Q:

What are five methods for grafting fruit trees?

A:

Quick Answer

Methods for grafting fruit trees include using a whip graft, cleft graft, bark graft, side-veneer graft or grafting the tree using a flower bud. Fruits trees that are 5 years old or younger are the most responsive to grafts. The grafting process should be carried out during the spring time, usually in April or May.

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Full Answer

A whip graft is prepared by trimming a portion of the fruit-tree branch so that a foot-long stub remains. Next, the gardener makes an inward angled cut along the side of the lower portion of the section of branch to be grafted onto the fruit tree. This piece of branch is called a scion. The base of the branch should now resemble a wedge, with one side covered in bark and the other exposed. The gardener needs to make a duplicate cut along the end of the branch stub that is still attached to the tree. Then he fits the two sections of branch together and binds them using electrical tape.

For a cleft graft, the worker begins by sawing off a larger branch from the tree. Branches that are 1 to 2 inches in diameter are optimal. Next, he cuts a cleft into the exposed face of the tree branch. Both sides of the scion's lower portion of the branch are sheared off so that it resembles a wedge. The worker then pries open the cleft and places the scion inside, and he applies a generous amount of grafting compound to cover the union completely.

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