Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Home Farming Tips How To Graft Trees

How To Graft Trees

by Jacquiline Nakandi
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Grafting trees for seedlings is a lucrative enterprise. Farmers can make money by selling quality grafted trees. Trees can be grafted from the smallest spaces.

The basics that a farmer needs include the black/loam fertile soil that is put in planting bags for the fruits and a source of trees that acts as the mother garden.

  • Cut two twigs from compatible fruit tree species. Twigs should be cut at a 45 ° angle to each other to form a close bond.
  • Place twigs together allowing the small band of cells called the cambium (just under the bark layer) to match up as closely as possible.
  • Secure the two twigs together using a commercially available grafting tape. A rubber electrical tape or duct tape may also be used. Place a rubber band around the grafting site firmly, but not too tightly.
  • Let the twigs fuse over two to three weeks for successful buds.
  • Cut fruit tree twigs when the plant is at its most dormant, that is when it has no fruits. The scion should be about the thickness of a pencil or slightly bigger and about six to eight inches long. Twigs from two years old wood with no blossoms or buds work best.
  • Store cut scions in the refrigerator in plastic zipper bags. When stored properly, these twigs can be stored for many months. Dip the cut ends of the twigs in wax to seal the cut and keep them from drying out. Place twigs in a plastic zipper bag along with a few drops of water.
  • Once the graft starts to grow, do not cut back branches during the first season. Pinch off vigorously growing bud tips to allow healthy branching.
  • Wrap the thumb with a protective layer of tape or wear a glove while cutting grafts.
  • Label each scion by type and variety. Keep a written record of the grafting.
  • Wrap the grafting site with cellophane or a loose plastic bag should the temperature begin to drop below 65°F.
  • Do not allow grafting wax to become too hot. Hot wax can damage or destroy plant tissue.
  • If stock and scion are not compatible, graft failure may occur.
  • Both scion and rootstock cambiums must meet precisely for a graft to survive.
  • Avoid any exposure of the graft site to wind, rain, insects, or animals.
  • Remove tape from the graft site before the area begins to stretch the tape. Remove any tight or restrictive girdling. ­

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