Students in the Plant Propagation course, taught by Instructor Josh Kardos, got a hands-on lesson in apple grafting.
Guest lecturer Jon Vest ’92, MPA ’99, a senior Extension agent for Virginia Cooperative Extension in Floyd County, led the laboratory discussion and demonstration.
Students grafted a scion, a small piece of stem with only two buds, onto a root stock that has resistance to disease or insects, and a dwarfing characteristic.
“Grafting enables us in a commercial orchard to plant smaller trees at a higher volume,” Vest said. “It also helps us reduce our pesticide usage and the overall application rates we would normally use in 30 or 40 foot trees.”