How to Graft Cherry Trees


Although there are many ways to propagate cherry trees by grafting, bud grafting is the most common commercial way or propagating cherries. By grafting buds to the side of a sturdy rootstock optimized for local growing conditions, you can propagate cherry trees that don't do well with other methods of propagation. By using bud grafting techniques, you can graft different types of cherries to a single root stock to create a tree that bears different kinds of fruit.

Step 1

Cut the bud stick from an existing tree. Start the cut with a sharp budding knife 1/2 to 3/4 inch below the base of the bud and cut at an angle to a point midway through the branch 1/2 to 3/4 inch above the bud.

Step 2

Make a straight cut through the top of your partially cut bud to release the bud from the donor tree.

Step 3

Clean the bud stick carefully. Any dirt on the bud stick is likely to cause the graft to fail.

Step 4

Make a vertical cut on the root stock or destination tree 1 1/2 inches long. Be careful to only cut through the bark. Don't cut into the wood.

Step 5

Make a horizontal cut at the top of your vertical cut to for a T. Angle this cut slightly downward to make it easier to insert the bud stick. Be careful to only cut through the bark. Don't cut into the wood.

Step 6

Lift the bark of the T gently to make a pocket for the bud stick.

Step 7

Slide the bid stick into the pockets formed by the T under the bark.

Step 8

Wrap the graft tightly with budding rubber or string.

Things You'll Need

  • Existing cherry tree
  • Cherry root stock
  • Budding knife
  • Budding rubber or string


  • University of Missouri Extension: Budding
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Grafting and Budding Fruit Trees
  • University of Missouri Extension: Grafting

Who Can Help

  • Oregon State University: It's time to gather scion wood for grafting
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Budding and Grafting Fruits & Nuts
Keywords: cherry propagation, cherry grafting, fruit propagation

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.