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Fruits, Nuts, and Legumes for a Self Sufficient Farm

Perennial fruits, nuts, and legumes that are appropriate for self-sufficiency in temperate climates must be the most disease resistant and well adapted to the soil and climate. The varieties recommended below, partially sacrifice some flavor in order to increase the chances of crop consistency. High nutrient levels were also of primary importance in these variety selections. The key to growing healthy fruit, nut, and legume trees and vines is to not over improve your soil or over water. If the plants grow slowly, they will have more dense wood, and therefore be more disease and stress resistant.

American Grape Overview
Grape Varieties
Grape Pruning and Training
Grape Diseases
Grape Management
Apples
Cherries
Mulberry
Seaberry
Rose Hips
Other Fruits
Nuts
Legumes
Planting & Grafting
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American Grape Overview:

 
(Vitis labrusca, riparia, rupestris, aestivalis, lincecumii, 
and rotundifolia):
(Point of origin: the Americas)
    Nutrition: 
          Grapes contain many antioxidants:
          resveratrol, phenolics, flavinoids, anthocyanins, 
          and quercitin are also anti-inflammatory.
          Catechins are beneficial to the brain.
          The leaves are rich in pterostilbene.
          Therapeutic potential of resveratrol
    Maximizing Nutrition:
          Until skin, seed, and pulp of every variety is tested for 
          every combination of climate, soil, and management techniques, 
          we can only make general statements about which varieties 
          are highest in resveratrol, anthocyanins, catechins, 
          quercitin, phenolics, flavinoids, etc.

          While white / green grapes contain some of these compounds, 
          many red grapes appear to contain most of them. 
          Seeded grapes tend to contain more of these compounds than 
          seedless.

          Unfortunately, it gets more complex. When specific varieties
          have been tested and ranked for cancer 
          anti-proliferation properties, white / green grapes were
          half of the top rated varieties. While white / green grapes 
          are lower in anthocyanins, they are often as rich in some of
          these other compounds. The best course may be to get a balance 
          of each type. Especially those with parentage from riparia or 
          one of the other nutritionally highly rated grape varieties.  

          Resveratrol is a natural fungicide and tends to be 
          produced more in grapes grown in a wet climate.
 
          Resveratrol and other flavinoid production is also 
          increased due to moderate exposure to UV radiation 
          and other stressors such as cold temperatures and 
          wind. The same grape variety may be low in resveratrol 
          in one climate but high in another climate. 
          And as our analysis techniques have improved, we 
          have discovered that many varieties we thought were 
          high in resveratrol actually have very little;
          such as Concord.

          Resveratrol across grape varieties
          Resveratrol in riparia and vinifera

    Selection Criteria: 
          European grapes tend to have the best flavor (Vitis vinifera), 
          but are more vulnerable to disease. It is exceptionally
          difficult to grow them organically.
          American grapes tend to have the best disease resistance.
          Hybrids come close to providing the best of both worlds.
          Many of them have good disease resistance and improved
          flavor. Unfortunately, wine made from them does not usually 
          age well. They are more appropriate for young wine, table, 
          juice, jelly, raison, etc.

          There are some remaining fairly disease resistant hybrid 
          varieties not shown here, but they must be grown in a dry 
          environment and/or sprayed intensively. 
          (Such as Alwood, Frontenac, Sunbelt, Concord, Glenora, 
          King of the North, Valiant, Worden, Buffalo, Sheridan, 
          Petite Amie, etc.)

          Some of the few hybrid varieties that can be grown 
          organically with little or no spraying are listed below.

    Cultivation: 

          Labrusca type grapes may have a hard time ripening
          evenly in warmer climates.
          Extremely micorrhizal dependent.
          Fungal colonies in grapes
          Grapes switch to ectomycorrhizal fungus

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Grape Varieties:

