How to Graft Crab Apple Trees


Commercial apple trees, such as crab apples, do not produce the same variety of seed as the fruit themselves. In order to ensure a new crab apple tree produces these delicious and tiny apples, a different form of propagation is required. Grafting is the process of combining a twig or branch of a crab apple tree with the branch or root of an established locally grown tree.

Step 1

Select young twigs from a crab apple tree that are roughly 6-8 inches in length. Cut them from the tree and place the cut end into a bucket of water.

Step 2

Prepare the stock branches by cutting them to a length of 12 to 18 inches in length. Cut a 2-inch-deep slice directly down the center of the branch for insertion of the scion.

Step 3

Cut the end of the scion so that it forms a 2-inch wedge at the bottom.

Step 4

Insert the wedge end of the scion into the cut on the stock branch.

Step 5

Wrap the entire graft with rubber electrician's tape. The rubber tape will stretch and eventually fall off as the graft heals and grows.

Things You'll Need

  • Scions
  • Stock branches
  • Grafting knife
  • Rubber electrician's tape


  • North Dakota State University: Tree Fruit Culture and Varieties in North Dakota
  • NDSU Extension Service: Questions on: Crab Apple
Keywords: crab apple, grafting, propagation

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.