Grafting citrus

sk290January 7, 2010

Does anybody know if citrus are easy to graft? I wanted to try my hand at grafting and plan on purchasing a small orange plant from Lowe's and grafting a kumquat scion to it. My brother has a nice little kumquat tree that is very sweet but he doesn't know the name of it so I figured that grafting it would be the only way for me to get one.

Also, how do you pick a scion from an existing plant? What do you look for? I'm assuming it's okay to ship now since it's winter. Thanks!


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Cleft Grafting Link (says to use grafting wax, but you could use Parafilm instead)

T Budding Link (T Budding should be done in spring when it warms up)

I personally like to use water sprouts (erect fast-growing shoots from the trunks of trees) for scion, for their vigor. The main thing is to make sure you are using mature wood for scion if the tree is a seedling.

What are you shipping?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 11:51AM
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Hi john_bonzo,

Thank you for the links. I'll have to try both of these methods and see what happens. Are you successful in your grafting attempts? Also, where do you get your rootstocks from?

I'm having my brother ship me scions from his kumquat so I can try to propagate it here in SoCal.

Thanks for info and have a great day!


    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 12:46AM
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bayoufilter(9a HouTX)

For scions, choose round wood over the triangular cross-section material if possible.
Cleft grafting can be done year-round, but the graft won't really start to grow until weather is warm.

Sterilize the grafting tool(s) between each plant please. Clorox diluted in water will do fine.

Have fun Sandra!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 3:39PM
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I have very good success with T Budding, and so-so with cleft graphing. There is trifoliate orange growing all in the woods around here, so there is an excellent source of seeds all around me for rootstock.

Also, when I do T Budding, I do it opposite as what the link shows (I make an upside-down T in the rootstock). I guess it's technically an Inverted T Bud.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 7:56PM
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To glomb onto your thread, I'm trying my hand at citrus for the first time. I've been using this TAMU page on using the inverted T as my guide.

I have an old orange tree, with tangerines that were grafted on many, many years ago. I'd like to add lemons, limes, and maybe blood oranges.

This morning, I grabbed a couple of cuttings from a neighbor's lemon tree. But I have two questions:

1) Are these suitable specimens? As in, are they the right size? Am I too late, as they have flower buds on them already?

2) If they are OK, which bits are the buds I need to take? I see empty nodes, nodes with flower buds, some with thorns, some with both.

Here are the pics of the budsticks:

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 11:33AM
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Not a good idea to have bud sticks with blooms. You want older wood that hasn't budded out yet but not too many woody streaks like on the TAMU page.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 7:47PM
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Citrus is not as easy to graft as pomes and stonefruit but it is a lot easier than jujubes. The thicker the cambium layer, the easier the graft and you almost cannot go wrong on a pear with its thick cambium. Your sucess rate will depend on your ability to match and grow cambuim layers togeather before the scion dries out.

The Simple Wedge Cleft:
The cleft graft linked above is one I find particularly difficult. Begin with the simple wedge graft and match both scion and rootstock edges. See http://sites/johnpanza/refinementsingrafting

John left out these details(he covers it in his class).
Demensions assume budwood near pencil size.

Use this method if the bark is not slipping.

Trim the scion wedge with taper length of 1-1/8 to 1-1/4 in.

Insert wedge until ~3/16 (4 to 5 mm) of the taper sticks above top of the rootstock.

The cut the depth of the cleft should be about 1/4 in. longer than depth the wedge is inserted.
Use L.E. Cooke or equivalent heavy 1/2 in. wide x 0.008 in. thick green grafting and tieing tape (usually green).
Twice the thickness of budding tape so you can pull the stock against the scion leaving no gaps the length of the cleft. Pull hard streaching the tape to the point of breaking.

Cut off about 10 in. of tie tape.
Start the wrap 3/8 in. below the bottom of the cleft split.
(Below where it says rootstock in the drawing)

Spiral wrap upward about 3/8 in. past the top of the taper of the
wedge and then spiral back down and stop 1/2 in below top
of the rootstock. Cut the tie tape.

Take a piece of sticky tape ~1/2 in wide x 1.5 inch long to
finish the wrap. Tape down the tag end of the tie tape to the previously wrapped bottom layer of tape. Sticky tape can be masking tape,
freezer tape, or last choice duct tape.
Write date and scion variety on the sticky tape with a marking pen.

