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!