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Grafting Tips

As technique of gardening and orchard management, grafting is used to grow fruiting and flowering trees of one varietal on the hardier and stronger performing root stock of another varietal. Grafting is involved in  placing scion branches cut from the new tree top into the trunk of the rootstock tree, after that you have to secure them and keep them moist until the two raw wood cuts grow together into a new tree hardened at the union. If you want to do a better grafting, Here are a few tips you could follow.

1.To prepare and store scions

Scion wood should be harvested from healthy shoots grown in the previous winter or early spring. Cut scions with clean sharp secateurs or a garden knife, ensuring that you must get at least three buds or leaf axils on each length of scion wood. If you don’t plan to graft the scions at that moment, afterwards you had better  wrap the scion wood in damp sphagnum moss or damp paper toweling immediately and put them into a resealable plastic bag and store in the lower third of the refrigerator near the back in which it should be the coldest. But, do remember not to store the scion wood in a fridge at the same time when fruits or vegetables are also stored there, because  the ethylene gas from fruits and vegetables could cause the scion buds to die and make them useless. Check on paper toweling or moss every few weeks to ensure that the scion buds have not dried out. If you discover that they do not feel moist to the touch and there is no condensation at all in the bag, you should re-dampen with a few sprinkles of clean water and reseal the bag.

2. To secure the graft

Although you could learn many different kinds of techniques for grafting based on several reasons, such as tree age and varietal, personal preference and past success, securing the graft is always the top priority to consider and the key to success. No matter what type of grafting method you choose, you should always make sure that the raw cut wood or cambia surfaces of both the scion and root stock wood are in immediate snug contact and would not pop out or loosen over time. This snugging is created by careful cutting of the scion and rootstock to fit together and aided by the use of several grafting tools of the trade including biodegradable rubber banding called grafting bands or the use of biodegradable grafting tape. Each will disintegrate over time to prevent girdling of the tree and graft site but remain snug in the early stages to make sure that a strong connection is made until the union has healed.

3.To maintain moisture at the graft union

After you have done with securing the graft, you should go for the next most important thing, that is  to prevent the graft union site from drying out, that id the key to success of  the grafting. To seal the graft area you can use melted grafting wax or grafting paint, which is a viscous sealant, by painting either of them on all of the exposed graft surfaces. An alternative to be used is that you could  place plastic bags secured with rubber bands around the grafts to keep  moisture loss away. When the scions begin to sprout green growth, you can prune away all but the most vigorous one or two, and these will be the main trunk or branches of the newly grafted tree.

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