Compiled by Riley Holly


-asexual propagation

-attaching compatible scion (desired cultivar) to rootstock (desired growth properties)


-change cultivars

-propagate additional plants of desired cultivar

-have multiple cultivars on single plant---limited space, lengthen season of desirable fruit

-provide cross-pollination on single tree

-propagate clonal rootstock (disease resistance)

-hasten maturity--earlier fruit production

-growth properties---dwarfing, pathogen resistant, it's there (topworking)

-repair damaged tree

-add vigor to overhybrized plant by grafting to more energetic rootstock

-rootstock resistant to drought, salinity, heavy soils -- grafted to desired cultivar

-cultivar difficult to root by cuttings, air-layering - do not come true to seed

-indexing for viruses


-cambium -- thin layer of meristemic cells between xylem & phloem

-xylem -- water conducting cells (outer sapwood)

-phloem -- food conducting cells (inner bark)

-callus -- corky tissue developed by woody species to cover wounds

-parenchyma cells -- undifferentiated

-rootstock (understock) -- root system which is grafted to scion

-scion (scionwood) (budwood) (budstick) -- cultivar grafted to rootstock

-budding -- single bud graft

-regrowth -- new shoots from stumped rootstock

-take -- successful graft

-slip -- when xylem & phloem separate easily at cambium interface

-interstock (double graft) -- intermediate plant part which is compatible with both scion and rootstock

-meristem -- actively dividing cells


-genus-A x genus-B --- possible, but limited

-species-A x species-B in same genus --- better success, but not always

-rejection can occur several years later

-use interstock when scion & rootstock not compatible, if possible


-scion --dormant, prior to growth flush

-- store in polyethylene bag with moistened paper at 45 deg. F

-rootstock --actively growing (pushing)

-bench graft -- anytime


-on tree in ground

-on seedling (bench)


(see R.J.Garner - "The Grafter's Handbook" for complete list and methods)


-cleft or wedge

-whip and tongue




-green bark







sharp knife


rubber bands (seedlings)

tape (mature trees)

diluted white latex paint

Tree Seal or Henry's #107 asphalt emulsion (water soluble)

marking labels and marker

white cardboard or heavy paper (mature trees)


collecting / storing scionwood

-fat leaf buds - not open (dormant)

-large diameter for mature tree graft

-scionwood should be equal to, or smaller than rootstock

-previous years growth

- 3/16 - 3/8 inch for seedling (match seedling diameter)

-make slant cut at apical end -- make perpendicular cut at basal end -(helps to remember growth direction) (4 - 6 inches long)

-don't use terminal buds (low in carbohydrates)

-cut off leaves

- 2-3 buds above graft area

-store in polyethylene bags at 45 deg. until ready to graft -- mark bag with date and cultivar name

grafting to seedling (cleft graft is commercial choice) (also for small branches on existing mature


prepare scion -- cut petiole back to protect bud

-- wrap buds and stem above graft site with stretched Parafilm ( to prevent desiccation of scion) - leave 1 - 2 buds uncovered

-- make slanting cuts (approx. 2 inch taper) just below lower bud on opposite sides of scionwood

prepare rootstock

-- cut off stem approx. 4 inches above soil --same diameter as scion

-- slice rootstock down center the same length as scionwood taper

-- slide scionwood down cut in rootstock -- aligning cambiums as close as possible - if not the same size, then match cambium on one side

-- hold in place by wrapping stretched Parafilm around graft area and up to bud area

-- wrap graft area with stretched rubber band (1/4 inch wide)

prevent movement of graft area while healing

attach marker with date and cultivar information

create greenhouse effect (seedling) - make polyethylene tent

grafting to mature tree

prepare scionwood

-- same as for seedling, except cut a double taper, use large diameter scionwood, and 4 inches longer than bud area

prepare rootstock

-- stump tree (or regrowth) approx. 2 feet above soil

-- cut perpendicular to growth (otherwise tape will slip off)

-- make cut longitudinally through bark to cambium, 4 inches long, on windward side

-- lift bark and insert scion

-- repeat on opposite side (2 grafts for added assurance)

-- wrap with grafting tape to hold scion tightly to rootstock

-- paint exposed areas with black tar (Henry's #107 or Tree Seal), then paint with dilute (50/ 50) white latex paint

-- cover area with white paper to reflect sun from scionwood and graft

-- attach marker with date and cultivar information


-patience, usually takes 3 or more weeks to see growth (longer in cold weather)

-staking - to prevent movement at graft site

-fertilize plants in pots

-cut binding off around graft to prevent cincturing

-remove growth below graft

-pinch off side growth -- encourage single leader


% depends on

-genus / species

-time of year

-environmental conditions

-skill (practice)


-cambium misalignment


-movement of graft union during healing


-incompatibility of scion and rootstock

-environment -- over/under watering

-too hot


Internet {to retrieve URL, click on URL location}

Home Page of Texas A&M University

Four Flap Graft

Approach Graft

Inlay Graft

Budding Technique

Collecting Graft Scion Wood

Side Veneer Grafting

Air Layering

Table of Propagation methods

Top Wedge Grafting with pictures

Autotutorials from Cornell University

No. Carolina CE on Grafting


Bienz, D.R. , 1980. The Why & How of Home Horticulture. New York : W.H. Freeman & Co. ISBN 0-7167-1078-1

Bryant, Geoff, 1995. Propagation Handbook ( Basic Techniques for Gardeners). Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books.

ISBN 0-8117-3065-4

Capon, Brian , 1990. Botany for Gardeners. Oregon: Timber Press

ISBN 0-88192-258-7

Garner, R.J. , 1988. The Grafter's Handbook. New York: Sterling Publishing ISBN 0-3043-4274-2

Hartman, Hudson et al 1997. Plant Propagation: Principles and Practices 6th Ed. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall ISBN 0-13-206103-1

Hill, Lewis , 1985. Secrets of Plant Propagation. Vermont: Garden Way Publishing Book ISBN 0-88266-371-2

Janick, Jules, 1986. Horticultural Science. New York : W.H. Freeman & Co.

ISBN 0-7167-1742-5

Macdonald, Bruce 1992. Practical Woody Plant Propagation for Nursery Growers, Vol.2 Oregon: Timber Press. ISBN 0-88192-062-2

Thompson, Peter, 1995. Creative Propagation. Oregon: Timber Press

ISBN 0-7134-7118-2