When Should You Graft Trees?
by Lee Wyatt
(last updated November 11, 2016)
If you are thinking about trying some grafting around your home orchard, then chances are you have asked yourself a fairly basic question. That question is "When should you graft trees?" The answer to this question is both simple and not so simple at the same time. The reasons why can be found below; simply take a look at them and use them as a guideline for determining when you should, or should not, graft trees around your home.
- When to graft. If you are looking for a time of year to graft, then frankly there are generally only two times when you would do that. The first is in the early springtime, when the weather has stopped being cold all the time, and right before the first blooms start to come out. This way your trees will have time to help encourage the new bit of tree to really grow and join with the rest of the tree. The second time of year is going to be around the late fall, right before the cold weather really starts to set in. This will allow the tree time to conserve its strength and help the newly attached part of the tree to join. The only other time that you will really do any grafting is when you are trying to combat an illness that takes root in your tree.
- Know your tree. Another aspect of knowing when to graft trees lies in knowing your trees. Different trees have different blooming seasons, and as such should be grafted, trimmed, or similarly modified only in the appropriate season. Furthermore, certain techniques should only be utilized on certain types of trees or shrubs, and by knowing the tree you will know what type of technique will work the best.
- Know the reason. Generally speaking, the biggest reason for grafting is to help the propagation of a tree. That being said, there are several different reasons why you may want to do any grafting. For example, you may want to help create a new hybrid, create a tree that is more resistant to a certain weather type, or even grow in a certain manner. For which ever reason, you really need to have a reason in mind before you begin grafting.
- Know your technique. There are several different techniques or methods that you can use for grafting different parts of trees to each other. One of the most common methods of grafting is called cleft grafting, but some of the other methods are called awl, veneer, four flap (a.k.a., banana), stub, whip, budding, and approach grafting. Considering that some methods work best for certain results, they are also more effective on certain types of trees.