******* High rainfall grapes: Beta (Vitis labrusca X Vitis riparia X Vitis vinifera) - zone 4 blue slipskin, small, tart, acidic very strong disease resistance Ripens early. Drooping growth habit. Source: St. Lawrence Oberlin Noir (Vitis riparia X Vitis vinifera) - zone 5 blue, black, tannic flavor, young wine very strong disease resistance. Ripens early Upright growth habit. Source: Double A Vineyards Medium rainfall grapes: Marquette (Vitis vinifera X Vitis riparia X Vitis labrusca) - zone 3 deep red hybrid young wine grape, acidic has a low susceptibility to most grape diseases. Ripens early. Distant relation to Pinot Noir. Versatile growth habit. Source: Double A Vineyards Trollhaugen (Vitis labrusca X Vitis riparia) - zone 4 blue, seedless, berries susceptible to cracking very strong disease resistance mild concord flavor. Ripens early. Drooping growth habit. Source: High Country Gardens, Dominion Seed House, The Plant Scapers Louise Swenson (Vitis vinifera X Vitis riparia X Vitis labrusca) - zone 4 white young wine grape, muscat parentage has a low susceptibility to most grape diseases. Late bloom, not drought tolerant Drooping growth habit. Source: Double A Vineyards Skujinsh (Vitis vinifera X Vitis amurensis X Vitis riparia X Vitis labrusca) - zone 4 white young wine grape, muscat parentage has a low susceptibility to most grape diseases. Upright growth habit. Source: Double A Vineyards Bluebell (Vitis labrusca X Vitis vinifera) - zone 4 blue concord type, moderate flavor. has a low susceptibility to most grape diseases. Ripens early. Drooping growth habit. Source: St. Lawrence Veeblanc (V. vinifera X V. rupestris X V. lincecumii X V. Labrusca ) - zone 5 white young wine grape or table grape has a low susceptibility to most grape diseases. Vulnerable to wind damage. Semi-upright growth habit. Source: Red Dog Vineyards America (Vitis lincecumii X Vitis rupestris) - zone 5 dark blue, pleasant flavor better in warmer regions, Pierce's Disease resistant. has a low susceptibility to most grape diseases. black rot resistant. requires a second variety for pollination. Ripens midseason. Drought tolerant. V. lincecumii is sometimes considered a subspecies of V. aestivalis. Parentage from V. rupestris gives easy rooting of dormant cuttings. Drooping growth habit. SOURCES: Double A Vineyards, Bunch Grapes.com Mars (Vitis Labrusca X Vitis vinifera) - zone 5 purple/blue concord type seedless, moderate flavor has a low susceptibility to most grape diseases. Ripens midseason. Drooping growth habit. Source: Raintree Schuyler (Vitis labrusca X Vitis vinifera) - zone 6 dark blue, fresh eating only slightly susceptible to most grape diseases black rot resistant uneven ripening so better for fresh eating Ripens late midseason. Drooping growth habit. Source: Double A Vineyards, Bunch Grapes.com Norton (Vitis aestivalis X Vitis vinifera X Vitis labrusca) - zone 6 blue red hybrid young wine grape very flavorful, low yield good disease resistance except moderate susceptibility to mildew. Woody cuttings with Vitis aestivalis parentage tend to be difficult to root. Use layering to root. Ripens late season. Drooping growth habit. Source: Ripley County Farms ********************************************** Muscadine Grape (Vitis rotundifolia): (Point of origin: the Americas) Nutrition: red carlos type Most are self fertile but not all, zone 6 Resveratrol is only in the seed. Use top wire or GDC. Muscadine Grapes - no resveratrol in skins Noble (Vitis rotundifolia) - Self fertile, red University of Georgia - Noble grape *************************************************** Variety links: Iowa State - cold climate grapes Ohio State University - grape production University of Illinois Minnesota Grape Growers University of Utah - American Grapes Oklahoma State - varieties Washington State - cold climate varieties *****************************************************

Grape Pruning and Training:

Cane Pruning: An argument can be made to do everything with cane pruning, especially in cool climates. The major advantage is less disease pressure after 10 years of growth. Linden Vineyards - cane pruning reduces disease University of Vermont - cane pruning helps control disease ***************************************************** Fruitful node locations: U.C. Davis - cane pruning, bud position Cornell - bud position & fruitfulness ***************************************************** Cane pruning examples: Dave Wilson - cane pruning Michael Neal - Cane pruning UC Davis - do not prune until early spring Even the trunks can be refreshed every 10 years if necessary. A sucker can be allowed to grow into a second trunk. The primary is removed only after the secondary is mature. Land Grant University - suckers ***************************************************** Discussion of other training and pruning subjects: Iowa State - root formation University of Tenn - trunk renewal, layering *****************************************************

