Spring grafting of fruit trees

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A wide variety of varieties of fruit trees is the dream of any gardener, which can be realized by mastering the grafting technique. In the article, we will talk in detail about the optimal timing, main methods and rules for performing this important agrotechnical technique..

Spring grafting of fruit trees

Grafting is the so-called transplanting of a part of one plant to another, that is, the transfer of a bud or cuttings from a fruit tree of one variety to a tree of another variety. This procedure is based on the unique properties of trees to grow together with each other, while healing wounds.

This agricultural technique is considered one of the best ways to propagate varietal plants, and also allows you to grow different types of fruits on this tree, for example, pears and apples. To get the vaccine correctly, it is very important to understand the basic concepts and rules that should be followed when performing the procedure..

Plant compatibility

It is very important to study the compatibility of cultures in this case. If, for example, you graft an apple tree on a birch, then nothing good will come of this venture..

Practice shows that one should graft like on like, that is, an apple tree on an apple or a pear, a plum on a plum or cherry … Only in this case, you can get a successful result.

Rootstock and scion

The main concepts, the essence of which must be understood when carrying out vaccination, are “stock” and “graft”.

Rootstock– this is the part of the tree on which the new variety is grafted.

GraftIs a stalk that takes root on the stock. It is he who will be responsible for the formation of the upper part of the plant and for fruiting..

Spring grafting of fruit trees

When vaccinating, it is very important to choose and prepare these two parts correctly..

Stock selection

When deciding on the choice of stock, the main attention should be paid to its winter hardiness, resistance to excess or lack of moisture, as well as adaptability to local climatic conditions. When choosing a stock, pay attention to the compatibility of plants, which we talked about above..

In any case, a healthy, not old plant with light wood on the cut should act as a rootstock. Wilds are well suited as a stock, which are distinguished by their remarkable adaptability and powerful root system. For example, a varietal pear or apple tree can be grafted onto their wild relatives..

Harvesting of grafts (cuttings)

In areas where winters are characterized by severe frosts, it is recommended to harvest cuttings from autumn. If you live in a temperate climate zone, then the scion can be cut in the spring (just before the grafting), before the buds swell.

Lignified branches can act as a cutting. Too young shoots are not recommended to be used. If there is a need to store the scions, then they are treated with garden varnish on the cut and left indoors at a temperature from 0 to +1 ° C.

The main methods of vaccination

There are three main, reliable, and at the same time simple ways of grafting fruit trees:

  • copulation (with a handle on a thin branch);
  • grafting for the bark;
  • cleft inoculation.


Technically, this method is considered the simplest. The main rule for grafting on a thin branch with a cuttings: the rootstock and the scion must be the same in diameter at the cut.

Spring grafting of fruit trees

When copulating, both parts are cut off at an angle of 30 degrees, while tongues (splints) are made on the cuts, allowing the grafting elements to be tightly fixed relative to each other. Then the scion with the stock is connected and tightly tied with ribbons cut from thick polyethylene.

Bark grafting

This method is perfect if the rootstock and scion diameters are very different. Another indisputable advantage of this method is the minimal trauma of the rootstock, the tissues of which are practically not damaged, the wounds heal quickly, providing excellent survival of the cutting.

Spring grafting of fruit trees

When inoculating for the bark, the scion is cut off at an angle of 30 degrees, the bark is cut into the rootstock, the cutting is inserted into the incision so that the bud on it “looks” into the center of the rootstock. After that, the rootstock with the scion is fixed as tightly as possible, and the graft site is smeared with garden varnish.

If the diameter of the stock is large enough, two or three cuttings can be grafted onto it at the same time..

Cleft grafting

This method is ideal for replanting relatively old fruit trees with new varieties. Splitting grafting is a wonderful way to rejuvenate the garden, increase the resistance of trees to adverse climatic conditions.

The main advantage of this method is that the strong root system of the adult stock gives a strong impetus for good survival and development of the scion..

Spring grafting of fruit trees

Before the procedure, all skeletal branches are cut off at the stock, leaving a trunk 20–40 cm high. Splits 4–5 cm deep are made in the resulting hemp. If the diameter of the hemp is large, you can graft two cuttings at once, inserting them opposite each other on different sides of the split. If the stump is small in diameter, one graft is grafted, making the split not through, but on one side (grafting into the half-split).

The scions are cut in the shape of a wedge, inserted into the cleft closer to the edge of the rootstock at a slight slope towards the center of the hemp – this arrangement allows combining the cambium.

The vaccination site is wrapped in polyethylene or coated with garden varnish. If cleft inoculation is done correctly, no special fixation is required.

Vaccination care

If the vaccination is done correctly, the stock begins to grow after three weeks – shoots appear from the buds on it. At this point, it is very important to take proper care of the vaccine:

  1. The branches that grow from the rootstock buds located below the graft should be removed. This must be done constantly, throughout the season..
  2. If a split vaccination has been carried out, you should carefully monitor the condition of the wound, and, if necessary, lubricate the opened places with garden varnish.

Optimal timing of vaccination

Vaccination time plays an important role. The spring vaccination is best done when a stable positive temperature is established at night. This happens, as a rule, in the second half of April. You should know that small frosts do not affect survival.

It is very important to carry out the procedure even before budding on the rootstock, since later grafting can cause strong gum flow (release of brown or amber sticky thick liquid on the trunk and branches), as a result of which winter hardiness of the tree is greatly reduced and growth slows down.

It is best to plant plants on a dry but cloudy day, the time of day does not affect the quality in any way.

Video tutorial: grafting fruit trees – copulation and splitting

Why plant trees

The vaccination procedure can solve several main problems of the gardener:

  1. Breeding of rare high quality varieties. If the tree is already old, but still bears fruit well, then for breeding, you can graft cuttings cut from it onto a new seedling, and thus save your favorite variety.
  2. Saving space on a small personal plot. One tree can grow fruits of two or even three varieties..
  3. Correction of the shape of the crown. If the tree began to grow incorrectly, then pruning and grafting in the necessary places will correct the shape of the crown.
  4. The grafting procedure contributes to rejuvenation, improves plant health, allows you to save trees damaged by rodents or severe frosts in winter.

Vaccination is considered a rather complicated procedure by many. However, this is a completely wrong judgment. When carrying out this agrotechnical technique, in order to achieve success, it is necessary to carefully study the basic rules and strictly follow them. Well, if you are not quite confident in your abilities, you can take a “master class” from experienced gardeners living in the neighborhood.

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