How to Hybrid Fruit Trees


Grafting is a common method of propagating hybrid fruit trees. The seeds of hybrid trees will produce fruit trees, but the offspring trees will not be identical to the parent. Thus, to reproduce a hybrid tree, grafting onto sturdy wood, usually just above the roots on the trunk, will be necessary. Scions, or young shoots, are grafted onto healthy trees, or rootstock. This will result in the desired hybrid fruit. Up to five different scions can be grown on the same rootstock.

Step 1

Trim cuttings or scions from last year's growth in the winter, before the tree starts growing again. Make the cuts with sharp pruning shears.

Step 2

Put moss or damp sawdust over the scions to keep them moist, or wrap them with plastic.

Step 3

Store wrapped cuttings in a cool, moist location, such as a basement. This will keep them fresh and in a period of dormancy until they are ready to be grafted next spring.

Step 4

Choose a grafting method based on the fruit tree's age, health and size. The most common is a budding graft. Do a cleft graft on older apple and pear trees or a whip graft on young trees of the same species.

Step 5

Cut the understock to make a union with the scion. The type of cut varies, depending on the preferred grafting method. Trim the wood on the smooth section of a branch that wasn't cut off the rootstock or at the spot where a branch was removed. Cut right through the bark or where two branches meet.

Step 6

Push the two pieces together to make a union between the understock and scion. The grafting technique you are implementing will determine how to make the connection.

Step 7

Tie the understock and scion together to hybrid the fruit tree. Tie with string or electrical tape.

Step 8

Cover and protect the grafts. Apply an asphalt water emulsion compound over the union to ward off pests. The covering also will keep out rainwater.

Step 9

Support the scions with braces to protect them from getting broken by weather conditions. Trim the tips off as they grow to keep them from getting so long that they collapse under their own weight. New scions can be tied to other branches with string.

Things You'll Need

  • Grafting knife or pruning shears
  • Dormant scions
  • Moss or damp sawdust or plastic
  • Healthy rootstock
  • String or electrical tape
  • Supporting braces
  • Asphalt water emulsion compound


  • University of Minnesota Extension: What is Grafting?
  • MidFex Garden Club for Backyard Fruit Growers: Why Fruit Trees Are Grafted
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Methods of Grafting
Keywords: hybrid fruit trees, graft fruit trees, grow fruit trees

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.