Fruit Tree Grafting Methods

Fruit trees, according to the University of Minnesota, do not often produce seed that grows the same kind of fruit as the parent tree due to the wrong kind of pollination. Grafting is a method of asexual reproduction, where tissue from a parent plant is grafted onto another tree to pass on its qualities. There are a few popular methods of grafting.

Whip Graft

Whip grafting is the ideal method for branches that have a small diameter, between 1/4 and 1/2 inch, according to the University of California. Whip graft uses from a parent plant a scion, mature branch at least one season old, which will be attached on the rootstock of another tree. The scion needs a 45-degree-angle cut, then another cut down the middle, 1 inch in length, so that it has a tongue. A similar cut is made on the rootstock so that the two pieces fit together like a puzzle piece. Grafting tape binds the two pieces together until they heal.

Cleft Graft

The cleft graft can extend the tops of established apple and pear trees, according to the University of Minnesota Extension. The cleft graft requires a special grafting tool: a blade that has a wedge attached. The blade makes a cut in the established plant, which is then held open by the wedge. A scion, cut twice so that it is in the shape of a wedge, is placed into the cleft. Grafting compound is used to cover the wound until it heals.


Budding is a method of using a single bud as opposed to a whole branch, according to the University of Minnesota. A cut is made in the established branch, in the shape of a "T." The bud is then inserted into the cut and is tied using adhesive tape. The tie is cut in two to three weeks when the bud has begun to attach itself to the branch.

Keywords: fruit tree grafting, grafting trees, orchard grafting

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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.