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Grafting







The objects of Grafting are to bring a bush or tree into anearlier state of bearing than it would do naturally; to produce good fruit from an inferior plant; and to save space by putting dwarf scions on to rampant-growing trees. By the process of uniting strong-growing trees to those of a weaker nature their exuberance is checked, and weaker ones are improved by being worked on those of a stronger growth. Whatever form of Grafting is adopted, the inner layers of the bark of the stock or tree on which the operation is performed, must be brought into direct contact with the inner layers of the bark of the branch which is grafted, or, as it is called, the scion. This scion should be a branch of the early growth of the previous year's wood, and should be in the same state of vegetation as the stock. If the scion is in a more advanced state than the stock, its growth may be stopped by cutting it off and burying it in the earth under a north wall until the stock has advanced sufficiently in growth. Grafting of all kinds is best done in March, when the sap is flowing freely. Many methods of Grafting are adopted, the following being the principal:-- Whip or Tongue Grafting is suitable for almost any description of trees. Saw the stock off level at any desired height, then make a deep upward slanting cut through the bark at the top 2 or 3 in. in length, and in the middle of the cut turn the knife downwards and cut out a thin wedge-shaped socket. Next cut the scion in a similar manner so that it will fit exactly into the incision of the stock, bringing the bark of each into direct contact. Bind it firmly in position, and cover it over, from the top of the stock to the bottom of the scion, with grafting wax or clay. When the scion and the stock are united, which is demonstrated by the former making growth, remove the wax and cut away all shoots that may be produced on the stock. In the French mode of Grafting known as the Bertemboise, the crown of the stock is cut at a long level, about 1 in. at the top being left square, and an angular piece is cut away in which the scion is inserted. It is then bound and waxed over. Theophrastes or Rind Grafting is used where a tree has strong roots but inferior fruit. The branches are cut off about 1-1/2 or 2 ft. from the main stem. A sharp cut 2 or 3 in. in length is made down the bark of the branches, and the lower parts of the scion, selected from a superior tree, having been cut into tongues resembling the mouth-piece of a flageolet, the bark of the branches is lifted with a knife, and the tongues of the scions are slipped in, bound, and waxed. Side Grafting is useful where it is desired to replenish the tree with a fresh branch. A T-shaped cut is made in the stem of the tree, extending to the inner bark; the scion is prepared by a longitudinal sloping cut of the same length as that in the stem, into which it is inserted, and the two are bound together and treated like other grafts. Approach Grafting is the most favourable method of obtaining choice varieties of the vine, or of growing weak sorts on roots of a stronger growth. The scion is generally grown in a pot. A portion of the bark is cut from both scion and stock while the vine is in active growth, and the two wounded parts brought into contact, so that they fit exactly. They are then tied together, and moss (kept constantly wet) is bound round the parts. The union may be completed by the following spring, but it is safer to leave the cutting down of the stock to the point of union and the separation of the scion from the potted plant until the second spring.





Next: Grafting Wax (Cobbetts), etc

Previous: Gourds



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