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  • 1. Module 5 Propagation 3: Budding and grafting 5-1
  • 2. GTZ – ITFSP Module 5—Propagation 3: Budding and grafting Grafting You can graft or bud only with rootstock and scion listening to a type of tree.classroom. Bring rootstock, Farmers cannot understand grafting or budding by of the same lecture in a That is, you cannot graft a mangoscions, on tools to the classroom and demonstrate how to do it. Combine 30 minutes of theory some scion all a citrus tree. with 2 to 3 hours of practical work in a nursery. Advantages of grafting and budding • Cultivars are uniform. • Cultivar quality is improved. • The desired cultivar runs true to type. • Both techniques have a dwarfing effect on the fruit tree, which makes it easier to harvest the fruit. • Fruiting is early—generally in 3 to 4 years. • Grafting old trees, or top working, makes it possible to react rapidly to market trends. Grafting and budding are common ways to get marketable cultivars. Disadvantages of grafting and budding • Fruit trees remain longer in the nursery. • Not all grafting and budding attempts are successful. • Improved scions are necessary. • The operation requires some inputs. • The operation requires special skills. • The operation requires proper management and time schedule. Selecting the rootstock material to use for grafting • Look for healthy seedling trees, free of pests and diseases. • Cut pieces that are the thickness of a pencil at 25 cm above the ground. • Cut from plants that are growing vigorously. • Use single-stem pieces. • Start watering and weeding a week before grafting or budding. When selecting the scion— • Be sure to take it from the desired cultivar. • Take it from a healthy mother tree, free of pests and diseases. • Use the mature tip of a shoot, but a woody piece, not soft, preferably with pushing eyes that protrude. • The diameter should be similar to that of the rootstock—about pencil thick. • Cut scions 15 to 20 cm in length, to allow for cutting back during grafting. • A scion has to have 3 to 4 bud eyes for successful grafting. • Remove all leaves to reduce evaporation. • Immediately after cutting, label all scions with type of tree and cultivar. • Transport scions in moist cloth and keep them cool and shady—a cool box is best. • The success rate in grafting and budding is best if the scions are fresh. Cleanliness • Clean your tools and hands several times, before and during the work. • Make sure neither your hands nor the scions touch the soil while you are grafting. • Cut scion and rootstock with single, clear cuts. • Never touch the cut areas of the scion. Tree Crop Propagation and Management—a farmer-trainer training manual 5-3
  • 3. Module 5—Propagation 3: Budding and grafting GTZ – ITFSP Care • Water and weed the rootstock 1 week before grafting. • Get everything prepared for grafting before you cut the scions. • Use fresh scions only—it is best if they are cut on the same day as you graft them. • Scions can be transported in either water, in wet paper, banana leaves or polythene bags. • Do the grafting operation in the shade. • Label scions, marking type of tree, cultivar and origin. Tools and inputs you will need • Scions and rootstock of same thickness (size of a pencil) • Sharpening stone • Basin with water and systemic fungicide or disinfectant • Sharpened knife for grafting or budding • Polythene strip for tying (tape, shopping bag, size 1 cm x 25 cm) • Pruning secateur • Transparent polythene bag to cover the scion (especially mango) • • Labels for labelling the grafted trees • Selection of mother trees for collecting scions or cuttings Tools and inputs for grafting and budding Selecting mother trees for collecting scions or cuttings Step 1: Identify a good mother tree that has the following qualities: • known for its good performance and production • has the desired growth habit • yields many fruits of good quality • is free of pests and diseases Step 2: Collect suitable branches for scions (cuttings). Collect— • from the middle branches, not from the top or the bottom • branches that receive sunlight • branches that are 6 to 12 months old Step 3: Size of scions • diameter from 0.5 to 1 cm, that is, thickness between that of a pencil and a thumb • diameter of 0.5 to 0.7 cm for grafting 5-4 Tree Crop Propagation and Management—a farmer-trainer training manual
