One of the methods of plant propagation is by graftinga procedure that requires some skills in the garden as it involves joining two plants or a part of one plant to another.
The plant that receives the graft is known as a pattern while the piece of stem or bud that is inserted into this pattern is known as a graft or variety. But how is it done?
What are grafts?
It is a highly recommended method when you want the multiplication to be exactly the same as the initial plant variety. That is why it is widely used in ornamental plants because the idea is that future plants have the same characteristics and look the same as the first. Some examples are certain conifers and some varieties of cypress trees.
It is also common for this multiplication method to be used in the case of fruit trees, and this is how it is common for the roots to belong to one variety and the trunk or branches to another.
The choice of this method is not accidental because the grafts allow to take advantage of the varieties of robust plants and with interesting characteristics because they are the ones that provide the root that due to its strength can overcome adverse conditions. Grafting is also used if you want to obtain smaller varieties of a plant, something important if you have a limited area.
The grafts are chosen when you want to obtain ornamental plants or different fruit trees. Then the so-called multiple grafts are carried out, which consist of achieving that the same plant has different varieties of flowers or fruits. What’s more, this method is used when multiplication by cuttings or by seed is not possibleor if you want to rejuvenate an old tree.
What types of grafts are there?
There are several types, which are:
It is also known as a gusset graft or English graft, and consists of introduce a piece of bark from the graft under the bark of the trunk of the plant that serves as a pattern. To do this, what is done is to first cut a little bark, more or less in the shape of a T, insert the graft and then keep them together with graft tape for 20 days. After that time, you will have a grafted plant.
You can do it in mid / late winter.
How to do a bud graft
Or also called a spike graft, it consists of replacing the end of the stem of the plant that serves as a pattern with a graft that has some buds. To achieve it, what is done is cut some of the stem, make a V-shaped slit, and then insert the graft. Finally, they are held together with raffia tape for example, or with some adhesive.
It is done when the pattern and the graft have the same diameter. For it, the pattern is cut to the desired height, then a cut is made in the center, and finally the graft is inserted previously bevel cut on both sides.
The plants that support this method are trees and shrubs, and it is done in winter if they are deciduous, or in spring if they are evergreen.
It is done in the same way as the previous one. The only difference is that instead of one pick, two.
It is very useful to rejuvenate trees, or to change varieties.
It is done with a graft of a 1-year-old branchwith a maximum diameter of 2 centimeters and with a pair of buds. Both it and the pattern must be cut in a bevel, and then introduce the branch inside ensuring that the cambiums of both come into contact. To finish, they are joined with raffia ribbon.
Also called a bark graft, the graft must be obtained in winter, by making a bevel cut, and kept in the fridge a little wet, wrapped in kitchen paper and placed in a plastic bag until spring. Then, the bark is separated a little from the pattern, and the quill is inserted.
It is a very interesting type of graft for when the bark of a trunk has been injured on one side. The pick should be collected in winter, and kept in the fridge until spring, wrapped in newspaper or kitchen paper and placed in a plastic bag. After that time, the wound is removed until the healthy tissue is reached, and notches are made both above and below it, the same diameter as the spikes or grafts. The tines are then inserted below the notches, ensuring that the edges are in contact.
Basically, it consists of welding two branches of plants that are growing together or very close to each other. For this, a piece of bark is removed from bothroughly equal in size and at the same height, and then attached with raffia tape or graft tape.
How to make a graft in fruit trees?
Fruit trees are plants that are grafted very frequently, either to get better fruits, or a variety that is more resistant to local conditions, for example. But we must always bear in mind that it is important to know well the varieties that we want to graft, because if they are not from the same family or, better, from the same gender, those grafts will not succeed.
In other words: they can be grafted Cherry trees with almond trees for example, since both belong to the genus Prunus; but it will be useless to graft a mango onto a manzano, since the first is a Mangifera, and the second a Malus.
However, there are certain fruit trees that can only be grafted onto others that are of the same species. They can be different varieties, but they must share a large part of their genetic material. Thus, we have apple trees, cherry trees, persimmons, Avocados, hazelnuts, walnut trees, olive trees, pomegranates and pistachios that they will only accept grafts from their most direct ‘relatives.
Taking all this into account, how are fruit trees grafted? Well, there are different methods, but the most widely used is the double cleft. Let’s know step by step how to do it:
- First, two branches to be grafted are cut in early spring, when they begin to sprout, at an angle of about 45 degrees.
- Next, an indentation is made in the pattern.
- The branches are then introduced and attached with graft tape.
- Finally, you will only have to wait about a month to remove the tape.
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