Graft trees are one of the easiest and most versatile ways to renew your aging garden. Learn how to do it correctly, so that the cuttings successfully take root.
Gardeners use split-grafting, firstly, to make a varietal garden renovation, and secondly, to increase the "immunity" of trees to the vagaries of nature. This method is the simplest in execution — the top is cut from the stock and dissected along it, then a graft graft is inserted into the slot. However, with all its apparent simplicity, there are a number of nuances, the knowledge of which will ensure the successful outcome of your "operation".
What plants are suitable for vaccination?
A graft splitting is a necessity when an adult fruit tree needs to be re-grafted for some reason, or you want to cultivate young or overgrown dickey. Also this method is the first assistant when you are trying to revive a dying tree, planting a new variety in its crown.
Graft splitting is ideal for fruit trees (plums, apples, pears), berry and ornamental shrubs, home citrus plants and, of course, grapes.
When is the split injected?
Splitting should begin in the spring. This is a great time because the trees are still at rest. Not late will be the beginning of sap flow and the awakening of the kidneys. But it should be remembered that cuttings grafted up to this point in the summer develop much easier and much more intensively.
The best months to start grafting of stone fruits are the second half of March; seed seeds should start a little later, from mid-April.
For grafting with cuttings in a split, the diameter of the scion and the rootstock are of little importance: they can be either the same or different. It does not affect the successful result of vaccination.
Benefits of Splitting a Tree
Why is this vaccine so good? Firstly, it is successfully used in cases where other methods of vaccination are impossible. It is a question of trees with an unsatisfactory state of the bark or if the stock damaged by unsuccessful attempts of previous vaccinations turns out to be unsuitable.
Secondly, even overgrown wilderness and already fruiting trees can be used as graft rootstocks for grafting. And with other methods it is impossible. In addition, the more developed the root system in an overgrown wilderness, the more resistant to weather conditions the tree will be.
Graft vaccination successfully grows much more frequently than other types of grafts.
Split grafting is not for nothing so valued by amateur gardeners, since this process does not take much time, is not laborious, and does not require long preparatory work. Even if you do not have the most “even hands”, and your cuts and splits turned out to be not the best, you can not worry about the successful outcome of the case. Since with this method of vaccination, the percentage of successful accretion is large enough.
In the process of vaccination, there are 3 stages: preparation of the stock and scion, the procedure for combining them, the protection of the site of the "operation".
If you carry out a graft splitting on a young wilderness or a branch of small diameter, the procedure is not so complicated. But grafting on a stump or large branches is a more laborious process that will require certain skills from you. Generally it is better not to tackle this vaccination alone. The second pair of hands does not hurt when you will split and insert the cutting.
What is a stock and a graft
The preparation of stock and scion should be done in advance, and it is necessary to approach this process with full responsibility, since the fate of the harvest depends on compliance with certain rules.
Rootstock - The basis of future vaccinations. A sapling stock can be grown independently, but this is a very laborious work that requires careful attention.
Graft responsible for the quality of the crop and its quantity. Therefore, for vaccination, it is necessary to cut cuttings only from those trees that delight you with their fruits and yield.
Procurement and storage of cuttings
Cuttings for vaccination can be harvested several times throughout the year. It all depends on the pores when it will occur.
Much also depends on the process of storing the cuttings. It is important to understand that we prepare the cuttings in advance, in order to keep them at rest until vaccination, i.e. prevent kidneys from developing ahead of time. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep the graft properly: to prevent it from freezing or drying, as well as damage by rodents.
Preparation of stock and scion before grafting
The stock should be cut skeletal branches, leaving 10 to 30 cm from the trunk. Then make longitudinal splits up to 4-5 cm deep in stumps. If the rootstock branch is thick, you can use 2 cuttings at once by pasting them opposite each other. On a too thin branch, which is suitable only for one cutting, you can make a semi-split.
Cleft and cutting of the stalk should ideally match each other.
On a large diameter stock (15 cm or more) the splitting process will be carried out quite differently. First, with a slight movement of your hand, make a cut in the place where you are going to split. Then, armed with a knife or chisel, hitting them with a hammer, split the stump to a depth of 5-7 cm. In order to split did not close, insert into it a wooden wedge or what is near at hand, a screwdriver, for example. If it is necessary to instill 4 escapes at once, a cross-shaped cleft will be appropriate. To do this, make another split, perpendicular to the first.