Grape Diseases:

Even the American varieties can eventually succumb to the phylloxera insect. Test Results Historical Results For the average home gardener, they will last plenty long enough. But, for the best long term results when growing these high resveratrol grapes in cool climates, graft the hybrid varieties onto hybrid rootstock that is appropriate for your area. Oklahoma State - grape rootstocks Northwest Berry and Grape - rootstocks Missouri State - rootstocks South Australian - rootstocks Kentucky State - rootstocks *************************************************** Disease links: ATTRA - Grape Management Phylloxera Predators Grape IPM *****************************************************

Grape Management:

Grazing sheep in the vineyard: When using sheep to maintain the cover between rows, it is critical to at least remove the adult sheep once veraison begins. Young sheep do a better job of eating fallen fruit without getting up in the branches. Baby Doll Sheep Southdown Olde English Baby Doll Registry Southdown Baby Doll Registry *************************************************** Bird Netting: Displaying dead birds throughout the orchard / vineyard is a long standing practice for controlling birds. Bird-b-Gone University of New Hampshire - tightrope **************************************************** Pollination: Grapes are self-fertile but still have evolutionary insect attractors Grape breeding through pollination control U.C. Davis - flower development *****************************************************

Apples:

(Malus pumila) - (Point of origin: Asia and Europe)

The varieties listed here are some of the most disease resistant and long lived available. They are ideal for a low input organic orchard where the goal is apples for pie fillings, dried apples, sauce, cider, etc.

     Nutrition: Quercetin (yellow skin exposed to sun)
                Anthocyanin ( red skin exposed to sun )
                The apple is among the most efficient crops 
                for calories produced per acre.
                Low glycemic index.
                Apple varieties ranked
     Properties: plant within 100 ft 
                 of different variety for pollinator
     Alternative Pest Hosts:
            cedar, juniper, mountain ash, 
            cotoneaster, quince, brambles, oaks, 
            maples, grapes
     Varieties: 
                Haralred - offspring of Haralson,
                          good disease resistance,
                          midseason bloom, late harvest date
                          biennial, zone 3b, red with slight yellow
                          Huls Nursery
                Trust - red, zone 3
                          very disease resistant
                          middle harvest date
                          Hardy Fruit Trees
                Novamac - zone 4, mcintosh type, 
                          dessert apple, red and yellow evenly
                          , medium season bloom, late harvest date
                          Mostly tip bearing so harder to manage
                          Slightly susceptible to quince rust, powdery mildew
                          Very resistant to everything else. 
                         Silver Creek Nursery
                Freedom - zone 4, slightly tart
                          yellow and red, biennial
                          , very resistant to almost everything
                          , early to medium season bloom
                          , medium harvest date
                          , mostly tip bearing so harder to manage
                          Jung Seed
                Liberty - zone 4b, mcintosh type.
                          dessert apple. red with slight yellow.
                          , very resistant to almost everything
                          Triploid so will not pollinate anything.
                          Attractive to the curculio because it
                          grows big so quickly.
                          early to medium season bloom.
                          late season harvest
                          Semi-spur. Requires thinning.
                          Orange Pippin
                William's Pride - zone 4,
                          dessert apple, red and slight yellow
                          , early to medium season bloom
                          Semi-spur. Short spurs.
                          Does not perform well in hot summers.
                          Slightly susceptible to quince rust, 
                          bitter pit, water core,
                          but very resistant to everything else.
                          One Green World
                Enterprise - zone 4, deep red
                          , medium to late season bloom
                          , very good storage apple
                          , slightly susceptible to mildew, cedar apple rust
                          , very resistant to everything else
                          , better in dry environments
                          Stark Bros
                Priscilla - red and slight yellow
                          , medium season bloom
                          , spur bearer, zone 4, low yield
                          , slightly susceptible to canker, quince rust
                          , highly resistant to everything else
                          , do not fertilize
                          , plant in well drained area
                          Orange Pippin
                Runkel - red, zone 5
                          , very disease resistant
                          , mid season bloom
                          Runkel
                Sundance - yellow, zone 5
                          , medium to late bloom, bienniel
                          , very disease resistant
                          , hint of pineapple
                          Gurneys
                Brite Gold - yellow, zone 5
                          , very disease resistant except rust
                          Francois Lemay
                LibDel - cross between Liberty and Delicious
                          Triploid so will not pollinate anything.
                          Cummins Nursery
     Disease Resistance:
           Purdue - apple disease resistance
           Iowa State - cultivars
           University of Missouri
           Atlantic Canada
           Ontario Canada
           Montana State
           Purdue - fireblight resistant apples
           Univ California - organic apples
     Rootstock:
           Own root for increased vigor / disease resistance
           St. Lawrence - cold hardy Antonovka
           Inoculation tests
           NC140 - Rootstock comparison
           Penn State - characteristics
     Pruning or Espalier:
           Even though most commercial orchards use dwarf rootstocks, 
           low input farmers can use standard sizes to gain longer 
           lived trees with less risk.
           Modified Central Leader for low input organic orchards
           Espaliered Apple Trees for small spaces
     Tip-bearing:
           There are some very disease resistant varieties
           listed here that are tip bearing.
           So they work better in a spindle system with a 
           trellis, than in a low input stand alone system 
           like modified central leader.
     Blooming and Fruiting:
           Royal Oak Orchard
           Raintree
     Bench Grafters:
           Wagon Wheel Orchard
           Kuffel Creek
           Maple Valley Orchards
     Biological Awareness:
           Michael Phillips - biological awareness; also part 12 and higher
     Insect Control:
           Univ of Cal - ATTRA Apple Organic Guide
           NCSU - ATTRA
           Iowa State - Cedar apple rust
           Iowa State - Organic insect control
           Cornell - Organic apple insect control
           InfoHouse - organic insect controls
     Extreme cold climates:
           Cold climate rootstocks
           Univ Alaska - cold climate fruit
           Force sensitive trees into early dormancy with grafting
     Tools:
           Apple corer thin slicer

