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Cleft or Wedge Grafting

Cleft grafting is used to join one or two scions to a larger rootstock Used to connect one or two smaller scions to a larger rootstock, this technique is commonly used with fruit trees. It should again be done early in spring, before bud break. Use scions no larger than 1/4", each with several buds, and cut off an angled, 2" long piece on either side, so that the bottom part of the scion tapers to a point. Cut the rootstock, 1 to 4" diameter, off horizontally, then make a vertical split through its diameter, some 3" deep.

Next, gently ease the scions into each end of the split in the rootstock (use a small wooden wedge or screwdriver to hold it open), aligning cambium with cambium. The wider part of the scion should face outward. Remove wedge. Scions should be tightly held by the rootstock. Cover all cut surfaces with grafting wax, or a commercial tree wound sealer.

If only one scion is eventually desired, allow both to grow for a year, then remove the one that is least vigorous.

See Grafting for the general principles involved.

Topics Referenced

Fruits and Vegetables

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