Loquat trees are a sensitive variety of plant that up until recently did not take well to grafting, and instead were propagated using primarily cuttings. Grafting is a type of inexpensive and efficient propagation in which established, fruit producing branches are attached to young trees to aid the trees in producing fruit sooner. According to a study released by Avenida Barão de Itapura, modified whip grafting is the best approach to take when grafting loquat trees.
Select the budwood from a desired variety of loquat tree. The tree should be less than six years old, disease free and be very productive. The budwood should be roughly the same diameter as the trunk of the rootstock tree and roughly four to six inches long. Select budwood from the tree's most recent season's growth.
Cut the trunk of the rootstock diagonally two feet from the ground. Leave on any branches below the cut to support the tree's recovery.
Cut the budwood diagonally as well, and immediately place the pieces together positioning them so that the diagonals come together to form a solid trunk. Match up as much of the cambial layers as possible to provide the most nutrients to the new growth. The cambial layers are the thin, green layer just under the bark of the tree.
Tightly wrap the graft with grafting tape to hold it in place and encourage a strong bond.
Cover the entire graft site with a layer of grafting wax to lock in moisture and prevent disease.
Things You Will Need
- Budwood, fresh growth taken from a productive loquat tree
- Rootstock, usually a loquat tree grown from a seed
- Grafting knife
- Grafting tape
- Grafting wax