- Select good strong scionwood from the tree you want to reproduce. This must be the past season's new growth. Cut the twigs off (they should be at least an 1/8 of an inch across the stem where you cut. Trim the twigs to about 6 inches long (dab the cut end with tar to keep the twig from losing vital moisture.
Left twig, new growth is above bud, the rest is two year-old wood 2nd & 3rd twigs - prepared scionwood (shaved)
Take the twig of scionwood and shave the bark off both sides of the base. See photo above.
- Cut the rootstock off. This can be anywhere from six inches from the ground to above where the branches branch out. Whatever you cut off, I would make sure it (the stump) is at least ¾ of inch wide at the cut. Any less than that, and the tree is going to split wide open when you started your graft. The same applies to the top of the tree if you are just going to graft into the branches.
rootstock tree rootstock cut off, ready to graft
- Cover all the wounds and exposed wood with a layer of grafting tar or melted beeswax.
grafting tar covering all open wounds
7. Be sure to place a tree guard around the base of the tree. There is nothing more irritating than having your graft take successfully and then having a mouse girdle your tree and kill it. I speak from experience!
|treetop reworked 2 years ago, grafts are above the black spots(tar)|
|Second reworked tree, 2yr growth above tar|
These are trees I topworked two winters ago. The black spots are the residue of tar. Everything above that is the grafted scionwood. I am hoping they have grown out enough to start to bear fruit this coming year.
And that is all I have to say today.
Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.