Grafting fruit trees: terminology, tools and methods

Grafting fruit trees: terminology, tools and methods

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Grafting when growing plants is sometimes the only way to grow a particular variety in a climate that is unfavorable for horticulture. There are also cultivated plants that do not propagate by seeds and cuttings, for them grafting is the only way of propagation.

Sometimes grafting of fruit trees is called transplantation, because part of one plant is transferred and engrafted on another. Thus, every gardener, having mastered the grafting technique, can create the tree of his dreams. Before picking up a grafting knife, you need to become familiar with the principles of plant grafting and terminology.


  • What you need to know before getting vaccinated
  • Tools and materials for plant grafting
  • Grafting methods of fruit plants

What you need to know before getting vaccinated

You need at least two plants to vaccinate. One will serve as a stock, the second as a scion.


The plant on which another plant will be grafted is called a stock. The prefix "under" means that it will be located below and grow on its roots. If possible, young plants are used as a rootstock, since their tissues grow rapidly and the wound area is quickly tightened during inoculation. A well-chosen stock should, as a rule, improve the quality of the scion. The stock can be obtained as follows:

  • buy in the nursery
  • grow from seed
  • choose from wild seedlings
  • root cuttings
  • take a stalk without roots

The rootstock can affect the grafted part. He can change:

  • winter hardiness
  • lifespan
  • fruit and plant size
  • timing of fruiting
  • fruit taste
  • disease resistance


As a scion, you can take both a stalk and a separate bud, and sometimes a branch. The part of a plant that has developed from a graft is also called a scion. The graft is usually taken in a nursery or harvested from the mother plant of its own garden. For spring grafting, cuttings are best prepared either in autumn or in early spring. For summer grafting, the grafting material is cut on the day of grafting. Cuttings for grafting must meet the requirements:

  • their diameter is desirable no more than 0.5 -0.7 cm
  • cut them from the central part of the ripe shoots
  • preferred length - up to 30 cm
  • the presence of living buds that have not yet sprouted

When thinking about a graft, it is important to know that not all plants "get along" with each other, sometimes the problem can be solved with a plant - an insert that gets along well with both the scion and the stock, or select plants that match each other.

Matching the scion to the stock

Only related plants can be grafted. With excellent compatibility, the scion and rootstock not only grow well together, but both parts develop well. Gardeners have noticed such a phenomenon as late incompatibility. This happens when, at first glance, the plants have grown together well, but after five to six, sometimes even 10 years later, the plant breaks down at the grafting site.

It is worth noting that there are situations when the stock and the scion are interchanged and the plants show incompatibility, although everything was fine in the opposite scenario.

The interaction of the main grafts and rootstocks in fruit plants has been well studied, but a novice gardener at this point needs to pay special attention before choosing a grafting method and, if possible, grafting a pear on a pear, an apple on an apple, and a plum on a plum, although there are others combinations. Before deciding on the method of vaccination, you need to take care of the tools and materials.

Tools and materials for plant grafting

The required vaccination kit includes:

  • knives
  • garden pruner
  • harness
  • garden var
  • container with water
  • bandage and iodine in case of a cut


To vaccinate one special grafting knife will not be enough, it will take two or three. When choosing a grafting knife, you should pay attention to both the handle and the blade. For a blade, the main condition is its sharpness. Sharpen the grafting knife on one side. Therefore, a necessary addition to such a knife is a whetstone. The handle is no less important, grip and comfortable, it will make the process more comfortable. In order not to interrupt work for sharpening too often, you need to stock up on two knives. You will also need a crooked garden knife to remove small twigs. Important! When working with a cutting tool, observe safety precautions and carry it either in a case or in a special bag.


The easiest way to tie up your grafts is with duct tape wrapped around the graft with the sticky layer facing outward, or clear plastic tape. The best option is one that stretches well, it will not delay the growth of the plant at the grafting site.

Garden var

This material will be required to coat the grafting site and when cutting small branches up to 3 cm thick. You can cut such branches with a garden pruner. Having prepared the tools and materials, you can start vaccinations.

Grafting methods of fruit plants

Currently, many different methods of grafting fruit plants are known. There are vaccination machines of various modifications, from portable amateur to solid professional. In amateur gardening, the following methods are most often used:

  • peephole or budding
  • graft grafting


For this method, the graft is a cut bud with a part of the bark - a shield, preparing buds for grafting, they can be cut with both bark and wood. With a lack of experience, it is easier to use the method in the butt. This vaccination is suitable for any time, regardless of sap flow. The second method is grafting into a T-shaped incision, when the scion flap is tucked behind the bark of the rootstock, cut in the shape of the letter T. Some features of budding:

  • it is made from the north side
  • the cuts for it should be as even as possible
  • the first to cut the rootstock
  • in the second turn, I cut off the flap with the bud from the scion
  • the scion is inserted into the cut on the rootstock or applied to it
  • tie the vaccination site

Important! Keep the graft site on the rootstock and on the scion flap clean.

Inoculation by cuttings

Such an inoculation is carried out not by one kidney, but by several, which are located on the handle. From such a scion, the crown of the plant is formed somewhat faster. The easiest way to graft with a cuttings is copulation, when the grafting sites on the rootstock and the scion are the same size. The optimal cut length for grafting is 2-3 cm, it is done by simple cutting obliquely, the parts are applied to each other and "bandaged" with winding. You can use a more reliable way of grafting fruit plants - improved copulation.

With improved copulation, an additional cut is made both on the rootstock and on the scion, resulting in "tongues" that tightly fit each other. The above methods of grafting with a graft will not work if the graft is much thinner in thickness than the stock. Here, for fruit plants, grafting methods with a cuttings are suitable:

  • in the butt
  • per bark
  • in the side cut
  • into cleavage
  • wedge

It is difficult for a novice gardener to achieve success right away, it is advisable to master the technique of grafting on branches and cuttings cut from linden, willow, rowan. After several trial inoculations, you can start grafting on garden plants.

Video on the correct grafting of trees:

Watch the video: PROFESSIONAL GRAFTING TOOL with Ω, U u0026 V Blade. Multipurpose Gardening Tool Grafting u0026 Pruning (June 2022).


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