Grafting at Spring Fair: 'It's a very interesting sort of gardener's art'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Lane Community College hosted the fourth annual Spring Fair, which gave people around the county a chance to make custom fruit trees.

By grafting, or combining two different tree varieties, you get a new tree.

Volunteer green thumbs gathered hundreds of different fruit tree varieties from all over the region for the fair, giving people a chance to make their own unique fruit tree.

While that may sound like a daunting task, organizer Nick Routledge says grafting custom trees is easier than you think.

"It's a very interesting sort of gardener's art. Essentially most fruit trees are two trees in one. You have a root stock ... a large root stock makes a big fruit tree like an apple tree, or a small root stock with makes a tree maybe six feet tall." Routledge said. "On top of that root stock we put a variety of apple or cherry..."

Routledge says that after the volunteers at the Spring Fair match up the root stock and variety for attendees, they essentially walk away from the Spring Fair with a free fruit tree.

"Some of the people grafting trees with us two or three years ago are now seeing those trees come into bearing," Routledge said. "They tend to be our more enthusiastic supporters 'cause they are aware that the material we're getting here is solid."

There was also a seed swap which gave vegetable growers a chance to trade plants for their gardens.