Grafting Tree Peonies

Page 3


3.)        Preparation for grafting

The roots and the scions need to be sanitized before the grafting takes place. This is done by using one part Clorox Bleach to approximately ten to twenty parts water. Soak the roots and the scions for up to 1 hour in the solution. The roots will appear lighter in color than before the treatment. The scions will appear to be virtually unchanged. Rinse the roots and scions well to remove bleach solution. All materials, tools and work surfaces should also be sanitized with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) just prior to grafting.


4.)        Prepare the scion:  Lay the scion on the cutting surface and press a clean (preferably new) single-edge razor blade through it at about a 30% angle. Next place the scion on  the cutting surface with the previous cut down.  Cut the scion again with the razor at the same angle as before. The aim is to make two cuts so they have about the same surface area.  If one of the surfaces is too large, the other surface can be re-cut to balance the size of the two surfaces. See illustrations.


Left drawings show different views of the

typical wedge graft.

Right Drawings demonstrate the flap 'approach' graft. Not the flat bottom to each cut.



5.)        Prepare the nurse root: Cut a thin sliver off the top and bottom of the rootstock to be used in the graft. This is to remove areas of the root that has been penetrated by the Clorox Solution.  Next cut a cleft in the rootstock to match the triangular cut that you have made to the scion.  This is actually the hardest part to get correct.  The aim is to excavate a piece of the rootstock out that is exactly the size of the triangular cut on the scion.  This may take considerable practice to get correct.


Note: If the rootstock is larger and firm, a cleft that is too narrow is preferred to one that is too broad, because the scion can spread the cleft apart and the banding material will hold the two pieces tight.  If the rootstock is small and softer the cleft can be a bit broad and the banding material can draw the rootstock in to make firm contact with the scion.



Left drawings show a cleft to match the wedge described above.

Right drawings show a flap ‘approach' graft suited to the cuts shown above, right.


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