Walnut grafting is in a class by itself, and walnut budding is not a
success as practiced at the present time, although the ordinary method
is shown in the cut. The top grafting method shown is easy and sure if
you have the
know-how and skill. One of the important things to
remember in tree surgery as well as other kinds, is to work quickly and
deftly. Don't let the wounds of the scion or stub remain exposed longer
than necessary. Make the cuts smooth with a very sharp knife, kept sharp
by frequent stropping.' Expert walnut grafters are few, but the
ordinary skillful orchardist or amateur can do fairly successful work by
a study of the drawings in Details of Walnut Grafting on next page,
and using common sense methods.
Cut off the branch or stock to be grafted with a sharp priming saw at a
point where the stump will be from one to two and a half inches in
diameter. Split through the center of the stub with a sharp knife as
shown in figure 1, using a mallet. Depress the point of the splitting
knife and strike with the mallet, cutting the bark and sap down the side
of the stub instead of tearing it, then depress the handle and cut down
the other side in the same way. Open the split slightly with a hardwood
wedge, as in figure 2. Slightly bevel the split, cutting upward, with a
sharp knife as in figure 3. Insert the carefully fitted scion as at
figure 4, being careful to have the cambium layer, the inner layer of
the bark, of both stub and scion come together.
When the scion is carefully fitted remove the wedge and fill the split
with paper as shown at figure 5. Then cover all wounds over with wax
brushed on warm as at figure 6. The melted wax should be about the
consistency of thick honey. Tie a paper sack over all as at figure 7.
This should remain until scions begin to grow. It keeps them warm and
prevents drying out by hot winds. In from ten days to three weeks the
scions will have started sufficient to gradually remove the cover as at
figure 8. In eight or ten days from the time grafts are set a small
opening should be cut or torn in the north side of the paper sack so
that the sprouting buds may have air and their growth noted.
When the stock is too large to split through the center it should be
split to one side of center as shown in figure 9. The method of shaping
the scions is shown in figures 10, 11 and 12. Good scions and poor are
shown in 13 and 14. Scions with buds not too far apart are best. Prong
grafting is shown in figures 15 to 18, and flute budding in 19 and 20.
In grafting the stock should not close on the scion with sufficient
force to bruise or injure it, but just tight enough to hold.
Scions should be of last year's wood and pruned or cut from the trees in
late winter, when the tree is dormant, and cut into about 12-inch
lengths, long enough to make three or four grafts. Select upright wood.
Drooping branches make a sprawling and sometimes a barren tree.
The dormant scions should be packed away in a cool, dark cellar in damp
sand or moss, or put in cold storage and kept dormant until ready for
use. Do not allow the buds to swell. It will be well to look at them
occasionally to see that they do not get too dry nor be so damp as to
In the spring when the sap is well up and the trees to be grafted have
sprouted and are growing during April and May the grafting should be
done. Work may be continued even after the catkins are out and the
leaves half grown.
The methods described are those practiced by Mr. George C. Payne,
probably the most successful walnut grafter in the business.
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Next: Grafting Wax
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