  • 4. GTZ – ITFSP Module 5—Propagation 3: Budding and grafting • same diameter as rootstock Step 4: How many scions? • collect enough • consider losses during transport • consider grafting failure Step 5: Prepare the scions Cuttings: 10 to 20 cm long, with 4 to 6 bud eyes, slanting cut at the bottom Scions: 15 to 20 cm, with 4 bud eyes minimum Keep scions (cuttings) in water. Label the scions with the name of the cultivar. Step 6: Storing the scions Can be preserved for 2 to 3 days. Keep in a pail of water, base downwards. Keep out of light and at low temperature, 4 to 7 C, possibly in a fridge. Stepwise training in grafting and budding Step 1: Cleaning the tools Dip all your tools and your scions in the basin with water and systemic fungicide. If you do not use fungicide, you may use household disinfectant to sterilize your knife and secateur. Never dip scions in disinfectant solution. Step 2: Sharpening the knife Sharpen your knife thoroughly. It has to be sharp as a razor blade for successful grafting. • Soak the sharpening stone in water for 2 minutes. • Place the sharpening stone on a fixed, solid surface—ground, floor or table. • Place a flat side of your knife on the sharpening stone. • Lift the back of the knife about 1/2 cm only. • Move the knife on the stone in circular swing, utilizing the full, plane surface of the sharpening stone. To finalize, pull in backward direction only. • Sharpen your knife on one edge (some types of knife are sharpened on both edges). Continue until you see a thin ridge of iron on the blade. • Remove the ridge by using a leather belt tool (see drawing below). • To prove your knife is sufficiently sharp, try cutting a leaf with a straight cut, shave hair from your skin, or slice a piece of paper easily. Tree Crop Propagation and Management—a farmer-trainer training manual 5-5
  • 5. Module 5—Propagation 3: Budding and grafting GTZ – ITFSP Leather tool for removing metal ridge from Sharpening the knife. knife blade. Step 3: Preparing the rootstock for cleft grafting • Take a length of rootstock you have prepared well—one with a single stem, in good shape and well watered. • If the rootstock has many leaves, pluck off and discard some of them, but make sure that you keep a few that are growing below the graft union. • Cut the top of the rootstock at a height of approximately 25 cm from the bottom horizontal. • Compare with the diameters of your scions. The diameters of the scion and rootstock must match. • Make a vertical cut of approximately 2 cm at the centre of the first cut. Cut down, towards the bottom of the rootstock. This is the cleft. • • The cleft must be a smooth cut. It must not split the rootstock. 5-6 Tree Crop Propagation and Management—a farmer-trainer training manual
  • 6. GTZ – ITFSP Module 5—Propagation 3: Budding and grafting Step 4: Preparing the scion for cleft grafting Before using the improved scions that you collected, try the grafting cuts with a worthless softwood stick, especially if you are short of scions. Be sure that both sides of the wedge are smooth, straight cuts without twists, bumps or depressions. This is the major exercise for all types of grafting, and the more often you practice it, the better your results will be. When you cut, stay in a comfortable, relaxed position. Use the improved scions once you get used to making the cuts. • Remove any end of a scion that is dry. • Do not touch the surface of any of the cuts. • Look for a scion that matches exactly with the diameter of your rootstock. • Make two cuts to get a wedge at the bottom of the scion that fits into the cleft of the rootstock. • Make smooth, straight cuts, trying to move your hands smoothly, without tension. Step 5: Insert the scion into the rootstock • Insert the scion smoothly into the cleft in the rootstock. • Do not press too strongly. Do not touch the surface of the cut in the scion or the upper cut of the rootstock. • • Bark-to-bark (rootstock and scion) rule: Ensure that the bark of the scion and the rootstock match properly. The best result is if both sides match completely. At least one side of the scion and the rootstock must match, or the grafting will not take. Only the soft parts of the scion and the rootstock, underneath the bark (cambium), are able to grow over the wound and heal it. Tree Crop Propagation and Management—a farmer-trainer training manual 5-7
  • 7. Module 5—Propagation 3: Budding and grafting GTZ – ITFSP Step 6: Tie the union with a tape To protect the grafting union from water, disease and drying, tie it with a thin polythene strip. Tie immediately after grafting. • The strip should be 25 cm long and 1 cm wide. • Start tying at the rootstock below the grafting union and wind the tape upwards. • Overlap the rounds of tape, so that water cannot enter. • Cover the grafting union towards the top of the scion. • When only 6 or 7 cm of the tape remain, wind back downwards, overlapping the tape again. • Fix the tape with a simple knot. Step 7: Protect the scion and the grafting union Cover the scion and grafting union with a transparent polythene bag to minimize water loss (for example, for mango). • Cover immediately after grafting. • Handle the grafted tree carefully. If you move the container, hold it at the bottom. Water all containers or nursery beds with grafted trees immediately after grafting. • Do not expose the grafts to direct sunlight or strong wind. Construct a shade roof if necessary. 5-8 Tree Crop Propagation and Management—a farmer-trainer training manual
