The Gardener's Monthly and Horticulturist, 25: 173 (1883)


Some people dispute this influence; still lately my friend Alphonse Karr has cited an example; that of hybrid perpetual roses flowering better by being grafted on the common China rose, than if grafted on the brier. In my opinion that influence is general, although not always perceptible.

Let those who have doubts make an experiment. Plant two wild briers, like those used for standard roses, near one another; graft one of them with a Tea rose and let the other grow at random. After three or four years they will find that the grafted one has scarcely grown thicker, that the other has nearly doubled in circumference; and perhaps the grafted one has died.

Who does not know that pears are grafted on the quince to obtain pyramidal forms, not vigorously growing, and in consequence early fruiting. Let those who are not acquainted with this practice graft the same variety of pear on quince stock and on a seedling pear of the same age, and they will soon perceive that the latter is by far the most vigorous.

I have made in the severe winter of 1871 the sad experience. All the pear trees in my garden grafted on quince, were killed by the hard frost, and those on pear stock survived.

Why do Tea roses, and more particularly the more delicate varieties, acquire more vigor when grafted on the seedling brier than on their own roots?

[As we understand the question of "the influence of the stock on the graft," it would not include such as presented by our correspondent. These properly come under the head of nutrition. A strong variety grafted on a weaker growing stock is checked in its luxuriance; and a weak growing kind receives extra nutrition through a stronger stock. The same effect is often produced by applying different manures, different soils, or different situations—or by "ringing" the bark of the growing tree.
    As we have understood this question of the influence of the graft on the stock or the stock on the graft, it has rather had reference to a kind of hybridization. In other words, can the character of a tree be so changed by grafting as to produce such marked variations as could not follow from mere laws of nutrition alone? There have been some few observations made which seem to indicate the possibility of some such influence, but we must say that these have been so few that no general law that such is the case can be fairly drawn.—Ed. G. M.]