How to Graft Stock Fruit Tree Roots


Root grafting is a method of producing a new tree from a seedling rootstock. Whole roots or pieces of roots that are 3 to 4 inches in length can be attached to a scion, which is a young shoot or twig from a tree, that is as large as or smaller than the root. Root grafting is a common practice in producing healthy fruit trees that produce similar fruit, as healthy roots from a good tree can be used to create clone plants that behave in the same manner. Grafting stock fruit tree roots can be difficult and may require a few attempts before the grafting takes.

Step 1

Cut a twig from the branch of a healthy, disease-free fruit tree that is 6 inches long and pencil thin. Cut perpendicular at a budding point on the branch, called a node, and wrap the twig in a wet paper towel and put in the refrigerator until ready to graft.

Step 2

Select a rootstock that is at least 4 inches long and prepare the scion by cutting 1 1/2 inches from the bottom of it at a diagonal angle.

Step 3

Make another cut at the bottom of the scion so that it is split into a forked tongue. Make another cut on the rootstock that matches this cut so that they fit together like a puzzle piece.

Step 4

Attach the two pieces using grafting tape, making sure to wrap it well enough that it will not move.

Step 5

Put the rootstock into wet sawdust until the graft takes, which should be within a few weeks. Keep the sawdust in a cool place to avoid stressing the graft.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety gloves
  • Fruit branch
  • Tree root
  • Grafting knife
  • Grafting tape
  • Paper towel
  • Refrigerator
  • Saw dust


  • North Dakota State University: Grafting and Budding Fruit Trees
  • University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service: Reproducing Fruit Trees By Graftage - Budding and Grafting
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Methods of Grafting
Keywords: grafting fruit trees, rootstock grafting, grafting methods

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.