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Side-Veneer Grafting

Side-veneer grafting joins scions into the side of the rootstock of another plant Used mainly with evergreens, Japanese maple, suitable also for birch and rhododendron, this technique is performed in late winter, indoors, on specimens a few years old. The rootstock may have to be brought into the home or greenhouse; do so at least one month before grafting, decrease watering several weeks before surgery. Scions 4 to 6" long are ideal, though smaller can be used; scions must have at least some mature, brown wood.

Remove leaves from the lower 6" of the rootstock, then a shallow wedge of wood some 2" long from the side of the stock, not far from its base. Trim leaves from the lower half of the scion, then cleanly taper it to fit this wedge, and tape into place.

Bottom heat and high humidity can be helpful, provide good drainage, water little but frequently. Keep air temperatures fairly low. After a few months, harden the plant off and move outside. Remove one-third off the top of the rootstock, another third in several weeks, and any remaining stock above the graft site later that summer, so that only the scion and any rootstock below it remain.

See Grafting for the general principles involved.

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