Ogon cleft graft

graft2 A few years back my uncle Pete showed me how to graft. This spring I am grafting Ogon scions onto Ogon rootstock. Why would anyone want to do that? Because the rootstock was grown from seed and has genetic variation. The photo above shows  the nice light yellow-green leaves of my rootstock, however I want a bright yellow leaf. To get this color I need to clone my brightest Ogon. graft11 Here is a graft I did last year with Dawn Redwood rootstock and Ogon scion. Notice the color difference in the bark where the graft occurs. I hope to avoid this difference by using Ogon rootstock.

graft3 Last year I had 12 Ogon seedlings left over after assembling my Ogon fusion project. This spring I used 3 seedlings to replace dead seedlings on that tree. The 9 seedlings shown here were brought indoors 2 weeks ago to bring them out of their dormancy. They are now ready for grafting. Uncle Pete says a two week difference between the rootstock and scion improves the graft success rate.

graft4 I am going to do a side cleft graft at the base of the trunk as close as I can get to the roots. I bend the seedling at the base and make an incision.

graft7 Here is a side view of the incision. Note how I made it right above a large root. This is the most vigorous area on the trunk.

graft6 Here is the scion. I slice both sides to form a gradually tapering wedge. This exposes the green cambium layer.

graft9 The scion wedge is inserted into the sliced rootstock making sure to match up the 2 cambiums. The closer the rootstock and scion are in diameter the greater the success rate. Normally I would have used a thinner rootstock but these seedlings had an extra year of growth because I was saving them as replacements on my fusion project. I had to insert the scion on one side of the incision to get the cambiums to match. I then wrapped a rubber band around the graft to secure it in place.

graft10 Since I don’t have a greenhouse I placed the seedlings in large clear plastic bags. This will help keep the scions from drying out before the graft can take. They will be kept indoors for a few days until frost has passed and then placed in a sheltered area with no direct sun.

Have fun!

Greg Logo

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