Grafting a peach tree involves implanting a live stem, called a scion, from one variety of tree into root stock of a similar variety of tree. The root stock will nourish the scion as it grows until they merge completely. From then on, the branch formed from that scion will bear fruit similar to the parent. In fact, it will be genetically identical to the parent.
Grafting a peach tree requires some preparation and special treatment. The Modified Cleft Graft is a relatively easy way to graft a peach tree scion to a root stock.
Grafting Your Peach Tree
Collect scions in the late winter before the buds have opened. Store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until they are needed.
Do your grafting in the spring when the buds on the trees that will serve as root stock are just beginning to open.
Choose a young peach tree from a hardy, disease-resistant variety for root stock.
Using pruning shears, cut off a branch from the root stock tree that is no more than one inch in diameter. Leave about a one foot stub. The cut should be clean and straight.
Split the branch by making a small cut into the center. Do not split the branch too deeply.
Trim the cut tip of the scion at an angle on both sides to form a wedge-shaped point. This will expose as much of the inner bark as possible.
Insert the wedge end of the scion into the split in the branch of the root stock. Align one edge of the inner bark of the scion to contact the inner bark of the branch.
Bind the union tightly with electrician's tape, then cover the tape entirely with grafting compound.
Continue to feed and water the root stock regularly to encourage growth.
Remove the tape as soon as the scion shows signs of growth.
Things You Will Need
- Stems from the desired peach tree
- Peach tree root stock
- Pruning shears
- Sharp knife
- Electrician's tape
- Grafting compound
- Be sure to label your graft with the origin of the scion.