The Whip Graft

The whip graft is a great, easy graft with a high success rate. The first thing to do is collect your scion wood during the dormant period. You can put the scions in a moist bag in your refrigerator until you are ready to do the grafting. Your rootstock or branch you are grafting to should be approximately the same diameter as the scion wood.

Collect your supplies:
1. Grafting knife, or straight-bladed knife, or box cutter with new blade. It must me super sharp.
2. Masking tape, or wide rubber band, or other wrap that will hold everything together, but will disintegrate over time.
3. Grafting seal. Doc Farnam's grafting seal works great.
4. A couple of blocks of wood. One to use like a cutting block. The other should have a hole drilled in the middle of it a little larger than the scion and root stocks you will be working with. This will be used to protect your hand when cutting the slit in the graft.

Make a diagonal cut in the wood of your scion and rootstock. It should be done with one firm cut - not "whittled". Be aware of what is "up" on your scion. Otherwise, you can easily graft the wrong side of the scion on to the root stock, and then the buds will have to grow backwards to go up. The angle of the cut should be approximately 45 degrees. Next, put the wood through the hole in the wood block. Now, with the diagonal cut sticking out of the hole, and your hand behind the wood block, make a cut straight down the branch about one-third in from the point of the diagonal cut. It should cut into the stick as far as the bottom of the diagonal. This will give you the ability to fit the scion and rootstock together.

whip graft cut

Now you can slide one into the other as shown in the picture. You want to make sure to match up the cambium layer. This is the thin green layer just under the bark. If the scion is smaller than the root stock, then line up the cambium layers on one side only. Do not center the scion with the root stock or the cambium layers may not line up. If the scion and root stock are very different in size, then it might be better to do a cleft graft instead of a whip graft. joined whip graft Now that the cambium layer is lined up on at least one side, you will wrap the whip graft. Masking tape, or grafting bands (rubber bands) will hold the graft together. Then cover the entire whip graft with grafting seal. This will keep the graft from drying out until the two pieces of wood can grow together. The scion can be cut such that you have at least two - up to four buds. Anything above that can be cut off. Cover the cut end of the scion with grafting seal.

If the root stock was bare root you can now plant the new tree in a pot or the ground. Be careful with the graft as it will be delicate for a while.

As the new buds begin to sprout, you can rub off the buds on the root stock.