Saturday, April 14, 2012
3-flap grafting pecan trees
Rootstock growth rate, prior to grafting, is one of the most overlooked factors in determining grafting success. As a general rule, trees should be grafted only after they have grown at least 2 feet of new stem the previous growing season. Weed control and nitrogen fertilizer are two key ingredients for promoting rapid seedling growth.
I made this cut about 3 inches long using the tip of my knife to slice the bark straight down the center of the stem. It doesn't take a lot of pressure to make this cut since the bark of a young tree is relatively thin.
The most common mistake folks make in attempting the 3 flap graft is not cutting deep enough into the scion. You must see white wood all way down the cut surface to ensure maximum cambial exposure.
First, I wrap the graft union with a piece of aluminum foil to prevent sun scald. Next, I cut the corner out of a sandwich bag and place over the graft. I use grafting tape to tie the bag above and below the graft union. The plastic bag holds in moisture and acts like a mini green house to warm the graft union.
bark graft, I always attach a bird perch to the tree to protect the new graft. Even though the 3 flap graft is mechanically stronger than other grafting methods, I have seen plenty of these grafts broken over by perching birds. I attach a pecan branch or bamboo cane to the rootstock to provide a alternative perching site for common song birds (photo at right).
Three weeks from now, I should be able to see the buds on the scion start to push.