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Simple Methods Of Grafting

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

In grafting the simplest method is the cleft. This method is most commonly employed in large trees. The stock or main limb is sawed off at right angles to the direction of its growth. A cleft is made in the end and a scion whittled in narrow wedge shape is thrust into this cleft, which is held open by a wedge until the scion is in place, then the exposed surfaces are covered with grafting wax.

This is made by melting one part of tallow and two of beeswax with four of rosin in a kettle, and when melted, pouring into a pail of cold water and working with the greased hands until ,the stuff resembles taffy.

The two essential points in all grafting methods are to have the growth layer (cambium) of both stock and scion come in contact and to exclude the air. The growth layer is between the bark and the wood. In order to insure this contact, it is advisable to set the scion at a slight angle across the growth layer in the stock.

Another method often employed is known as the side graft. In this case the cleft is made on the side of a limb and the scion inserted there instead of at the end, the limb being sawed off after the scion has made a union. Still another method employed with small-sized trees, twigs; and branches is known as the whip. Both scion and stock are cut diagonally across, then split down the center a short distance and then the tongue of one is made to fit into the cleft of the other. Finally the graft is covered with grafting wax or wound with yarn dipped in wax.

Occasionally it becomes necessary to save trees which have been girdled by mice or rabbits. This is a very simple operation if performed in time. It consists in inserting several scions close together and around the trunk, both above and below the injuries, and then covering the exposed surfaces with grafting wax. These scions soon form connections between the root and the upper trunk and growth goes merrily on.

Budding is a form of grafting in which a bud of the present season's growth is inserted in the stem of another tree, usually a small one, sometimes, however, in upper small branches. There are several styles, the commonest of which is T-budding. In this case a vertical slit is made just through the bark and a cross-slit made near the top. The bark is gently loosened and the bud inserted underneath this bark and then tied with strips of cotton cloth. In a few days, if the bud has formed a union, the string must be cut io pre-vent strangling. Another method is to make a ring of the bark with the bud just large enough to go completely around the stem of the stock, from which a similar ring of bark is cut. Tying in the same manner completes the operation.

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