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Cherries:

(Prunus cerasus) - (Point of origin: Europe and Asia) Nutrition: anthocyanidins quercetin Properties: needs good drainage, deep tap root. sour cherries are the most disease resistant. Sweet cherries are far more disease susceptible. early bloom is the biggest problem in cherries. Ectomycorrhizal. Exra-floral nectaries in very early spring for beneficial insects. Late Bloom Varieties: Evans / Bali / Eubank - zone 3, semi dwarf, late bloom, late ripen sour Surefire - zone 4, late bloom, late ripen, sour Carmine Jewel - zone 2b, med-late bloom, bush hybrid sweet sour cross (Prunus cerasus x P. fruticosa) from University of Saskatchewan. self pollinating, early ripening. disease and insect resistant. Early Bloom Varieties (occasional crop loss): Montmorency - zone 4, early bloom, sweet and sour the premier sour cherry Balaton - zone 4B, mid season bloom dark red skin and flesh, sweet and tart Sources: Cummins, DNA Gardens, St. Lawrence, Burnt Ridge Nursery Pruning and training: Use caution when selecting a training and pruning method for highest yield. The extra expense and risk may eat up all your profits. KGB - lowest input KGB, SL, VCL on G6 Michigan State - KGB details KGB System in Oregon Comparison of systems North Carolina State - Pruning Fruit Trees Rootstock: Stone Fruit Rootstocks Cherry Rootstock alternatives Fowler Rootstock alternatives *****************************************************

Mulberry:

(Point of origin: Asia / America) Nutrition: Purple or red varieties contain resveratrol and rutin and anthocyanin. Red Mulberry (Morus rubra) - native American Properties: zone 4A, to -30 f, tart. shade tolerant. Also makes good forage. Varieties: native collections Weeping Mulberry Illinois Everbearing Sources: Raintree Nursery Angelgrove Tree Seed Nursery Purple Mulberry (Morus alba) - Asian, silkworm tree Properties: zone 5, to -25 f Source: Raintree Nursery *****************************************************

Seaberry:

(Hippophae rhamnoides): Advantages: very high in vitamin C Seed is high in omega 3 oil winter and drought hardy Fixates nitrogen. Disadvantages: requires freezing to remove astringency very thorny does not bear every year performs poorly in hot climates Varieties: Hergo: high vitamin C Leikora: large berries. German origin. Source: Raintree, St. Lawrence Nursery Information: 1:1 ratio omega 3 to 6 *****************************************************

