Cleft grafting isn’t quite as intuitive as whip and tongue grafting, but it’s a very useful method to know.
Because it allows you to take a larger tree and change the entire variety by grafting small scion wood from a desired cultivar onto a thicker diameter branch or even the trunk.
You can see me doing this on a fig tree in my latest video:
Isn’t that cool?
The astounding thing to me is that it works, so long as you get a good cambium connection between the scion and the root stock.
Say you have an ornamental Bradford pear tree in your yard that’s just taking up space. You can take that tree with its good established root system and then convert it to an edible pear tree that will likely bear the very next year.
Scions tacked on to a mature root stock grow with ridiculous speed.
As I’ve said, I’m no grafting “expert” but I have a good success rate and have a lot of fun with it every spring – and I’ve been enjoying fruit from strange places, such as the wild Chickasaw plum in the front yard that bore big delicious cultivated plums last year.
Don’t cut down that unproductive fruit tree or sour orange – graft instead!
What is the black stuff you are painting on at the end to keep it from drying out? and where can you get it? Thanks!
It’s called Tree Kote – works nicely for me:
Are you buying scion wood to use from eBay or some other source?
I usually get it from friends – haven’t bought on ebay. These fig scions I got from another spot on the same fig tree where I grafted in TX Everbearing scions the year before. Originally, the first ones came from my friend Dave at Taylor Gardens Nursery. (TaylorGardensNursery.com)
were can I get Tree Kote for grafting ? Thanks
I get mine at Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1RZzcbJ
when is the best time of year to do grafting on a fig tree live in Connecticut? Thanks
it is important to make each side of the scion a straight flat cut, not like a ski jump. otherwise the cambium will not make good contact. Use ordinary electrical tape as it is cheap and easier to use. There are plenty of sealing compounds at your hardware store, mostly black asphalt based and water clean up.