How to Grow Fruit Trees From Grafts


Because fruit trees do not produce true from seeds, other methods of propagation have been created. This includes grafting. Grafting provides a way to connect a variety of fruit tree that has strong roots to a variety that has superior fruit. A cut branch called a scion is attached to a separate tree that acts as root stock. Over time, these grow together, forming a single tree. The tree then has the same traits of the tree the scion came from. There are several methods to graft trees available including a moderately easy method called the Modified Cleft Graft.

Creating the Graft

Step 1

Collect stems for scions in late winter while buds are unopened. Place the scions in a plastic bag and store them in your refrigerator.

Step 2

Graft your scions in the spring when the tree bud you are using for root stock are beginning to open.

Step 3

Select root stock from young fruit trees that are hardy and resistant to disease.

Step 4

Make a straight cut to remove a branch less than a half-inch thick from the root stock tree using a sharp knife. Leave about one foot on the branch.

Step 5

Make a small cut down the center of the branch to split it. Be careful not to split it too deeply.

Step 6

Get a scion from those you collected earlier that has the same diameter as the branch on the root stock.

Step 7

Trim both sides of the cut tip of the scion to look like a wedge. The inner bark will be visible.

Step 8

Insert the trimmed end of the scion into the split in the root stock so that the inner bark of the scion and the root stock branch touch.

Step 9

Tape the two pieces together with electrician's tape and cover it with the grafting compound.

Step 10

Remove the electrician's tape when the scion buds begin to sprout.

Tips and Warnings

  • Because different types of trees are not compatible--an apple tree and an orange tree, for example--grafts between them will not take.

Things You'll Need

  • Root stock tree
  • Stem from the desired tree
  • Sharp knife
  • Plastic bag
  • Electrician's tape
  • Grafting compound


  • University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service
  • University of Minnesota Extension Service
Keywords: cleft graft, scion, root stock

About this Author

In Jacksonville, Fla., Frank Whittemore is a content strategist with over a decade of experience as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy and a licensed paramedic. He has over 15 years experience writing for several Fortune 500 companies. Whittemore writes on topics in medicine, nature, science, technology, the arts, cuisine, travel and sports.