How to Graft a Weeping Cherry

Overview

Higan cherry trees, also known as weeping cherry trees, are a variety of cherry tree that can grow up to 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide. This is a popular ornamental specimen tree with drooping branches. The tree produces snowy white blossoms in spring, followed by glossy green leaves in summer and early fall. In late fall the leaves turn yellow and then drop from the tree. Weeping cherry branches are often grafted at 4 feet in height onto fast-growing, straight cherry tree stems for an unusual-looking landscaping tree.

Step 1

Collect cherry tree branches, which are known as scions, in fall after the tree has gone dormant. Each scion should be from the previous year's growth, and should be approximately the width of a pencil. Store branches in gallon freezer bags in your refrigerator along with a little bit of damp peat moss.

Step 2

Graft scions onto the root stock tree once the root stock tree slips out of dormancy and begins to produce buds.

Step 3

Select a smooth location on the trunk of the tree approximately 4 feet from the soil line. The trunk of the tree can be cut through completely with a saw, or you can prune away a side branch.

Step 4

Cut the end of the weeping cherry tree scion into a blunt wedge with one side of the wedge thicker than the other.

Step 5

Create an opening between the bark of the cherry tree and the trunk of the tree with a cleft grafting wedge. Be careful not to split the bark.

Step 6

Slip the wedge of the scion into the opening between the bark and the trunk of the cherry tree. Make sure that the cambium of the trunk touches the cambium of the scion limb.

Step 7

Coat the union between the bark and the scion with asphalt emulsion to protect the union.

Things You'll Need

  • Grafting knife
  • Plastic freezer bag
  • Peat moss
  • Pruning saw
  • Grafting wedge
  • Mallet
  • Asphalt grafting emulsion

References

  • University of Minnesota: Grafting and Budding Fruit Trees
  • Washington State University Extension: Bark Grafting
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula': Weeping Higan Cherry

Who Can Help

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Grafting
Keywords: grafting trees, weeping cherry tree, ornamental cherry trees

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."