Whip grafting, cleft grafting, budding and side grafting are common methods of grafting trees. Bridge grafting is also an option when the tree is larger than 2 inches in diameter. To whip graft a young tree with branches that are less than 1/2 inch in diameter, cut a branch from the understock, and cut both branches at an angle. Insert the scion into the main branch, and seal the union with tape.
To cleft graft on an older tree, cut a cleft into both sides of a 2- to 3-inch branch, and insert the graft into each cleft. Seal the branches together with grafting compound if necessary. Side grating is an option when working with branches that are 1/4 to 3/4 inch in diameter.
To perform a side graft, cut the scion to form a sharp wedge. Make a slanted cut that almost reaches the pith in the desired area, and insert the scion into the cut. Tie the union together if necessary, and cover all cut surfaces with grafting compound.
Budding is a type of grafting that is typically completed from mid-July to mid-August. To perform the graft, cut a single bud from the desired tree, and make a T-shaped cut in the branch at least 15 inches from the tree trunk. Lift the edges of the T-shape to insert the bud, and wrap the union tightly.