Top-rated DIY techniques for successfully grafting a tree

December 1, 2014

There are many good reasons to graft part of one tree to another. These top-rated DIY techniques for successfully grafting a tree are so easy you can do them yourself.
Why graft a tree?

Grafting techniques are most often used on fruit trees. Generally, we graft to maintain the characteristics of a healthy tree that produces perfect fruit.

  • The graft itself is simply the part of the tree to be reproduced, which is attached to the rootstock.In turn, therootstock isthe part of the tree to which you will affix a graft.

Grafting is like cloning. Reproducing trees from seeds or seedlings will inevitably cause it to lose some of its genetic makeup. Furthermore, grafting provides faster growing results than propagation by stem cutting.

Finally, the rootstock has qualities and characteristic that will supplement the tree we want to reproduce: compatibility with the soil and climate, strength, disease resistance and more. Grafting provides the best of both worlds.

  • The most important element, regardless of method, is that the scion (small branch) and rootstock are from the same tree family.

Cleft grafting method

The rootstock is split open to make a slit in the centre of the tree stump or in of one of the primary branches. Next, we insert one or two budding branches (scion) from the tree we want to reproduce. Over time, the two parts will merge together.

  • Cleft grafting is done on the trunk of fruit trees. The main advantage of this technique is its simplicity.

Budding technique

This method is the most widely used. In this case, rather than cutting the top of the rootstock, budding branches are placed directly into an incision on the side of the tree, under the bark. The branch you insert must have well-developed buds.

  • The advantage of the budding technique is not only its simplicity, but it is suitable when grafting a weaker tree that may not survive a cleft grafting. The rate of success is relatively good if the transplant is performed correctly.

Bark grafting

Through bark grafting, we can change the variety of a tree. This method involves inserting small grafts into much larger rootstock or trunk. This is done by inserting two or three scions between the bark and the trunk of the tree. Once they start to grow, you only keep the healthiest and most developed shoots.

  • Not only can this method change the type of fruit the tree grows, but it also significantly improves the chances of success due to multiple grafts. It's as simple as cleft grafting or budding.

There are other grafting techniques available, and it's important to use the one best adapted to the tree you want to reproduce. Remember that:

  • You must be patient when transplanting trees as results are only noticeable the following year.
  • With a little care and attention to detail, there's every reason to believe you will be successful by following these top-rated DIY techniques for successfully grafting a tree.
Top-rated DIY techniques for successfully grafting a tree
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