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Tree nursing tutorials, This tutorial will show you how to understand fruit trees grafting to create multi-variety fruit.
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Good morning, I’m Tom Spellman with Dave Wilson Nursery. This morning we’re in one of the nurseries’ propagation green houses and we’re going to discuss the subject of grafting. First of all, what is grafting? Grafting is actually the combination of two different living organisms together. It is a rootstock. Second of all, in the combination, is our, cultivar or our scion variety. And this is the fruiting variety that we would like to propagate. And you have to have both of these things to have a good successful fruit tree. Practice is the most important thing to take into consideration when grafting. Make practice cuts, don’t start on viable tissue. Don’t start on a live tree. Get yourself some wood. Just cut off from any basic fruit tree when you’re pruning and make practice cuts. Make lots of practice cuts. Get comfortable with the knife; get comfortable with the feel of the wood in your hand. You don’t want to be waddling; you want to make long, smooth cuts. You want to make sure you’re coming up with a nice, clean uniform wedge. First graft we’re going to do today is a cleft graft. Once you’ve practiced and practiced and practiced more, you’re ready to start making your first viable incisions into a living tissue. The first you want to take into consideration with a cleft graft is compatibility and size of wood. I don’t want a large scion and a small under stalk or vice versa a large under stalk and a small scion. I want the sizes to be just about identical. So these are just about a quarter inch. Now, when making your first cuts, you want to start directly below a viable bud and you want to make that nice, long slice. Same thing on a reversed side, so you have about an inch, inch and a half cut at that point I’m going to select a portion of the trunk that is compatible in size and remove the top. And secure my scion, so I have a three or four bud scion and now I’m going to make an incision into the rootstalk so that I’m peeling back a section of rootstalk that I can insert my scion into. We want it to match up nice on both sides and have a good uniformed bond there. It’s very important to match up cambium later on at least the front side, front and back if possible. At this point were going to secure our graft in place with a rubber band. Any portion of exposed cuts should then be sealed with some sort of a tree seal. This happens to be an asphalt emulsion three seal. There is also a yellow cap that you can use and several different products, they all work fine. I happen to like the old asphalt seal. Any portion of exposed cuts should be sealed up. The next thing you consider is graft maintenance. At this point, this young graft can be outdoors in a shade house or in a green house until you start to see some growth. At that point, you’re going to probably have growth on the buds on the rootstalk below as well as some initiations on the scion above. Don’t do anything right away. Let that growth come out, let it grow two to three inches before you do any suckering. At that point, when you have good growth on the rootstalk as well as the scion, you should remove the sucker growth down below on the rootstalk and encourage one or two good straight, vigorous shoots from the graft. The next grafts that were going to demonstrate today are a whip on tongue graft and the procedure on this is relatively simple. It is making one long slanting cut on the rootstalk. One long slanted cut on the scion and then making a small tongue cut, so let’s start with our rootstalk here. Again making sure that you hold the knife away from you, never pull directly towards you so I’m going to lean this over a little bit and take that top off. So I have one nice slanted cut here. This is the initiation of our tongue cut on the rootstalk, just making one small flap. Now we’ll make a matching cut on our scion behind a good viable bud. Now were going to make a matching tongue cut on our scion. Now that we have a good match, we’ll secure this with a band. Any exposed cuts should then be sealed up and then another graft is complete. Taken this consideration the same thing we talked about with the cleft graft. You’re going to allow the growth to begin. Both on the rootstalk and on the scion, as the growth start to initiate on the rootstalk, let it come an inch, two inches, three inches and then remove it. At that point the scion should be healed in and then growing on its own. Select out one or two good viable buds and grow your structure. The next type of graft I’m going to demonstrate is a side veneer graft. This graft is done on the side of the trunk leaving a nurse branch on the tree and the reason to leave that nurse branch on is to not interrupt the movement of nutrients to the system. This type of graft is most commonly done on evergreen material. Ornamentals like magnolia, fruiting plants like guava, mango, some citrus things where you want to make sure that you have activity on the system. You don’t want to just shut it down and shock it. I am going to do this on a peach today because that’s what I have to work it but you can use this type of graft on basically any type of material where you want to keep that vigor in the system. The first thing were going to do is make our cut in the rootstalk, okay for this cut we’ll select an area about six inches up above soil level and make one long cut to expose a bark flap and take a small cut off the top. Maybe a quarter of an inch just so was opening up an area. We want to make a compatible cut in our scion taking into consideration that back cut can be a bit slighter longer than the front cut, so the back cut is going to start just below a good variable bud. And the front cut is going to be about a quarter of an inch below that. At this point our scion is inserted into the rootstalk so that we have a good match, flap coming up in the front to cover the cut and were going to match this up and seal it up with our rubber band. When sealing this cut, we want to make sure that we get a little bit of our tree seal back behind in that union area so that we don’t have any exposed area where water could run down on the scion and the rootstalk and seal up our top cut. Maintenance on this type of graft is a little bit different than the others. We already have our nurse branch here, which is going to keep the activity flowing through the system, and we never want to let this dominate. We don’t want to let this get too far advanced ahead of the scion, so at this point I’m going to just remove about half of that. Were going to allow the union to take, were going to allow the new growth to start on the scion and the growth to come on the rootstalk but were going to continually reduce this growth on the rootstalk so it never overpowers the scion. As the scion is growing and vigorous, I’m going to remove this nurse branch. We may come in at maybe six moths or six weeks later. I’m going to take that off as a clean cut and just allow this growth to come out. Another thing that’s extremely important to take into consideration when grafting. When your grafts are complete, make sure to label the varieties. If you’re doing a lot of different grafts in a day with a lot of different varieties and you don’t put a label right on them right away. You’re almost sure to lose track of which varieties are on which tree. Where doing home propagation just take into consideration that there is a lot of patented varieties out there. They are not free to propagate. There are varieties like pluants and aprions and other inner specific hybrids. Commercial varieties that are grown throughout the fruit industry and a lot of people rely on the income from those patents, so you don’t want to replicate those varieties yourself. Respect the industry, buy those varieties but there are literally hundreds and hundreds of varieties that are old fashioned things that have been on the market for decades or even a century or more that are absolutely free to propagate.