Grafting pecan trees is necessary because pecan tree seeds are not true to type and its cuttings fail to produce roots, according to the Texas Agricultural Extension Service. Grafting, or the joining of a younger tree, called a scion, with an established tree, or root, helps ensure true to type propagation and encourages abundant nut production. The University of Florida recommends whip grafting when grafting pecan trees.
Graft pecan trees in their second winter, or later, using the whip and tongue grafting method, described below. January and February are ideal months for grafting pecan trees in most climates.
Choose a scion that is close in size to the stock you intend to graft. The selected scion should have at least two developed buds. The University of Missouri Extension recommends using a scion and stock that are between 1/4 and 1/2 inch in diameter.
Cut the scion using a sharp knife to a length of between four and six inches.
Create a sloping cut of approximately three inches in length on the base of the scion. Make a sloping cut of the same length on the top of the stock. Be careful to create an even, smooth cut.
Form the tongue on the stock by making a downward cut, 1/2 inch in length, about an inch down from the tip of the sloping cut.
Make a corresponding cut at the base of the scion. This cut should be as close in size and angle as possible to the cut made on the stock.
Place the scion onto the stock and interlock the cut surfaces. Make sure the cambium layer of the scion matches up with the cambium layer on the stock.
Wrap the scion and stock together using budding tape, and then cover the grafted area with a full layer of wax. This will help prevent the grafted area from drying out.
Remove the budding tape approximately one month after grafting.