Rose Hips:

(Rosa canina L.): Nutrition: Vitamin C, hull only - not the seed. Vitamin C highest in cool climates. Seeds are high in vitamin E, good for animals. Hairs around the seeds are irritating. Harvest: Harvest as soon as the hips are ripe. Do not allow to remain on the plant exposed to the elements, as this greatly reduces vitamin C. Preparation: The outer shell is where all the vitamin C is. dry, vacuum pack, refrigerate, keep in darkness, do not grind until use. keep from oxygen!!!!!!! Cooking destroys vitamin C. Chew raw for best results. Properties: canina is highest in vitamin C perrennial, zone 3 not drought tolerant Source: Richters *****************************************************

Other Fruits:

Pacific Horticulture.org Northwest Fruit See Remaining Trees for more fruits ************ Fruit not listed and reasons: Many fruits were rejected because of low nutrition. Also many were rejected because they are tropical. Cantalope - cannot store Cranberry - nutritious but requires moist acid-peat soil Pear - cannot store easily, disease prone Prickly Pear - requires desert, very nutritious Red Raspberry - too disease prone Strawberry - very disease prone Watermelon - cannot store NanKing Cherry - too susceptible to fungus Quince - must start to decay before it can be eatin Medlar - must start to decay before it can be eatin Hardy kiwifruit (Actinidia aruguta or kolomikta) - very slow growth and small yield Juneberry or serviceberry - fireblight reservoir Highbush cranberry - moderately nutrititious and low flavor Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum) - low in flavor and nutrition Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) - fireblight reservoir Buffaloberry (Shepherdia argentea) - fixates nitrogen but susceptible to stem cancker Asian or Nashi pear ( Pyrus pyrifolia ) - many diseases, low nutrition Lingonberries - very susceptible to fungus. *****************************************************

Nuts:

Nuts: Do not freeze or cook nuts as this destroys vitamin E. The nuts listed below are among the easiest to digest. Since these are high in enzyme inhibitors, do not eat too much of them. Some people are intolerant. But even if you are intolerant, some people can still tolerate the oils, which can provide the essential fatty acids. ******** Hazelnut / Filbert: Information: Ontario government evaluation Ontario Nut Growers Midwest Hazelnut - hybrid programs Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science Information on Hazelnuts, Filberts, and Hazelberts Processing and Cracking Nursery Techniques Research: Oregon State Rutgers University of Wisconsin Arbor Day Foundation Properties: High in vitamin E and biotin. Ectomycorrhizal. ******** Hazelbert (Corylus sp.): Properties: hybrid of American Hazelnut and European Filbert. medium sized nut blight resistant. Zone 4 Badgersett Nursery, MN Badgersett Nursery - woody agriculture ******** Forest Agriculture Hybrids (Corylus sp.): Properties: hybrid of American Hazelnut, European Filbert, Asian, etc. medium sized nut blight resistant. Zone 4 Forest Agriculture, WI ************ Grimo hybrids (Corylus sp.): Properties: Hybrid of Turkish, American, European, and Asian hazelnut. blight resistant, mite resistant. Zones 3-5 Grimo Nut, Ontario ************ Yamhill (Corylus sp.): Properties: hybrid hazelnut. large nut, blight resistant , mite resistant, small tree Zones 5, from Oregon State University Willis Orchards - Georgia ************ Chinese (Corylus chinensis): Properties: very blight resistant , medium sized nut, zone 6 Rhora's Nut Farm, Ontario ********************************************************************* Chestnut (Castanea sp.): (Point of origin: America, Europe, Asia) Nutrition: Historically, chestnut used to be a staple crop. High level of carbohydrates with a low level of complete protein. Properties: Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima) is the most resistant to the blight, though not immune. Zones 4-9. Source: Be sure to order from a source close to you for proven adaptation. Badgersett - hybrids in Michigan Forest Agriculture - hybrids in Wisconsin Red Fern Farm - Iowa Rhora's - hybrids in Ontario Empire Chestnut - hybrids in Ohio Nolin River Nursery - hybrids in Kentucky Chestnut Hill - Dunstan hybrid in Florida If you want to pursue the premium market for human consumption, European and Japanese varieties are most common, but they will require a climate that strongly discourages the blight; such as the west coast. West Coast - blight is rare Storage: Post Harvest Badgersett Information: US Forest Service Missouri Nut Growers Mud Pack: A permanent mud pack with living roots is more effective than a temporary mud pack. Be sure to choose soil from a healthy forest setting so it has the full rhizosphere of organisms (not compost). Grape is a very good choice as many varieties will produce aerial roots and they will switch from endo to ectomycorrhizal once mature and provide the full rhizosphere of protection. Most grape varieties will grow in shade but may not fruit much. Mud pack Hardy succulents Outdoor living wall Research: University of Missouri ********* English or Persian Walnut (Juglans regia): (Point of origin: Asia) Nutrition: Moderate levels of omega 3. High in omega-6 and omega-9 oil. High in magnesium , delicious taste , high in B6 Properties: Shells are phytotoxic , leaves are insecticidal , only moderately resistant to TCD Variety: Carpathian Walnut from Carpathian Mountains of Poland , hardy to zone 4. Black Walnut (Juglans nigra): Not recommended due to the walnut twig beetle and the spread of thousand canker disease. Thousand Cankers map Univ of California Ohio State Information: Walnut Symposium Walnut pruning Univ Missouri - Walnut pruning The hybrid Walnut may have more resistance. Hybrid Walnut Source: Vilmorin, Walnut Tree Co., Rhora's, Burnt Ridge ********* Pecan (Carya pecan): (Point of origin: North America) Nutrition: High in gamma and alpha tocopheral (vitamin E) High in magnesium Properties: Easy to grow except in high wind areas since the wood is soft and breaks easily. Tolerates moist soils Pruning: New Mexico State - pruning pecan Zone 5 Sources: Stark Bro's, Grimo, Rhora's ******** Remaining Trees ******** Nuts not listed: Almond is very nutritious, but requires extremely dry desert conditions to grow. They are a rich source of GABA and pterostilbene. *****************************************************

