A: Grafting is a method of vegetative (or asexual) propagation where a piece of one plant (scion) selected for its flowers or fruit and containing the desired genes to be duplicated is inserted into a piece of another plant (rootstock), with a strong vigorous root system, usually a seedling.
Benefits of the graft:
- making a clone of the parent plant ensures the same cultivar, since most fruit trees will not come true to seed
- taking a scion from a mature plant reduces time to flowering and fruiting (from 10-12 years for a seedling to 2-3 years or less for a grafted plant)
- introducing dwarfing, hardiness, disease and pest resistance.
- easier propagation method when other means like cutting or seed is not successful
Izu is a dwarf tree that bears excellent, medium-sized non-astringent fruit. It has good disease resistance and ripens early in September. Non-astringent cultivars have lost their astringency by maturity and can be eaten crisp like an apple or at various stages of softness.