Graft trees yourself - timing, methods and instructions

Graft trees yourself - timing, methods and instructions

Tools and materials required

First of all, the right tools and suitable materials are important for the success of the project.

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When it comes to tools, you should use these:

  • a copulating or grafting knife
  • secateurs (no anvil shears, they just squeeze the branches together!)
  • a saw
  • Material for binding such as raffia or a finishing band made of rubber or plastic
  • Tree wax (€ 5.99 at Amazon *) (cold spreadable)

The tool should be freshly sharpened and disinfected with alcohol or a disinfectant solution. A refinement attempt often fails due to the lack of hygiene, which results in a fungal infection or the like and thus a failure of the noble rice to grow. The tool must be sharp because any bruising must be avoided - and the copulation cuts should be made in one go and without any re-cutting.


The noble rice is the type of tree from which a new tree is to be grown. Annuals are best suited for this, as strong as a pencil and unbranched. So-called water shooters can also be used, whereby the buds should not be too far apart. The latter often indicates that the shoots grew in a poorly exposed area of ​​the tree. Scallops are always freshly cut during hibernation (preferably in January). Depending on the process, the finishing takes place immediately or at a later date. Until then, you can keep the Reiser cool and damp - for example, wrapped in a damp cloth in the refrigerator. Only buds intended for budding are cut in summer.


The gardener uses this term to describe the root stocks on which the noble varieties are refined and which ultimately determine the growth behavior of the tree. The roots can be weak, medium or strong, depending on whether you want to grow a small or large tree. In addition, thanks to a clever choice of underlay, unsuitable noble types can still be adapted for certain floors - by making the underlay suitable for the location. Wild forms of certain cultivars or self-grown seedlings of any size are often refined as bases.

The best time

Most refinement methods are carried out during the dormancy period, which is the appropriate time for so-called travel refinements. Methods such as copulation, grafting or goat's foot grafting are traditionally carried out in January. In spring as well as in summer you can then perform an inoculation or grafting behind the bark. Chip refinements are possible at any time of the year.

Different methods

There are numerous refinement methods, especially since every experienced gardener can certainly add his own secret tricks. In the following, we will describe the most common methods in brief instructions that are easy to carry out even for beginners. It is advisable to practice the necessary cutting techniques first on thin willow branches or on leftover cuttings.


Copulation is also described as “finishing in the hand” and is one of the simplest processes. To do this, you need a bare-root base and a noble rice of the same thickness. First cut the rootstock about ten centimeters above the root neck and across from a bud. The cut should be about three inches long and sloping. You carry out the same cut with noble rice. Now lay the cut surfaces on top of one another - they must fit exactly and wrap the rice with a tape for stabilization. Then spread the finishing point with tree wax.


The inoculation is also quite uncomplicated and is mainly used in rose and fruit tree cultivation. Incidentally, this is not about crossing two varieties - you only use one variety as a root support and, if necessary, as a master. The actual inoculation takes place between July and August:

  • At the desired height of the finishing (usually just above the ground), insert a T-cut into the bark of the base.
  • Just cut into the Cambrian, the green part.
  • Never cut deep into the wood.
  • Carefully unfold the two wings of the T-cut.
  • Cut an eye out of the prepared rice.
  • This should not have any wood, just the thin layer of bark.
  • Carefully slide the eye into the bark pocket from top to bottom.
  • Cut off protruding parts flush with the horizontal bark cut.
  • Wrap the whole thing with an ooculation plaster or a finishing tape.
  • The eye should remain free.

Plug behind the bark

If the trunk of the rootstock is significantly thicker than the diameter of the noble rice, you can connect the two parts by plugging behind the bark. A good time for this measure is spring between mid-April and mid-May, although the bark must be easy to loosen.

  • Add a smooth copulation cut to the precious rice (s).
  • Cut the mat at the desired height.
  • Make a longitudinal cut in the upper part of the bark.
  • This should be as long as the copulation cut of the noble rice.
  • Carefully slide the rice into the pocket that has been created.
  • Connect the finishing point.
  • Cover all open interfaces with tree wax.


If the refinement was successful, the noble rice or noble eye will sprout after a few weeks. However, if it dries up, you have to repeat the process.