What Is A Scion Exchange?

For our new chapter members and visitors, this article explains the basics of a scion exchange.

What will I find at the exchange?

A large multi-purpose room, which is filled with rows of cafeteria-style tables. Most the tables are piled high with gallon-size bags of dormant cuttings from deciduous fruit and nut trees – such as apple, peach, filbert, and persimmon.

You may also find some cuttings from evergreen fruiting plants, whole plants, roots, seeds, gardening catalogs, inexpensive information sheets, and sometimes grafting supplies.

What you do at the exchange is select 1-2 pieces of each type of thing you want to propagate, clearly label each item, get answers to your questions about how to make the stuff grow once you get it home, and enjoy the company of others who are interested in growing unusual edibles.

If possible, you bring something from your own garden: seeds of your favorite vegetable, cuttings from an heirloom fruit tree, specialties from your family's native country, etc. For more about what to bring (and what NOT to bring), see the "What to Bring" page.

What if I know nothing about grafting?

Grafting is the process by which a piece of one kind of plant is attached to a different kind of plant (such as a Fuji apple twig on a seedling apple rootstock). The exchange includes a grafting demonstration that will show you how to graft and experienced chapter members who can tell you what plant combinations will be successful.

Still don't think grafting is for you? Many types of cuttings -- such as fig, kiwi, and pomegranate – can be easily rooted in ordinary garden dirt.

What will this cost me?

A $5 donation is requested to help defray our costs for putting on the exchange. The charge for pamphlets, grafting supplies, and such, depends on our costs for the materials. With occasional exceptions, the scions, tubers, and other plant-parts are free. There may also be a “plant drawing” (where everyone who buys a ticket gets a plant) and/or a silent auction of gardening-related items.

Can I bring a friend?

Yes, please do! The exchange is open to the public beginning at noon, and will be advertised in various local newspapers.

What about lunch?

We suggest you bring a bag lunch. Coffee, tea, and some munchies (cookies, jams, crackers, etc.) will be available at the exchange.

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