American Tree Experts

How to Graft Fruit Trees: A Beginners Guide

Continue reading to learn more about how to graft fruit trees

Tree grafting is a simple procedure that is popular among many homeowners. A piece of an existing tree (a scion) is connected to a part of another tree (receptive rootstock). When the combined components grow, it forms a new tree.

Grafting helps to combine the properties of two trees into one and is more commonly performed for flowering and fruit trees. While grafting isn’t supposed to produce exotic fruits and flowers, it is nevertheless beneficial to the overall health of a garden. This guide will explain how beginners can graft trees in the comfort of their homes.

Gather The Necessary Tools

  • Before starting the grafting project, it is imperative to have the right tools. To graft apple trees, an apple rootstock will be required. Similarly, to graft pear trees, a pear rootstock will be needed. Persimmon and cherry trees can be grafted as well. For excellent results, make sure the rootstock is suited to your local climate and region. An extension agent might help you with this.

To cut the scion, sharp shears or any cutting tool in excellent condition will be required. If it is difficult to get a tool in the right shape, you can contact a professional tree pruning service. They can cut the scions in a professional manner. In addition, grafting tape, crafting knives, and grafting sealant will be required.

Select The Right Tree

  • Selecting the right tree for grafting is of paramount importance. To know which tree will grow well in your region, help can be taken from the plantation department. You should know if any tree pests are found in your area as they pose a threat to your selected tree.

You can also search online and read up on other people’s grafting experiences in your locality. Some trees are easier to graft than others. Therefore, it will take a couple of grafts before you can complete the entire process smoothly. If you have an open garden, a grafted fruit tree will attract a lot of wildlife such as deers.

Preparing For Grafting

  • Tree grafting is only successful if it is performed at the right time. Therefore, it is important to plan for the grafting project. Fruit trees are best grafted from late winters to early summers.

It is essential to have the rootstock at hand, and an already cut scion. The scion should be cut before the sap rises and buds begin to emerge.

  • Don’t collect water sprouts that grow from the base of the tree. Instead, hard branches should be collected that have around four to six buds and are 10 – 12 inches long. The scion should have the same width as the rootstock.

To cut the scion, use a sharpened tool. Make clean cuts and place the scion in water to avoid it from drying out. A dried-out scion leads to poor grafting, which in most cases leads to the scion dying out.

Modified Cleft Graft

  • how to graft fruit treesThe first type of graft is called a modified cleft graft. The outer layer of scion and rootstock is known as the cambium layer. This layer is responsible for transporting nutrients and water across the tree.

The union in grafting will occur within this layer. To ensure a successful graft, the cambium of scion and rootstock must be in contact with each other.

  • Cut the rootstock about three inches from the ground line. Split the rootstock down the middle by about one and a half inches. Make a wedge in the scion that is equal to the wedge in the rootstock.

Insert the scion wedge in the rootstock. It is important not to rush this step and make sure the two layers touch each other. Use grafting tape and sealant to make sure the union is complete.

  • Tree grafting might seem like a daunting task for beginners. We, at American Tree Experts Inc, can help you with your project. We offer a variety of tree pruning and nutrient management services. Contact us today at 973-774-6091 and get your quote now!

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