How to Graft Apricot Trees
Apricot tree grafting involves the inserting of a bud from one type of apricot into another similar tree that acts as a root stock. The root stock and bud eventually grow together and from then on, the branch that results from the graft will bear fruit identical to the tree it was taken from. Budding is a type of grafting that is preferred for grafting apricot trees. Budding does requires some specialized care. Perhaps the easiest method is called 'T' budding and it usually has a high level of success.
Creating the Graft
Collect sticks with buds from branches of desired apricot trees from the previous season's growth up to 1/2 inch in diameter. Collect them in the summer when the bark slips easily from the wood. Choose bud sticks that are mature and brownish colored.
Remove the bud stick from the tree and clip off any leaves on the bud stick. Wrap the bud sticks in a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out.
Remove each bud from the bud stick to be grafted. Cut under the bud, starting about 1/2 inch below the base of the bud and ending 1/2 inch above it. Cut the top edge of the bark square to form a shield shape.
Remove the underlying wood, once the bud is cut from the stick, leaving only the bark and the bud itself. Do not let the newly removed bud dry out.
Make a 'T' shaped cut through the bark of the trunk on a young root stock tree. Be careful not to cut too deeply. Lift the corners of the cut with the tip of the knife to loosen the bark from the branch.
Slide the pointed part of the bud shield into the 'T' cut so that the bud's bark is under the bark of the root stock tree. Insert the bud until the top of the shield meets the cross cut in the 'T'.
Wrap the trunk with rubber band strips to hold the bud in place. Do not cover the bud.
Check the bud after two weeks to see if the graft has taken. The bud should remain dormant until next spring, when it will sprout. As the bud starts to grow, cut off the stock above it. Remove any shoots sent out by the root stock to encourage the new bud to grow.
Label your graft with the origin of both the root stock and the bud.
- Label your graft with the origin of both the root stock and the bud.
- Sharp knife
- Rubber band strips