How to Graft Nursery Plants


Grafting is a type of tree surgery where a young branch or scion is melded with an older trunk or rootstock to form a new tree. In order for a graft to succeed, the plants must be compatible. Compatible plants are in the same genus. For example, a young branch from a peach tree can be grafted onto a plum tree because they are in the same genus.

Step 1

Measure the diameter of the rootstock with a tape measure.

Step 2

Locate a young stem from your desired plant type that has the same diameter.

Step 3

Split the rootstock in the middle with a sharp grafting knife. The split should go 1-and-1/2 inches into the stem.

Step 4

Cut the bottom tip of the young branch so that it looks like a wedge. The wedge should be roughly 1-and-1/2 inches long. Make the cut so that there are three buds remaining on the young branch.

Step 5

Slide the young branch into the split in the trunk until you feel resistance. Inspect the graft and make sure that the green bark layers are matched completely. This ensures that the young branch will receive nutrients from the rootstock.

Step 6

Wrap the branch with wax-based grafting tape so that the entire grafted area is completely covered.

Step 7

Remove the tape when the young branch produces leaves.

Tips and Warnings

  • Clean your grafting knife with soap and water before using it to remove all dirt and germs that could infect the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Grafting knife, clean and sharpened
  • Grafting tape, wax-based


  • University of Minnesota: Methods Of Grafting
  • North Carolina State University: Grafting And Budding Nursery Crop Plants
Keywords: grafting nursery plants, nursery plant grafting, graft nursery plants

About this Author

Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.