because it is a very cold hardy lemon.

So, now on this single tree, I can look forward to picking both lemons and apples later this year!
Not only do I get 2 crops in half the yard space, but there is an obvious advantage that every cook out there has probably already thought of.

Every cook knows that a little lemon juice sprinkled on sliced apples will keep them from turning brown, but how often have you sliced apples for some dish and then realized, "Uh oh lemons."

That problem has been solved here at Pure Florida.


tai haku said...

Oh wow FC, the odds of an inter-generic graft like that taking hold must be ridiculously long - you're probably more likely to have a meteorite strike PFHQ than get one of those to grow! Well done!

threecollie said...

FC, you are a truly amazing man! And a very happy April 1st to you too.

robin andrea said...

I was hoping you would have something FANTASTIC here, and you do! An amazing accomplishment on the 1st of April! Congratulations.

Caroline said...

Hmmm, apple-lemonade on an April Day??

jojo said...

I want a lemapple. please! My my you never disappoint!!!

Sayre said...

Dang. I forgot what day it was. You got me. So did George Takei. I must be the world's best straight man.

Island Rider said...

Happy April 1st!

Floridaze said...

Hee Hee...I knew you'd be fun to follow! Happy April Fools Day...hey I received a lime tree from my sister today...too bad I already planted it...I want some lipples!

Deb said...

Good one FC! I look forward to your post on this date every year. Happy belated birthday to Emma!

Thunder said...

Nice! I like the apple pie idea! By the way did you see what happened up our way?

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

Jeez, I forgot what day it was. I almost sent this link to another blogger who homeschools. I would have been the fool because she would have caught it!!

Thanks for the smile!!


Pablo said...

You continue to amaze me!

Prem Subrahmanyam said...

I liked the pseudo-meteorite strike better.

Floridacracker said...

Oh my, is it April already?

Robert Sobczak said...

Wonder how they'll taste?

Ericka said...

epic! congratulations!

Anonymous said...

question this experience? benefit to nature? birds, bees, butterflies, etcetera., natures natural pollinaters., considerations their benefit in circle of natures life?

Tree Removal Queens said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing!