Veitshöchheim (dpa/tmn) – The beautiful apple tree in the garden is slowly becoming decrepit? Hobby gardeners do not have to buy a new one, but can also grow an offshoot – however, this must be grafted. But even beginners can do it.
The grafting process can be easily implemented in winter, when the trees are dormant, explains the Bavarian State Research Center for Viticulture and Horticulture.
Refinement is a form of asexual reproduction. In this process, a shoot of a woody plant is connected to another plant of the same genus. The new plant combines properties of both individual units. Roses can also be grafted. This is how it works on the apple tree:
1. The so-called rootstock is the part of the plant with which the shoot from the garden should grow together. This rootstock is available in fruit tree nurseries, for example. If the tree is not to grow too large later on, you can use the M9 apple rootstock, for example, advise the garden experts of the trade journal "Mein schöner Garten" (January 2016 issue). It grows only weakly. The carpet pad should be the same thickness as the piece you cut from your own tree. The two parts must later be able to fit precisely on top of each other. 2. The roots of the base by about half. Shorten the piece itself to 15 to 20 centimeters in length. The roots of the rootstock by about half. Cut the piece itself to 15 to 20 centimeters in length.
3. Select an annual shoot from the crown of your own apple tree and cut it off. This is called a scion. This should have three to five buds already set in the winter. The piece is also trimmed to about 15 centimeters in length.
4. Now one end of each of the two pieces is cut diagonally over a length of four to five centimeters – if possible in one go and so that the pieces later lie perfectly on top of each other. On the scion, this so-called copulation cut is made at the lower end, on the rootstock at the upper end. The knife must be clean and sharp. Do not touch the cut surfaces then! The cut can be practiced well on willow rods. An extra tip from the experts at "Mein schöner Garten": If there is a bud on the back of each cut, the shoots will grow together better. 5. Now place the fresh cut surfaces on top of each other. Wrap with a finishing tape. Now lay the fresh cut surfaces on top of each other. Wrap with a grafting tape. You can see light green growth layers between the wood and the bark in the cut surface. It is important that these lie on top of each other so that the parts can grow together. If you do not use a special tape made of waterproof plastic film for tying, but instead raffia or rubber bands, you still have to spread tree wax over the outside of the joint.
6. If the ground is frozen, the young tree first goes into a box with soil, otherwise directly into the garden soil. An air-permeable fleece protects it from frost. The grafting site before drying out in the sunshine.
7. If you have not taken a plastic grafting tape, which dissolves itself, you must cut the bast or rubber after four to six weeks. Water the young tree regularly during drought. In spring, a shoot should form on the scion.