Today I learned how to graft fruit trees. Aside from the obviously wonderful benefits of being able to mush two or more individuals together into one tree, I found another evil-scientist-level use for this skill. More on that in a minute.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the process of tree grafting, it's quite simple. You just line up the cambium! Cambium, for those of you who are not massive nerds like me, can be defined as the only living layer of the woody part of the tree. It is a thin layer of cells between the bark and the wood that is responsible for far too much. It is responsible for transporting water, minerals, and sugars between the leaves and the root system. It also is the hub of growth for both the bark and the wood. If you are ever feeling overworked, tell me you feel like cambium and I'll understand. This is where it gets fun. You can cut a dormant twig of a fruit tree, known as a scion, and stick it to an entirely different fruit tree, known as root stock, just by lining up the two cambiums! This allows nutrients and water to pass between the two. Eventually your cuts will heal, and your evil experiments will be but a distant memory.
Obviously, this is all oversimplified nerd-babble from an overexcited evil scientist. However, it is all to prove a point. Nay, two points. Point one: grafting is fascinating and you should look it up. Point two: I have a plan to score some apple wood to make into spoons. Friends of mine recently bought a house, and they have a very ugly apple tree in their backyard. It went a few too many years without being pruned, so the fruits are unreachable and not very tasty. I learned one technique in particular to help them out: bark grafting. You can graft in many scions of many different varieties underneath the bark of the stump of a freshly felled apple tree. They are going to love having many accessible varieties of apples in 2 to 4 years, and I am going to love putting their old, ugly tree to good use! MUAHAHAHAHA!