Scion grafts should have at least 3-5 eyes. The wedge-shaped cut should be made perfectly flat, 3-5 cm long in the lower part. You can check the cut by attaching a knife blade to it: there should be no gaps between them. It is extremely important at the time of the operation not to touch the cut with your hands, so as not to inadvertently infect the scion.
For the same reason, all tools must be clean, well sharpened and disinfected.
For graft splitting, you will need special tools.
Step-by-step tree grafting instructions
Try to combine the cambium layers with one precise hand movement.
Springtime is the perfect time to graft trees. However, it should not be too tense with this process, the main thing is to be in time before the start of sap flow.
If a young plant or a branch small in diameter needs to be grafted, the cuttings should be inserted into the split in such a way as to combine the cambium layers. Try not to introduce a scion wedge deep into the cleft, it is better to leave a few millimeters of cut above the surface. This measure will contribute to a better accretion of the scion with the stock.
If you intend to inoculate a large hemp or wide saw cut, it is appropriate to insert 2 cuttings into the split, placing them from opposite sides. In this case, it is also important to combine the cambial layers.
If you want to plant 4 cuttings at once, then on the stock you need to make 2 splits. First, insert one pair into the first split, remove the wedge, and then, after opening the second split, insert the second pair of cuttings.
The procedure is best done with a partner, because the operation should not last longer than 30 seconds. Too slow action can lead to oxidation and drying of the cut surface. Starting the preparation with a stock, then quickly make a wedge-shaped cut of the cutting and insert it into the cleft. It is better to stand with your back to the sun.
Binding and putty
It depends on how well the vaccine site is protected, how well it will take root.
The location of the vaccination is extremely important to protect from external exposure. For this, it must be properly bandaged. The material for strapping also has its own requirements - it must be clean and easy to use.
As a rule, to protect vaccinations using food film, electrical tape, rubber or perfol. But the best material, according to many gardeners, is polyvinyl chloride oilcloth. It is rather thin, but at the same time durable, well passes light and does not allow moisture to evaporate.
Open vaccination sites must be covered with garden pitch. It not only protects them from drying out and precipitation, but also saves you from having to tie a cutting with a plastic bag.
The greenhouse effect created by cellophane can cause premature budding, which is very detrimental to vaccination. Gardening treatment prevents this.
Care of graft trees
Whether your vaccination was crowned with success will be clear in a month. The successful outcome is evidenced by the appearance of buds and new shoots. As the tree grows, the places where the grafting was carried out are compacted. In this case, the harness should be loosened so that it does not crash into the trunk, do not traumatize the plant, and does not limit its growth at the site of inoculation. Any squeezing of the bark can lead to the obliteration of the grafted part and the death of the seedling.
Carefully monitor the strapping.
Remember to maintain humidity at the vaccination site. But it is important to ensure that moisture does not fall into the gap between the tissues of the rootstock and the scion. On the other hand, too dry air also has a bad effect on the vaccination - the transplanted part can dry out. It is for this reason that the joints must be tied with ribbon and coated with garden pitch, since moisture loss directly affects the survival rate of the vaccine. Also, the cut may dry out due to a violation of the tightness of the coating, which occurs as a result of temperature fluctuations. Therefore, several times a week, check its condition. If you notice a leak, correct it immediately, otherwise the vaccine may die.
It is better to protect grafted trees from direct sunlight, as it is not recommended to overheat or overdry newly formed tissues, which may lead to their death. This is of particular importance in the first year after vaccination. It is good if the graft site shade the branches of another tree. Otherwise, independently build some awning from the sun.
Take care of young growing shoots
When young shoots begin to appear on the grafted branch, they must be constantly tied up to the established props, as they grow very quickly and can break off. Also, such undesirable consequences can lead to strong wind or birds.
The growth of new shoots is also worth monitoring carefully. Its excessive growth below the vaccination site can significantly limit the intake of nutrients to the grafted part. This seriously hampers the nutrition of the grafted stem from the roots. Therefore, timely remove germinating buds below the junction of two varieties, then the development of a new variety will be more complete.
Vaccination, made in compliance with all the rules - only half the success. It is equally important to properly care for the young grafted tree. Only in this case, you can count on a rich harvest of high quality.