How to Graft Pecan Trees

Pecans in the Tree image by Murdaugh/Flickr.com

Overview

Grafting pecan trees is the process of combining scions from young healthy trees to invigorate older, well-established trees and encourage them to produce more nuts. Grafting is a complicated technique and may require multiple tries before a successful graft is achieved. Ideal pecan trees for grafting include Owens, Desirable, Jackson and Cape Fear.

Step 1

Choose a suitable tree for gathering scion wood. Young trees produce the most vigorous growth and are ideal for grafting. For best results, collect the scion wood while the trees are dormant in the wintertime.

Step 2

Cut the scion wood branches into 6-inch strips and tie in bundles of 25 sticks. Wax both ends of the sticks with paraffin wax to lock in the wood's oils and moisture.

Step 3

Wrap the bundles in wet newspaper and place in plastic bags in the refrigerator until the grafting tree is ready for use.

Step 4

Choose the tree you will graft to. Healthy pecan trees that are 3 to 12 inches in diameter at breast height are ideal for grafting. Three grafts can typically be done on each tree.

Step 5

Prepare the tree for grafting by removing 60 to 70 percent of the limbs with a saw. Leave 1 foot of the limbs remaining on the tree. For best results and to prevent splitting, saw from the bottom of the limb until the saw binds, and then do the final cuts from the top.

Step 6

According to Mississippi State University's Department of Plant and Soil Science, the most common cut to use for a pecan graft is the inlay bark graft. This scion can be prepared for this graft by cutting one side of the basal end to a long, straight bevel. Remove the remaining coarse bark from the crown of the scion, being careful not to damage the wood underneath.

Step 7

Place the scion alongside the tree's branch and use a knife to trace where the scion will be grafted. Then make cuts into the bark equal to the width of the scion. Gently lift the bark and insert the scion. Fasten the scion by wrapping tightly with the budding tape.

Step 8

Leave the tape in place for 3-6 weeks, or until the new graft begins to bud fresh growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Scions
  • Paraffin wax
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic bags
  • Rootstalk
  • Razor sharp grafting knife
  • 1/2-inch clear polyethylene budding tape

References

  • Propagating Pecans
  • Pecan Production
Keywords: grafting pecan trees, rejuvinating pecan trees, successful pecan grafting

About this Author

Ann White is a freelance journalist with prior experience as a Corporate and Business Attorney and Family Law Mediator. She has written for multiple university newspapers and has published over 300 articles for publishers such as EHow and Garden Guides. White earned her Juris Doctor from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature.

Photo by: Murdaugh/Flickr.com