Photos Depicting a Graft
A scion is trimmed so the needles are plucked off carefully as to not damage the bark. Then the cuts are made. Finally the finished graft is placed into a tented structure where it will take six to eight weeks for the scion to unite to the seedling understock/host.
Aftercare: Once the scion has begun to grow where the buds are breaking and new growth is being seen, the grafts are removed from the tented chamber and set on benches in the greenhouse to resume their growth. This takes place approximately 1-2 weeks after scion bud break.
When I cut the scions and the "flap cut" under the bark of the seedling understock... it is a very shallow cut that progressively about the final 1/8-1/4" I cut deeper into the seedling understock so as my prepared scions will fit snug and so that the flap does not tear off.
On the flap and under, the scion will be lined up carefully so the cambium (green) is lined up with at least one side of the flap, preferably both sides however...
Everything is exactly the same for a decdiduous graft except the deciduous graft is NEVER tented and when the scions on a deciduous graft break bud and show new foliage (again wait one week at least) - then you MUST lop off the the entire seedling/"Host" ABOVE the scion. Now you have only the scion attached to the host seedling and that is what will be your newly grafted plant.
A fungicide is sprayed every two weeks here. Also when the conifer grafts are removed from the tent, I mist them with water from a spray bottle a few four or five times a day. Same misting schedule for deciduous grafts where the scion has broken bud and is exibiting new growth. This new growth is misted (entire scion) 4-5 times, daily.
The flap on the understock should be a tad longer than the inserted scion. The flap will cover the scion and be about 1/8" longer (this is to be sure no part of the exposed cuts on the scion are exposed to the elements.
Parafilm tape is placed over the bud strip on all conifer grafts and for deciduous grafts as well. My greenhouse is heated at 60F and during the day it warms up to 80 on sunny days - perfect. You can graft between December and March 1. The understock seedlings are brought into a heated greenhouse and in approximately 2 weeks, they will show signs of growth (buds breaking OR white tips on the root systems. If 2/3 of a "group" of seedling understocks is showing either of these signs, it is same to graft on all of them.
Bob Fincham at Coenosium Gardens has a 'Graft Compatibility' chart that shows combinations of understocks that work well. Ideally, however, your best bet is to find a species that does best in your OWN climate and use that species to graft other species of scion(wood)...to.
A 45 degree cut is made (you'll see how it fits into the flap you'll be cutting after you prepare a scion)
Cut #2 (see all the green/cambium I found "just under the bark.")
Now you have two cuts:
Cut #3 on the scion. My scion is now ready.
The seedling host/understock. My cut is made and the flap of bark can be seen now:
Now during the next photos I'm going to place that scion in there perfectly and tie it off with a budding strip and finally wrap the bud strip in parafilm tape to lastly place the finished graft into my tented structure:
Now you see why the 45 degree angle cut is made on the scion and how by cutting deeper into the wood of the understock seedling you now have a very tight connection (between the understock and the scion). This "working" area is called the "union." Notice that the flap extends just a bit above the prepared cuts on our scion, as mentioned:
With keeping pressure on the the scion and the understock so both are in "contact" you begin to seal the deal with a bud strip (rubber bands are fine). This is where you want to take your sweet time until you are positive the work has been done, right!
This is my finished graft...
Now it goes to the tented structure. The tented structure is sealed for two weeks then the poly is left to dangle for the remainder of the six to eight weeks. The "lightweight clear poly ONLY" is held in place with furring strips and screws.
Humidity is brought into the graft chamber via a 'Cool Puff Humidifier'. I purchased a Vicks brand 1.2 gallon unit from Wal-mart for 50 bucks. A 1.5" piece of PVC pipe cut to lenght along with an S PVC fitting all in unison bring the mist from my humidifier into the tented structure. You must not allow large water droplets to form on the foliage.... like anything you'll have to perfect the amount of time needed to keep the chamber humid. Same goes for all "elements." It will take YOU the grafter time to figure out what works best, for yourself.
The best advice I can give is to take your sweet time and carefully do everything with precision in mind. Link to Coenosium Gardens below.
Furring Strips/lightweight poly:
Cool Puff Mister with attachments and a support brace to hold the 1.5" pipe in place sturdy. Notice there is too much water accumulating on the poly "walls". Trial and Error:
Here is a link that might be useful: Coenosium Gardens: Understock Compatibilities