25th Scotland's Rural College horticulture lecture tackles plant grafting

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) horticulture lecturer Peter MacDonald will share his knowledge of plant grafting at the college's 25th Annual Public Horticulture Lecture tomorrow.

Peter MacDonald
Peter MacDonald

The event, at the Riverside Campus in Ayr, will consider the history, applications and main principles of successful grafting and both old and new techniques will be discussed from the practical to the ornamental.

MacDonald's talk will also highlight ancient and modern examples, such as using grafting to create dwarf cherry trees which can be grown in polytunnels in Aberdeenshire.

Grafting has been recorded in cultures across the world for many thousands of years. Hippocrates wrote about it in ancient Greece, while a Chinese diplomat set up a nursery growing grafted plants 4,000-5,000 years ago. In Mesoptamia (a region which is now Iraq, Kuwait and part of Syria) grafting has been mentioned on ancient clay tablets.

As well as working with SRUC for over 32 years, MacDonald is also vice-president of the International Plant Propagators Society and present chair of the Scottish Branch of the Institute of Horticulture. His book The Manual of Plant Grafting – Practical techniques for ornamentals, vegetables and fruit is published by Timber Press in December.

Tickets for the Annual Lecture are £5 on the door with a concessionary rate of £1 for students. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the restoration of the Conservatory at Belleisle Park in Ayr as part of the rejuvenation of the park.

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