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Spiritual Grafting

By:  David Deschesne

Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal, April 11, 2007 p. 9

   Grafting trees is a fairly common practice in arborist husbandry.  Grafting is where the root of one variety of tree is spliced to the branch of another to produce a tree that exhibits the qualities of both of the originals.

   You cannot graft unlike trees to each other.  For example, you cannot graft an oak tree on to a pine tree - they are too different and neither will grow into the other.  You can, however, quite easily graft two differing types of apple trees together and realize very good results.

   One common apple tree root to start a graft with is the Russian Ranetka.  The Ranetka produces a small, two inch or less diameter apple that is good to eat and highly resistant to apple scab - apple scab is the scourge of the apple industry.

   While Ranetka is a good fruit and disease resistant it is generally a small apple - sometimes called a “crab apple” due to its size, but is still quite edible.

   The McIntosh, on the other hand, is a big, red juicy apple.  Pleasant to look at and with lots of meat on its core, the McIntosh is sometimes considered the epitome of the apple industry.  However, the McIntosh is extremely prone to disease and comes down with apple scab very easily and is destroyed.

   When you graft a McIntosh branch onto a Ranetka root something interesting happens; you get a McIntosh apple as big, red and juicy as before, only with the disease resistance of the Ranetka.   The McIntosh takes on the attributes of its parent root.

   To graft a branch to a root, first the root and branch are cut at 45 degrees.  Then a slit which is parallel to the branch and root is cut to allow the two to slide together easily.  After placing them together, a band of white nursery tape, available at most flower or tree nurseries is applied to keep the two together.  The root is then planted, watered and allowed to grow.  After a couple of weeks, the tape can come off and the two have begun to grow together.  After a season, the root and branch will have merged into a single unit, creating a new tree.

   New saplings can be grafted onto older trees as well, but it’s much more difficult due to the age.  The branch is usually cut off the tree with a blunt cut and a notch started in the end with a saw.  Then a pry bar is tapped in and gently wedges the wood apart to allow the new, younger branch in.  These types of grafts are harder to do, but if given the proper amount of care, can still yield good results.


   Accepting the Spirit of our Heavenly Father is much the same as grafting the two apple trees.  His Spirit, like the root, yields fruit that is good, but not very large all by itself - it needs a trusting, faithing accomplice here in the material realm to fully develop.  The Infinite’s  Spiritual Fruit is impervious to the disease of sin, while man’s fruit alone is like the McIntosh apple - pleasing to the eye and savory to the appetite, but easily succumbs to the pressures of vice, greed, lust and temptation.  Man’s fruit needs the protection from the disease of sin that only the Spiritual fruit from our Heavenly Father can provide.

   When one accepts the Lord Jesus as their personal savior, they are grafted on to the Spiritual root of the Infinite Heavenly Father.  At first, like the apple tree, they must be cared for and nurtured.  The tests of faith will be slight and never test the new union more than it can bear.

   After a history of faithing, and growing with the water of the Word, a new spirit begins to grow in the man or woman who has accepted Christ.  That new spirit displaces the old one and, like the Ranetka and McIntosh, yields a fruit that has the best attributes of both - luscious and pleasing while highly disease resistant.  After years of faithing and growing in the Heavenly spirit, the new Creation in Christ will not be recognizable when compared to his or her old self.  The Ranetka and McIntosh merge into a new creation, a new tree every bit as much as a human being merging with the Holy Spirit creates a new being.

   The Ranetka and McIntosh are spliced at a very young age and which makes the graft very easy and enjoys a high success rate.  Likewise, the new Christian must come to Christ trusting “as a child” as Holy Writ commends in order to fully realize the benefits of the Holy Spirit and allow it to enter them.   The older the tree, the harder the graft is to take; just as the wiser a person thinks he or she is, exhibiting much faith in themselves and doubt in the Holy Spirit, the spiritual graft for them would be much harder to maintain.

   Accepting the Lord Jesus as your personal savior need not be complicated nor filled with the repetitions of tradition.  It is merely a loving, faithing, trusting relationship in Him to bring you home to our Heavenly Father.  Like the grafted apple tree, a new spirit takes hold and produces the fruit that is at once pleasing to our Heavenly Father and resistant to the wiles of Satan.