Budding and Grafting Supplies
Budding and Grafting are techniques used to join two parts of a plant so that they appear to grow as a single plant. In grafting, the upper part (scion) of one plant grows on the root system (rootstock) of another plant. In the budding process, a bud is taken from one plant and grown on another.
Reasons for grafting:
- Change varieties or cultivars. Newer varieties of trees may offer improved insect or disease resistance, better drought tolerance, or higher yields. As long as the scion is compatible with the rootstock, the older orchard may be top worked using the improved variety or cultivar.
- Optimize cross-pollination. Certain fruit trees are not self-pollinating; they require pollination by a second fruit tree through cross-pollination. To ensure good fruit set on the female (pistillate) plant, a male (staminate) plant must be growing nearby. Where this is not possible, the chances that cross-pollination will occur can be increased by grafting a scion from a male plant onto the female plant.
- Take advantage of particular rootstocks. Certain rootstocks have superior growth habits, disease and insect resistance, and drought tolerance. For example the French crabapple can increase resistance to crown gall and hairy root in apple trees.
- Perpetuate clones. Clones of numerous species cannot be economically reproduced from vegetative cuttings because the percentage of cuttings that root successfully is low. For example numerous clones of Japanese maple that either root poorly or lack an extensive root systems are grafted onto the seedling of an Acer palmatum rootstock.
- Produce certain plant forms. Numerous horticultural plants owe their beauty to the fact that they are grafted or budded onto a standard, especially those that have a weeping or cascading form.
- Repair damaged plants. Large trees or specimen plants can be damaged easily above the soil line. The damage can often be repaired by planting several seedlings of the same species around the injured tree and grafting them above the injury.
- Increase the growth rate of seedlings. The seedling progeny of many fruit and nut breeding programs may require 8 to 12 years to become fruitful. However, if these progeny are grafted onto established plants, the time required for them to flower and fruit is reduced dramatically.