Q:

How do you graft a tree?

A:

Quick Answer

To graft a tree, cut off the upper part of the stock plant, make a cleft, and insert scions from the graft plant into the cleft. Tie the scions together, cover them in grafting compound, and care for the new grafts until you select the permanent branch.

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Full Answer

  1. Cut off the stock

    Select an area of the trunk without knots, and use a saw to cut off the stock.

  2. Cut the cleft

    Use a grafting chisel or hatchet to cut a cleft in the chosen area. Cut into the tree at an angle, making sure not to split the wood.

  3. Make cuts for the scions

    Position the grafting chisel 1/4 inch above the top bud, and make a blunt wedge 1 1/2 inches long. Make one side of the wedge slightly thicker than the other.

  4. Insert the scions

    Use a grafting tool to open the cleft. Insert the shoot of another plant into the opening. Insert a second scion on the other side. Keep the scions in contact with the inner bark.

  5. Cover the cleft

    If the stock doesn't bind well, use florist's tape to bind the scions to the stock. Otherwise, apply a generous amount of grafting compound to cover the cleft completely.

  6. Take care of the scions

    Once the scions are growing, use florist's tape to tie each scion to a supporting brace. Pinch back the tips of the scions at the beginning of the growing season if the scions overtake the stock plant.

  7. Select a permanent branch

    After the first season of growth, find the most viable branch, and cut back the other scions to just a few buds. After another year, cut back the spare scions further. Once the spare scions start crowding the permanent branch, cut them off completely.

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