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Apple-Grafting Project: Taking root at Nipomo High

Dave Christic, a volunteer from the California Rare Fruit Growers, helps seniors Michael Ward, left, and Emilie McDonald with their apple tree grafting.
Photo by Joe Johnston  02-25-10
Dave Christic, a volunteer from the California Rare Fruit Growers, helps seniors Michael Ward, left, and Emilie McDonald with their apple tree grafting. Photo by Joe Johnston 02-25-10 Tribune

Students in agriculture classes at Nipomo High School will learn how to graft known varieties of apples such as gala or fuji onto an apple root, which they are able to take home and plant.

The event marks the 800th tree that the high school and the California Rare Fruit Growers have grafted together.

Joe Sabol, coordinator of the apple-grafting project, said the Rare Fruit Growers will visit about 25 schools in the next month to teach students about plant science.

California Rare Fruit Growers sells the roots to the high school at cost.

“For $1.25 the kid gets an apple tree to keep the rest of their life,” Sabol said. “What a deal.”

Last year, 2,500 trees were grafted in schools in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

“I’ve been doing this for about 11 years now, so now we know there are people who have had trees planted in their yard that are growing apples,” Sabol said.

— Cynthia Lambert

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