How does grafting peach, plum and nectarine varieties work?

Many tree fruit varieties do not grow from their own seed. They are propagated by grafting plant material from the desired variety onto a specially bred rootstock. The rootstock is root system and usually the bottom two to three inches of the trunk. Just as picking tree fruit or pruning trees, grafting is also a specialized skill. There is a lot of care and experience that is needed to graft correctly.

Cut—A cut is made in the rootstock about 12 inches above the soil. Then either a straight slanting cut about 1 ½ inches long is made or a notch is cut out of the side on the exposed limb of the rootstock

Union—Match the young shoot and rootstock where the cuts or notches were made.

Tying and covering—If slants are cut then the new graft needs to be bound tightly with tape then carefully covered with tree seal. If notches are cut then only tree seal is required. The tape and tree seal bind the two parts together and keep moisture from rotting the exposed limb.

By the following season the small trees will be producing fruit.

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