  • 8. GTZ – ITFSP Module 5—Propagation 3: Budding and grafting Whip and tongue grafting Step 1: Prepare rootstock for whip and tongue grafting in the same way as for cleft grafting. Step 2: Make whip cut and tongue cut as illustrated. Step 3: Prepare scion. Step 4: Insert scion in the Step 5: Tie the union with rootstock. tape. Tree Crop Propagation and Management—a farmer-trainer training manual 5-9
  • 9. Module 5—Propagation 3: Budding and grafting GTZ – ITFSP Step 6: Cover the graft union and scion with a polythene bag. Budding What is similar to grafting? • Budding is another way of vegetative propagation. • Budding follows the same principles as grafting. • It has similar advantages and disadvantages as grafting and requires the same skills and inputs. What differs from grafting? • Instead of a scion with 3 or 4 bud eyes, only 1 bud eye is used in budding. The criteria for collecting scion are same as for grafting. • One scion with several bud eyes can be used to propagate several fruit trees. • T-budding can be done only if the bark of both rootstock and scion are soft and lift easily. T- budding is so called because the grafting cut made resembles the letter “T”. • Water rootstock pieces daily, 2 weeks before budding, or choose a period after rains have occurred. • Budding is common for propagating citrus cultivars, peach and ornamental flowers. Common methods of budding • T-budding and inverted T-budding (looks like an up-side-down “T”). • Chip-budding. A bud is cut off together with part of the stem, thus the term “chip”. 5-10 Tree Crop Propagation and Management—a farmer-trainer training manual
  • 10. GTZ – ITFSP Module 5—Propagation 3: Budding and grafting Steps in budding The first steps are the same procedure as for grafting. Step 1: Clean the tools, same as for grafting. Step 2: Sharpen the knife, same as for grafting. Step 3: Prepare the rootstock for T-budding. • Use selected rootstock (single stem, good shape, weeded and watered). Rootstock plant should be approximately 45 cm (1.5 ft) high. • Do not cut the rootstock. Leave it with the top of the stem until the budding has taken. • If the rootstock has many leaves, take off some of the lower ones that are close to the ground. • In budding, rootstock is often raised in nursery beds, not in containers (for example, citrus). • Select the budding location at the rootstock stem that − is smooth − does not have bud eyes − is approximately 30 cm (1 ft) in height • Cut a T-shape in the bark, with 2 straight cuts, 2 cm long and 1 cm wide, at the top of the T (see drawing). The size depends on the diameter of the rootstock. • Carefully lift the soft bark from the wooden stem of the rootstock without damaging it. • Do not touch the cut. Keep any soil or dust from entering the cut. • Immediately prepare the bud eye. Step 4: Prepare the bud eye The scion from which the bud eyes are cut, called the bud stick, should contain growth of the current or the previous season. Do not use either the developing buds at the end of a branch or the mature part of branches with strong bark. • Hold the bud stick with one hand, the top pointing towards your body. • Choose one bud eye to cut. Start cutting from about 0.5 cm below the eye. • Cut through the bark and slightly into the wooden portion of the bud stick. Now make a straight cut beneath the bud eye. Pass the cut under the bud eye, and then guide the knife upwards. Reaching the soft bark, strip off the bud eye. • Do not touch the cut of the bud eye. • Remove the wooden portion in the inner part of the bud eye with great care with the tip of your knife. Do not disturb the bud eye itself. Step 5: Insert the bud eye in the T-cut of the rootstock • Insert the bud eye in the T-shaped cut in the rootstock, gently pushing it from the top downwards. • The bud eye must remain in the same position in which it was growing on the rootstock. Do not insert it in the rootstock upside down. • Insert the bud eye into the bark of the rootstock about 1.5 cm. Tree Crop Propagation and Management—a farmer-trainer training manual 5-11
  • 11. Module 5—Propagation 3: Budding and grafting GTZ – ITFSP • Remove the overlapping bark of the bud eye by repeating the upper 1-cm cut of the T-shape. Step 6: Tie the bud eye to the rootstock • Tie the bud eye with polythene tape, working from the bottom to the top. • Tighten the tape firmly at the bottom and the top of the bud eye. • Cover the top of the T-cut. Overlap the rounds of tape and change the direction downwards. • Do not cover the bud eye. Leave a small space for the bud to sprout. Tighten the tape at the top with a simple knot. • Handle the budded tree carefully. Water all containers or nursery beds with budded trees immediately after budding. It is important to thoroughly conserve any available water, especially in drier areas. Do not expose the trees to direct sun or strong wind. Construct a shade roof if necessary. T-budding in steps Chip-budding Trainer’s note: Ask for a summary of the material covered. 5-12 Tree Crop Propagation and Management—a farmer-trainer training manual