January, the season for grafting has come! Back from the holidays, we remembered a visit in October to Lajwanti Nursery, a beautiful nursery in Dharamshala. The owner of the place, very friendly, had offered to show us grafting when the season would come.
We called and were immediately offered to come the day after. Near the police station in Dharamshala, nobody was able to guide us to the nursery. We were a bit lost! After a phone call to the nursery, someone came to pick us up. We arrived at the nursery by 11am.
How nice to see the place again! Lajwanti Nursery is a quiet place, owned by a passionate man who is always very keen to share and discuss about his passion. Plants are everywhere! From the ground to the walls, they are grown on every space available. Here is the ideal for anyone who wants to learn: nearly all the trees are labeled with the local and the Latin name.
It is also well suited if you just want to wander around. The nursery is very beautiful and full of flowers depending on the season. A member of the family is passionate about animals so you can also see some dogs, birds, etc., on your way.
The subject of the day was grafting. Naddi, the village we are working in, is surrounded by the forest. We are planting some trees on a steep slope and the inhabitants would be very interested in having fruit trees. But the fruits that we can find there are really tiny and not very good.
What we could do is use the local trees as stem trees and graft a fruit tree branch on it.
The result: a tree adapted to the area because it is local to it, with branches and big fruits from another tree! To do this you need to pick up two trees of the same family (genius).So we learned how to do this properly and grafted pear on “Kanth”: a local wild pear tree. There is a lot of “Kanth” in Naddi so we can definitely reproduce this. We can also graft Cherry on “Paja”: another local tree.
We should be able to see the result of the grafts in about 2 weeks’ time. We will go there again to see if the graft went well and to buy some trees to be able to begin our grafting process by next year! We hope to be able to bring a community member with us so that she can meet the owner of the place.
The owner is very enthusiastic and will be a permanent help and contact for the organization!
Thank you Lajwanti Nursery and see you soon!
Louise Brunier and Johnatan de Larminat - France
Forestry Project Managers, Naddi (Himachal Pradesh)