Grafting





Grafting is a simple art, that both old and young should become

acquainted with and be able to perform. In my garden there had stood,

for a number of years, away in a corner by itself, a wild apple tree,

which had sprung up from the seed; it always bore fruit, but of a

worthless character, so sour and insipid that even the swine refused to

devour it when it was thrown to them. I became tired of seeing this

tree, and resolved to change its nature. I went to work, being a

nurseryman, and procured cions of ten or a dozen different sorts of

apple trees, and took the first favorable opportunity in the spring to

graft my old and useless apple tree. When I had finished grafting, I

found that I had inserted here and there on the different branches,

fifty cions, all of which, with the exception of three, lived, grew,

bore fruit, each "after its own kind," Baldwins, Greenings,

Gravensteins, Spitzenbergs, etc., and it is now the most desirable tree

in the garden; I completely transformed the nature of the tree. Any one

who understands grafting can do the same thing. Apple, Pear, Plum, and

Cherry trees can be successfully top-grafted in the manner spoken of

above, and the month of April is the best time to perform the operation.

The outfit necessary to perform the operation of grafting is a small

hand-saw, a hatchet, a wedge, grafting-knife, and wax to cover the

wound.



If the tree be a large one, and you wish to change the sort entirely,

begin by sawing off all those limbs that, being removed, will leave

enough to graft upon, and not spoil the symmetry of the tree. With the

hand-saw saw off the limbs to be grafted about midway, then with the

hatchet or wedge, cleave an opening in the remaining end of the limb,

and entirely across, and deep enough to receive the cion; insert an iron

in the cut to hold it open until the cion is placed, then withdraw the

iron, and the graft will be held fast.



The cions to be inserted should be cut before ascending the tree to

graft, and, together with the wax, can be carried in a small basket for

the purpose. If the diameter of the limb to be grafted is more than an

inch, it is best to insert two grafts, placed so that each cion will

stand near the edge of the cut, in juxtaposition with the bark of the

limb. Immediately after setting the graft, plaster the cut over with a

heavy coat of wax, being careful to leave no crack or crevice open

through which it would be possible for air or water to enter. Each cion,

in wedge-grafting, is cut in the shape of a wedge; the whole cion need

not be over three to four inches in length. The following is a good

receipe for making grafting-wax: One and a half pound of bees-wax, six

pounds of resin, and one and a half pound rough beef tallow; put all

into a pot, and boil one half hour, keeping it stirred; pour it out into

a tub of cold water, and when it is sufficiently stiff it should be

gathered into balls. When wanted for use the balls should be laid in

warm water, which will readily soften the wax; work the wax with the

hands thoroughly before using. Wedge-grafting is by no means the only

way to graft, although it is about the only method of grafting large

trees. There are from ten to twenty other modes of grafting, the

difference being in the manner of cutting the cion, and in fitting it to

the stock. To go into detail in regard to them would occupy too much

space in these limited pages. Any one, with a little practice, can learn

to cut a cion, and to graft with success.





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