With all the different grafting
techniques that can be used choosing the right one for each job can be a challenge. Several factors might determine the best techniques
to use, the first being the fruit species.
We can’t really say that grafting techniques
are fruit species dependent. Nevertheless, some grafting techniques will have a
greater success rate on some fruit species than others. Time of year is one of
the most important limiting factors when deciding which grafting technique to use.
With some techniques the plants
can be dormant, while with others the sap must be flowing, so the bark lifts freely like when T-budding. So, the season
and the time of year will also limit the range of techniques that can be used.
Root stocks and available scions can
have different diameters so you might have to choose a different technique depending on what you have to work with. All these limiting factors will
determine the best grafting techniques to choose, when grafting our fruit trees
in the Home Orchard.
Another common grafting situation will
result from the need to change the variety, on an established tree. The tree might already have a few years and one of the best techniques to do the job is bark grafting.
With this technique, you can completely remove the old variety and benefit
from the established root system. This technique can be used with almost
any type of fruit tree with good results. The best time of the year to do it is when
the tree is leaving dormancy, usually early spring in most areas.
The new variety will grow quickly and will usually start producing fruits, in two or
three years, due to the stronger root stock. It’s usually best to leave only
one of the grafts. Two branches that grow from the same point will compete with each other, and the tree will be more difficult to shape correctly.
With compatible species, you can not only change the fruit variety, but also the fruit type. Here, an almond tree was grafted with a couple of peach varieties. With older and bigger trees
you can even graft several varieties in different branches producing a multi-varieties fruit tree.
This technique allows the use of normal sized scions, and several can be placed
around a large diameter branch. The connection between
cambium layers is quite easy, unlike other techniques, as the cambium is right between the bark and the trunk.
Leaving a branch from the original tree is important to allow sap flow while the grafts are developing. Supporting the new branches is also
a good idea, to avoid wind breakage. The following year the new
grafts will need pruning and some might need to be removed,
choosing the best placed ones.
The same bark grafting technique can be
used, when changing varieties in younger trees. As a norm, don’t leave the two grafts,
as one might develop stronger, and the resulting tree will be unbalanced.
Nevertheless, when grafting two different
varieties to the same root stock, you can try it though,
as it may work, in some cases. But, when you want to graft several
varieties to the same tree, it may be best to leave some of the main branches
and graft them instead.
If you want to graft one-year-old branches the bark grafting technique won’t work,
in these smaller diameter branches, so Whip-and-Tongue
or Cleft Graft are the best option. When using the Whip-and-Tongue technique,
the diameter of the Scion and the rootstock should be almost identical.
If there is a difference in diameter, matching the cambium layers might be difficult,
a non-existent problem, when using the bark grafting technique. The cambium, in this
type of cut, is a very thin layer that may be impossible to match with
different diameter branches.
if this happens in your grafting situation,
pull the scion to one side or, better yet, skew it, so the cambium layers cross, at some point. Although not being one of the easiest techniques, Whip-and-Tongue is one of
the best, if you consider the percentage of success, in a wide range of different fruit trees.
It has lots of cambium contact points and produces a firm and solid graft. It’s best used in early spring, just
before the trees leave dormancy, but it’s also effective in warmer months
and in the fall.
Adjust the graft firmly using tape, a
rubber strip or natural raffia. When using raffia or a strip of rubber is
necessary to protect the graft union with PARAFILM. This avoids graft failure
from rain water or dehydration.
Whip-and-Tongue will work with most fruit types,
including evergreen trees like these loquats. When grafting in warmer periods
don’t forget to cover the graft with aluminium foil
to protect it from direct sun.
In some areas, Parafilm might not
biodegrade quickly enough. Be sure to remove it after the graft takes, or the moisture might accumulate
inside and damage the graft. When trying to graft branches of different diameters I always use the modified cleft graft.
This grafting technique has a much higher success rate than the normal cleft and it produces a much cleaner graft union. Making the cut near the edge of the root
stock, it’s much easier to achieve a good cambium contact, particularly, near the base of the scion.
The shorter scion with only two buds
works perfectly. Covering the graph and the scion with
Parafilm will produce very high percentages of successful grafts. If you want to know more about the modified Cleft graft and Whip-and-Tongue technique,
follow the links in the video description.
When grafting young rootstalks, the
cleft graft is still one of the easiest techniques to use, for the beginner. When using this grafting technique be sure to use rootstocks and scions of the same
The rootstock and the scion should both be in dormancy. Grafting indoors and leaving the plants
in a greenhouse will allow for a quicker developing graft when spring arrives. If you only have available scions that
are very thin use the Lateral Graft technique instead.
This type of graft will allow the use
of extremely narrow scions. These would be useless with any
other technique. Beware that this technique will produce
an extremely narrow angle with the rootstock.
So, the upper part of the branch is cut as soon
as the graft takes to avoid it. Lateral grafts can also be used to
change varieties. This is lateral graft executed in a branch
of a young almond tree in early March.
In the summer the graft is fully
developed. A second graft, unsupported, broke with strong winds. The same graft, one year later. The same grafting technique used
in the Loquat tree. Don’t forget to keep removing growing
buds from the old variety or these will compete with the new graft.
Finally, you can also use Bud Grafting
techniques like Chip-buidding or T-Budding. These, can be used in the spring, in the
fall and in other seasons, as long as the sap is flowing. These techniques work
with almost all fruit types and they are the best when grafting material is scarce,
as they only use one bud per graft.
In the channel I have several videos with
lots of information and detail about bud grafting. Be sure to check them out, if
you want to know more. Thanks for watching. Like, Subscribe and Share the video to
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