You may recall last spring that a group in Uganda decided they could do their own apple grafting, and so I sent just the rootstocks and scionwood to them, along with some elementary grafting tools and an instructional video. Well they got right down to it, and grafted about 1,000 trees in short order and in the process became the most experienced apple grafters in Kampala!
Well they must have done something right, as the above tree was grafted by them only nine months ago, and now is showing excellent form. I counseled John Baptist here to prune off the branch in his left hand to allow the other one to become the central leader, but otherwise the tree is perfect and may start bearing onsie-twosies next year. This is in the Lira district of central Uganda, and the climate description from the Lira webside is as follows:
“The continental climate of the district is modified by the large swamp area surrounding the southern part of the district. The rainfall in the district is bimodal with one peak during April-May and the other in August-October.
The average annual rainfall in the district varies between 1200-1600 mm (47-62″) decreasing northwards. The rainfall is mainly convectional and normally comes in the afternoons and evenings.
The average minimum and maximum temperatures are 22.5 C (72 F) and 25.5 C (78 F), respectively. Absolute maximum temperature hardly goes beyond 36 C (97 F), and absolute minimum hardly falls below 20 C (68 F).
The Equatorial Trough which brings rainfall passes over the district. The South easterly winds which also brings rains to the district passes over Lira. Land and sea breezes are common in the district. Wind run is low (1-4m/sec) during the rainy season and moderate (4-8m/sec) during the dry season.”
As you can see by the bananas, maize, and sweet potatoes in the background, this isn’t exactly tradional apple country; it receives zero chilling hours. But apples will grow and fruit here, despite all the literature saying this can’t happen. We’ll be sure to be sending updates as they harvest.