Fruit Tree Grafting Description
Tree grafting is a fairly simple procedure that can transform fruit trees that aren’t producing fruit, into trees that provide an abundance of varieties. The process of grafting a tree involves cutting a small slit on a branch that has been cut previously, and inserting a small branch from the same type of fruit tree in the slit (Crasweller, 2005). If the tree accepts the branch successfully, the branch will grow into a fruit-baring portion of the tree. This procedure is relatively quick to set up and requires only a few tools and materials that are reasonably cheap (Crasweller, 2005). The branch can have multiple grafts on it and they may bare different fruits as long as they are from the same family of tree. For example, on an orange tree, limes, lemons and other oranges can be grafted onto it since they are all in the citrus family.
Where to Graft Trees
Grafts can be done on any fruit tree that is alive in any environment. It should also be noted that the tree being grafted does not have to be baring fruit at the time it is being grafted. The grafts can be put on a tree that no longer produces fruit and the branch that is grafted onto the tree will still bare its own fruit from that branch. The specific tools can be found in stores in Canada and online. The majority of the tools can be bought in countries in Asia such as China. Alternative tools that are only produced in Canada can be purchased and shipped anywhere. It will be easiest if the trees that are being grafted are on more planar lands.
Machinery and Cost
The tools required for tree grafting are a knife, tape and grafting wax. String can also help the plant bind but is not necessary for success. Grafting knives can be purchased at $0.20 -$0.50 CAN each when buying a minimum of 1000 knives (alibaba 2014). This would be a total cost of $500.00CAN for 1000. Grafting tape is available at $0.15CAN per roll when buying minimum of 2000 rolls (alibaba 2014). The total cost of the tape is $300.00CAN for 200 rolls. String costs $2.00CAN per kg when ordering a minimum of 1000kg (alibaba 2014). The total cost of 1000kg of string is $2000.00CAN. Grafting wax is only available to buy in Canada or the United States and is $7.49USD for a half lb. (Agriculture Solutions 2014). A starter package for each farmer including one of each item would only cost them $10.15CAN plus the cost of the Canadian trainer which would be a one time fee.
Labor Required and Cost
If farmers began training workers to graft trees then workers would have more work duties in a day. In tree grafting, minimal labor is required. This means that a farmer, if needed may employ workers to graft trees. These workers could be paid minimum wage, keeping the costs low for the farmers. The procedure does not take long to do so the workers (if hired) would not be required to stay for a lot longer, thus keeping the costs down for farmers. The employee requires minimal training, this may be taught by the farmer. There does not have to be safety training provided. Since this work involves the usage of knives it would be recommended that the workers receive some form of safety training. If the farm workers already have been working with knives and have already received safety training, further training may not be necessary.
The input cost for tree grafting is relatively low. There should be existing trees to be grafted; using these trees would be must faster and efficient than planting new ones to graft. Tools required have to be purchased, but only cost approximately $10CAN for one of each tool. Human labor costs are another input by the farmer, this is, if they choose to hire. Another input would be safety-training costs if needed. Finally, hiring Canadians for the one time fee to train them is one last input.
Health and Nutritional Information
The health benefits of grafting would be an increase in the volume of fruits produced. Unfortunately, tree grafting does not improve the quality of the fruits grown. Natural selection can be used when picking out the branches to use. If the farmer chooses branches from the trees that bare better fruits, then when the branch is grafted, the fruits will yield better quality. This way the farmers will be selecting for better genetics. The better the fruits they produce are, the more they will sell.
There are no clear constraints on the property if a farmer in wants to graft his trees. They are not cutting down any trees nor planting new ones, but simply adding branches to existing trees. It does not have a negative affect on neighboring properties. There are no harms to the environment when grafting trees. The farmers also do not need access to any breeders’ varieties to do this.
An increase in fruit production will help the economy. Increasing the volume of fruits would result in an increase in sales. When they have enough products to feed themselves and then sell, they can lower the cost to consumers. There could also be more processed foods being made from the excess fruit. This includes desserts and dried fruits. Any processing companies wanting to buy fruits from them will most likely want them in bulk. If the farmers can keep up to the demand, then they will prosper and build a relationship with larger companies. Grafting trees would positively impact fruit production for farmers. Since this trade idea originated from Canada, some farmers will appreciate this and want to build a relationship for fruit trade with Canada also.
Benefits to Canada
Grafting fruit trees could have benefits for the Canadian economy. Canada could choose to buy fruit from these countries. Buying fruit from them could have a reduced cost benefit since Canadians assisted them to increase their fruit production. Canadian candidates would have to travel to train and educate the farmers in grafting. Since grafting is a new concept for some farmers, they would need to be educated on how grafting is done. The Canadian candidates will have to make starter packages for grafting and host the conference for farmers. The starter packages would include 1 of each of the required tools. This would be enough for the farmers to make more than 20 grafts. The only product that needs to be purchased from Canada is the grafting wax. All other tools required to graft trees are available in asian countries.
Environmental Sustainability in Growth
If the farmers choose to continue grafting trees once they have started, they can always grow more trees and graft them too. When they expand the number of trees they can also hire more workers to do this. At first, the farmers themselves may initiate the grafting concept and then, if successful, they could begin hiring more workers as production increases. With an increase in the quantity of fruit produced, they would have larger profits than ever before. The farmers will eventually buy and expand more land and have trees and other crops on that land. Realistically, it would be more economic to purchase tools and materials for grafting from within Asia. These tools would cost less than ones imported from Canada. Regardless of where the tools are purchased, Canadians are still needed for this trade.
Crasweller, R. M. (2005). Grafting and Propagating Fruit Trees Introduction, types of budding or grafting. PA: The Pennsylvania State University.
Alibaba 2014. Available from: http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Made-in-China-stainless-Steel-knife_50000217888.html [accessed nov 18 2014]
Alibaba 2014. Available from: http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/all-types-of-agriculture-polypropylene-string_1575388837.html?s=p [accessed nov 18 2014]
Alibaba 2014. Available from: http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Water-proof-good-quality-grafting-tape_1898392450.html?s=p [accessed nov 18 2014]
Agriculture Solutions 2014. Available from: http://www.agriculturesolutions.com/products/growing-and-propagating/grafting-supplies?gclid=CO2Q2tfpjsICFQYvaQodm1oAgA