My ancient Plant Propagation text says there's evidence of grafting
being used by the Chinese at least as early as 1000 BC (and the way
archaeology has been improving by leaps and bounds, that may be very
out-of-date info - no pun intended).
Aristotle, some 300 yr BC, details practices very similar to those used
today, except maybe we skip the parts like virgins dancing around the
trees and such. (That's not counting the details in the Bible for
grafting olive trees.)
Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if there had been practicing
horticulturists for hundreds, if not thousands, of years before any of
That's not to say that humankind doesn't sometimes take a good thing a
little too far, but if we're going to have
ANY kind of agriculture for the purpose of feeding people, I can't see a
complaint against grafting. There's too much similar natural plant
propagation that happens in the wild for me to worry about being selfish
about increasing the numbers of trees with the flavors of apples I like.
(Anyway, grafting was almost my first love. I get as excited about the
miracle of a good graft taking as any farmer does about seeing seeds
sprout in the spring.)
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