Cut a piece of Parafilm -M or newer grafting Parafilm
about the width of the diameter of the scion or a few mm wider. Spiral wrap the scion leaving just yhe buds uncovered. Remove the paper and put that side on the scion. Streach the parafilm and it gets tacky.

The best scion wood is second (or in a pinch third) from last flush. It is best to use "slighted striated wood"
Do not use the first 2-3 buds of a flush.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 1:46AM
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"I'm having my brother ship me scions from his kumquat so I can try to propagate it here in SoCal."

Orange County, including Dana Point is under State mandated quarantine and has been for some time. All citrus are not to be moved from one property to another; nurseries that sell citrus in this county have to treat their trees monthly under supervision. This includes your brother from outside the county mailing budwood to you.

From the CDFA website: The quarantine means residents and business owners should not move any citrus plants, cuttings, fruits or leaves either within the county or outside it.

We are in danger of HLB being carried by the Asian Psyllid; devastation to all citrus trees in our county and others. I'm guessing that you are unaware, but it is very important that we follow this mandate. Hopefully, the time will come when we can again bring budwood onto our property and go back to grafting citrus. Meanwhile they are doing tremendous research on huanglongbing/citrus greening disease.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 11:03AM
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Hi tantanman,

Thank you for the grafting instructions. I have clipped this post so I can refer to it when I attempt to do. I've been told that pome fruits are a lot easier to do so I might try with those instead. Besides, roostock for those seem a lot easier to find.


Thank you for pointing that out. I have found that out during my research on the subject. Good information to have out there though for others who didn't know. Thanks.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 10:06PM
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I have been trying to graft my lime tree with a different type of lime i have at my place.
but i am not able to achive any groth . all my scions just dries up. can you help me.?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 6:28PM
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Meiwa kumquats are a sweet delicious quat. Peeling and insides are sweet. Eat like a cherry: pop the whole thing in your mouth. Delicious.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2011 at 10:17AM
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Hello to all, i just grafted my grape fruit tree... it was damaged by the high winds in my area. my tree has a 1 year warranty from LOWES, so for fun i tried grafting on to it a naval orange, key limes and lemons. I figured its worth a shot since the tree will most likely be returned. its not my first i have a 5-1 apple tree and a 4-1 plum tree. i will keep you guys posted. i will try to upload my pics. Fingers crossed see u guys in 3 weeks

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 1:28AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Sandra, I want to echo Pamela's comments. You cannot have your brother ship you budwood if he lives outside of Orange County. If he lives out of state, even worse, you are breaking a state law if your brother ships or you accept budwood from out of state. We are desperately trying to keep Citrus Greening (Huanglongbing or HLB) out of the state of California. California has already identified that we have the Asian Citrus Psyllid, so for us, we are trying to control the psyllid in known areas before it infects our citrus trees. There is no cure for HLB, it will kill your trees. It is decimating the Florida citrus industry in just a few short years. So far, it has cost the state of Florida over $3.6 BILLION dollars and cost the state over 6,000 jobs. Here's an article about just how devastating this has been for Florida, and now the State of Texas has stated they have confirmed cases of HLB found, which is horrifying:
Study: Citrus Greening Cost State of Florida $3.6 Billion

PLEASE do not do this. Instead, find a neighbor who has the varieties you wish. Or better yet, go to the UC Riverside's Citrus Clonal Protection Program and order your own budwood:
UC Riverside Citrus Clonal Protection Program

If state inspectors find out you've received illegal budwood, you can be fined up to $60,000, and have your citrus trees (ALL OF THEM) confiscated and destroyed.

Don't do it.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: California Citrus Threat: Huanglongbing

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:23AM
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Patty will UC Riverside ship outside of California? I have an order in with them.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 2:00AM
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Thank you Patty.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 2:12AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Yes, Dan, they will ship out of state, and out of the country. And hopefully, if HLB ends up being found in the state of California (it's just a matter of time, the ACP is here), they will continue to be able to ship budwood out of the state due to their protocols and meticulous techniques in making sure their budwood is clean. But, you can always call them to make sure, and to see if they can tell you where you are in the "line up" to receive your budwood. Here's a link to the CCPP Budwood page, below.

And my pleasure, Larry. We are desperately trying to save the California Citrus industry, and every one of us has to be very responsible in how we handle citrus.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: CCPP Budwood Page

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 9:23PM
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