Grafting Tips

  • There are basically 2 main reasons to graft a plant: One is to have a special cultivar.  The second reason is to get the tree to fruit faster.    Oscar – Hawaii
  • I have successfully grafted Atemoya, Red Custard Apple, and Ilama onto Cherimoya, I was apparently not successful in grafting Posh Te (Annona scleroderma) onto Cherimoya although the Posh Te material came from Australia during their fall season so was not dormant. I have also grafted American paw paw (Asimina triloba) onto cherimoya and they took the first year.   Ref:  Roger Meyer, Southern California
  • Star Apple I recently borrowed a book from the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens library called “Five Decades with Tropical Fruit – A Personal Journey” by William Whitman. It’s about his introductions of new fruit into America. He confirms what I have mentioned in past newsletters that “vegetative propagation by air-layering and grafting from superior fruiting trees is recommended as trees grown from seed can fail to fruit or produce light crops of inferior quality. Vegetatively propagated trees can be expected to bear in the fourth or fifth year after being planted out.”   Do visit the Botanic Gardens Library in Brisbane – they have a wonderous collection of horticultural books. Ref: Sheryl Backhouse
  • Ken Love in Hawaii just uses electrical tape and white glue.
  • Stephen from Florida said he doesn’t refrigerate scion wood. Keeps it in those green plastic vegetable bags for 3 weeks that are advertised as suitable to keep vegetables in the crisper.
  • Collection of dormant scion-wood from deciduous fruit trees is fairly straightforward: just snip off the tips of branches of desirable varieties when the tree is leafless in winter. With tropical evergreen trees the timing is more precise- grafting fully dormant tropical scion-wood may result in a very long wait for bud break, and the beginning of active growth. There is the need to ensure the buds are swelling before grafting onto a rootstock, rather than fully dormant. Once shoots have actually emerged from the buds on the scion, it is too late to graft. Dormant buds on evergreen scions are prepared by removing the leaves, and sometimes pinching out the terminal bud. Then the buds above each leaf stem will begin to swell in a week or two, only then being most suitable for propagation by cleft or approach grafting onto seedling rootstocks of green sapote, or the closely related mamey sapote.  Ref:
  • Mango Grafting info from Berns in the Philippines  When I visited the Mandaue Experimental Station (MES) in Cebu, they have 3 different varieties of Mango - Guadalupe, Guimaras and Lamao. What is interesting is that they have a unique propagation method in mangoes. They use bantam grafting in Carabao mangoes. They use 5-6 months old mango seedling and graft the preferred variety in a very low graft union way. It’s like Carabao Mango Bonsai. I think the principle is like Mr. Loquias low bark grafting, keeping the canopy small with pruning the side and an open centre. Low bark grafting is grafted in a low graft union too.
    The reason for this bantam grafting is to make the mango trees dwarf with excessive pruning.
  • Mango  If you get Mango scion at 1 to 6 months from flushing, the graft will have a long time to bear fruits, while if you get dormant scions 8 months up from flushing, they will be bearing earlier. However, when you transplant your grafted seedlings, and they grow healthy with good fertile organic rich soil, it will grow faster and bigger. Usually we can start making them flower and fruit at 5 years from field planting. Others may start bearing in one year, but we remove the flowers to induce faster vegetative growth. The bigger the tree, the more fruits it can produce.   Ref:  Rex - Philippines
  • Soursop & Sugar Apple  Chris Rollins at Fruit and Spice Park in Florida said sugar apple or soursop on annona glabra rootstock, the graft fails over time.   Ref:  Chris Hind
  • Scionwood   Preparation prior to grafting: Make sure the tree is well watered the morning before you take scionwood. It is best to take scionwood in the early morning when the tree is turgid and the branches hydrated well. When transporting scionwood it is best to keep them at low temperature. You can use insulated container for storing and transporting scionwood over long distances. If you have a small styrofoam cooler, place an inch of ice at the bottom, then place plastic over the ice, then place towel over the plastic. Prepare the container just before you collect scionwood. When taking out scionwood from the mother plant, cut out the leaves first, leaving the petioles. Then cut out the scionwood. Wrap in moist newspaper, seal in ziploc plastic bag, then place in the cooler prepared above. With this method, simply replace the ice as it melts. When you get to the destination, and if you are not yet going to graft, store the scionwood in the fridge, but keep inside ziploc bag. The best time to graft is during early morning when it is still cool, if you have a choice. You will have to take out the scionwood from the fridge, the night before to acclimatize. Or simply take out of the cooler, but still inside the ziploc bag and leave in the shade for at least 30 minutes before grafting.  Ref|: Joe Real