The grafts are cultural practices that allow to obtain plants with a better production or greater resistance to external agents and attacks by pathogenic organisms. The principle and philosophy of the grafts follow the same rules of pruning, but with completely different methods and characteristics. If pruning changes the vegetative structure of the plant by subtracting or eliminating some parts (branches, branches or shoots), grafting pursues the same goal by adding vegetative elements to the species to be cultivated. Grafting practices are carried out on fruit trees, but also on ornamental plants. In the latter case, the purpose of the graft will be to encourage regular growth of the plant, also improving its aesthetic performance. The various grafting techniques are applied on arboreal and woody plants, while they are almost never used on herbaceous plants, except in special cases.
Plant grafts can be of various types. The basic principle is, however, always the same and consists in joining together, through different methods, two or three similar plants to create only one with better characteristics than the base plant. The union of the two or three plants takes place by adding to the first, called rootstock, some parts of the other plant or the other two. The added parts are called nesto. The plant species involved in the procedure are called bionti instead. According to the method of introduction of the graft, into the rootstock and the parts used, different types of grafts are distinguished, among which the main ones are the bud and scion and the approximate one. Bud grafts consist in adding buds of similar plants to the rootstock, while scion grafts add branches containing some buds to the rootstock. Grafting by approximation, on the other hand, consists in tying together a part of the rootstock with the graft. The bud and scion grafts, according to the method of insertion and positioning of the graft (parts of the secondary plant), can be shield, with the graft inserted in a T-shaped cut of the rootstock, then covered with mastic; scudetto, with the introduction, between graft and rootstock, of a third element; a dowel, where a square cut is formed and a part of the bark is taken from the rootstock to cover the graft inserted inside, and split, with topping of a part of the rootstock in which a diametrical gap is performed that will house the scions ( branches with buds). If two or three slips are inserted in the incision, there will be a common cleft, while if only one scion is placed (a branch with two or three buds), there will be a crown cleft.
Grafting garden trees
In the garden you can also grow fruit trees for specific ornamental purposes, such as lemon, olive, peach, apple, apricot, cherry, pomegranate and persimmon. These trees can also be grafted. The grafting techniques that allow a better rooting of garden trees are budding ones. These grafts allow easy multiplication of the plant by renewing the previous cultivation without the need to plant the new one. The bud to be grafted is extracted from a vigorous branch that must be cleaned for at least ten centimeters. Along with the gem, some wood must also be removed. Subsequently, a T-cut is made in the bark and the gem is inserted. For a better rooting of the plant it is necessary to carry out the grafting in the right period which must be connected to the climatic conditions of the place where it is grown. The bud graft can be either a dormant bud or a vegetating bud, that is, it can be taken in the vegetative rest phase (autumn) or in full vegetation (spring - summer). With mild temperatures, bud grafts on fruit trees can be done between March and September. Bud grafting in ornamental species should only be done on young plants.
Grafting plants: Grafting plants for garden flowers
The grafts mainly concern trees but can also be practiced on flowering plants. In this case, the goal will be purely ornamental and aesthetic and will allow the creation of new hybrids of plant species resistant to the climate and parasites and with sometimes truly amazing colors and shapes. In the garden you can graft roses or lilacs. Grafting can be done when the plant has not yet released the buds. For flowering plants, the simplest grafting with shorter rooting times is the dormant bud graft, to be carried out in autumn. Varieties of roses with a remarkable ornamental effect are obtained by grafting a climbing rose bud on a kind of tree rose (about two meters high). The graft will give rise to a swaying rose with a remarkable aesthetic effect. The new rose, to assume its sinuous posture, will have to undergo a breeding pruning. The incision for the grafting must be performed with a knife suitable for this technique, while the positioning of the gem will take place through a grafter that will lift the bark of the trunk.