Crown grafting is practised during the early spring months, and is used in particular to rejuvenate a tree or to modify its variety, especially on fruit trees. For this type of graft you need to cut some healthy and vigorous branches from the mother plant during the winter, these should carry many buds, and should either be kept under refrigeration or buried, to be used in the spring. Proceed by cutting all the vegetation from the rootstock plant, leaving only the stem, about one metre or so off the ground.Then make some vertical incisions on the stem, cutting only the bark layer. The incisions should be at least 5-8 cm apart. Use a spatula to peel the bark away from the trees around the cuts. Prepare the scions by cutting them diagonally, so that the cut surface of the scion appears sharp and well flattened. Then scrape away any foliage from the scion and insert it into the gap prepared for it, in such a way that the diagonal surface matches the trunk perfectly. Just above the diagonal surface you have prepared the scion should have a bud, positioned facing towards the outside of the rootstock trunk. Cover all surface cuts with pruning putty. To make sure that wind or bad weather don’t move the scions before they have taken root, tie them to the stock using a thin string, wrapped several times around the stem and the scions. Within a few weeks the grafts should germinate, and you should prune them, leaving only 3-4 buds, and choosing the most vigorous.
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