Make a Graft from a Cherry Tree
A cherry tree is not hard to plant or grow, but keeping it healthy and producing abundant fruit does take a lot of care and maintenance over its 20-year lifespan. Grafting is a technique that will keep your cheery tree thriving.
What is Grafting?
Grafting a tree is a way of propagating new branches for fruit production. Many nurseries will do this within the first few years of a tree's life to fill them out more. Grafting a cherry tree is not a difficult project and can be done with a few simple steps.
Step 1: Graft With Budding
The most successful form of grafting a cherry tree is through a technique called budding. This is where you use a bud instead of a section of a stem. This is the most common form of grafting in fruit trees and has a better success rate than other forms.
Step 2: Wait For Summer
Grafting with buds takes place during the summer. This must be done between the middle of July and and the middle of August. This is the time when bark will slip easily and well-formed buds are available.
Step 3: Cut Fresh Buds
To start your grafting project, you must first cut off fresh buds. Look for strong shoots from the current growing season. These buds should be mature buds that have not yet sprouted. Look for the ones that are brown in color to cut.
Step 4: Clip Off Leaves
Clip off any leaves that are showing. You will be leaving about ½ inch of the bud stem for a handle. Discard the soft tips of the bud stem. Wrap the bud in wet burlap to prevent it from drying out.
Step 5: Prepare Stock Branch
Locate a position on the branch of the stock about 15 inches from the trunk of the tree. Cut in a small "T" on top of the bark. Then with the edge of the knife, carefully loosen and fold back the corners of the bark.
Step 6: Insert Bud Stem
Work the stem of the bud underneath the bark. Make sure it is secure and fold the bark back over the bud.
Step 7: Wrap Tightly
Wrap the graft section tightly with budding strips. Be sure not to cover the bud, but also ensure that it is tight so the bud will not loosen or fall out during rain or wind.
Step 8: Cut Ties
In about 2 to 3 weeks, the ties will begin to tighten. Cut these and let the bud remain dormant until the next spring. Do not allow any offshoots to grow and keep the area moist.