Grafting

Yes, I do plant grafting. What is grafting?  Grafting is a surgical operation done with plants in order to switch varieties on a given plant(tree, bush, vine), or to have multiple varieties of a given type of fruit, flower, leaf, branching structure, or other unique growth characteristic, all growing on the same plant.  

Grafting is usually done by severely cutting back, in part or entirely, to an appropriate height, a given tree, bush, or vine, in order to surgically attach twigs of the new variety or varieties, - which will begin growing from their buds after a short time of connective-healing-growth at the graft juncture -, which were chosen because they will likely give you performance that you will prefer over the original variety you started with, if you're dissatisfied with what you originally have, or, will be additional to your original variety for the sake of multiple varieties, or in the case of fruit types, different bearing times, and/or pollination.  Also, careful post-graft growth management is necessary for good or best development of the grafted growth, which is mainly a matter of good trimming and structural shaping practices.  I provide that detailed information when I do a grafting job and I guarantee successful growth and development of the grafted varieties.

Having multiple varieties of a type on the same plant is a way to save space while getting variety, as well as having different ripening times, in the case of fruit types, to spread out the productivity period.  Some examples: different apple varieties on the same apple bush/tree with different ripening times; different types of Citrus on the same Citrus bush/tree(orange, tangerine/mandarin, grapefruit, lemon, lime, kumquat, pummelo,... etc.); peach, nectarine, apricot, and plum all growing on the same tree, due to very close relation and compatibility of their biology; multiple varieties of peaches which allow you to have  production May through August;  a Jacaranda tree with both the white flower and blue flower varieties.  

In other words, grafting is a cloning technique, and is commonly done with some kinds of plants in the plant propagation industry. It is usually, more or less, a major surgical operation on a plant, and requires particular procedures, techniques, and management. Grafting is done when clonal propagation by other means, such as cuttings, tissue culture, and air layering are not practical for a given plant or desired result. These other propagation techniques, particularly cuttings and tissue culture, are very common in the nursery plant industry, much more common than grafting. Purposes for grafting that are common include clonal propagation for particular features such as branching structure, dwarfing, rootstock disease resistance, and, of course, to clonally propagate particular varieties of fruits, flowers, and leaf characteristics.

The twigs used for grafting are called scion. The plant onto which the scion are grafted is called rootstock or understock. Grafting implies that a rootstock is used, which is a different individual from the scion variety, - the ‘production-focus variety’. The rootstock presents an advantage to the ‘production-focus variety’ that otherwise would not be available. The usual advantages are disease resistance, dwarfing influence, and, existing practicality, particularly in the case of top-working established trees/bushes/vines, due to the original variety being less desirable due to low productivity or lesser quality of product, even though the tree is healthy, and, it’s mainly a matter of genetics and/or climate requirements, more so than culture. Top-working refers to grafting onto established trees/bushes/vines. This requires severely cutting back one, some, or all of the limbs of the given plant.

And of course, if clonal propagation is not necessary for the purposes of propagating a given plant, then seed is used for making more plants, though there are some plants which are basically clones from seed. On the matter of edible fruits: Fruit trees/bushes/vines that are grown from seed can be very similar to the original fruit from which the seed came, or be rather different in qualities, either in productivity, fruit quality, or other characteristics. These variabilites with seed-grown food bearing trees/shrubs/vines are the reasons why clonal propagation is nearly always employed in commercial production in the modern world, for the sake of consistent quality, like we expect with all sorts of products.

The usual grafting times are spring through early autumn, but, depending on the technique, plant, and conditions involved, grafting can potentially be successfully done in winter also, but generally not.

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