Legumes:

Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos): (Point of origin: North America) Advantages: Large high protein bean. Excellent as poultry or hog feed. Ideal planted on berms. Also makes good forage. Not toxic like Black Locust. Zone 3. Drought tolerant if grown on deep soil where it can send down a deep tap root. Adapts to high water table. USDA Forest Service Disadvantage: Slightly invasive if not already native. These large seeded varieties are much less invasive. Not easily blown by wind or eatin by birds. Propagation: Bud graft in May/June using scionwood taken from this year's growth. Varieties: Hershey is a very large pod variety with huge high protein seeds. Rolling River Nursery - grafted Hershey Hidden Spring Nursery - grafted Hershey Wildlife Growers - grafted Hershey J.L. Hudson Seeds - cold tolerant Honey Locust Oikos - Honey Locust Nitrogen fixation: The Honey Locust is such an ancient tree, that it may be fixing nitrogen using early primitive methods, instead of the more modern root nodules. U. of Virginia - Honey Locust nitrogen research Purdue - Rhizobial relationships Wikipedia - nitrogen fixation Silvopasture: VTForages - Silvopasture overview, Honeylocust Forest Connect - Silvopasture examples, Honeylocust University of Virginia Varieties: List of known cultivars Honey Locust varieties History: History of the honey locust. University of Virginia - more recent history Information: USDA Forest Service - Honey Locust interplanting Bartlett - health care recommendations USDA Forest Service - environment ****************************************************

Planting & Grafting:

Direct seeding of trees that have deep tap roots is the best way to optimize their drought resistance and stability. Pre-sprouting and protection are required to increase success and prevent predation. Use on oak, pecan, hickory, walnut, chestnut, locust, Scots Pine, etc. Direct seeding trees ************ Root grafting (nurse grafting) works very well for trees where a clone is desired. Fruit Council of Australia - Root grafting Root grafting for increased vigor / disease resistance Excellent section on root grafting Cornell - nurse grafting ************ Bud grafting has become the most popular form of asexual propagation. Inverted T bud grafting is perhaps the easiest and most reliable. But if done properly, chip budding does produce a stronger graft more quickly. Oregan State - list of graft techniques by tree type Cornell - comparison of T and chip Santa Cruz - T and chip budding with great details University of Kentucky Wine Science - chip can be placed on a node Chip budding tool Chip bud demo Back to Garden for Nutrition Index