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Split graft

Introduction

The practice of grafts allows to obtain qualitatively more resistant and high quality crop varieties. Grafting plants means generating a new one through the crossing of two related species. The grafting technique can concern both ornamental species and fruit trees. In agriculture, the purposes of the grafts are exquisitely productive, while in gardening they allow to obtain new generations of plants more resistant to adversity and with a better aesthetic result. To graft the plants you can use different techniques, among the most practiced we remember the bud grafting and splitting. The latter is widely used to promote the propagation of fruit trees.

Features


The split grafting connects two species of related plants together, making a split in the mother plant called «rootstock» and inserting branches with buds called slips. Depending on the position of the cleft and the number of gems inserted, there will be a common cleft graft, the English cleft graft and the lateral or full cleft graft. In all these types of grafts, a slit must be made on one of the largest and most vigorous branches of the rootstock, in order to generate the «gap» where two or more smaller branches containing two or three buds will be inserted. The split grafting is practiced to favor the development of fruit trees, citrus fruits, vines and some ornamental trees, such as beech and ash. The cut, in the rootstock, it must be practiced with a well-sharpened and disinfected knife that does not leave smudges and does not transmit infections to the wound made on the branch. The latter must be cleaned of dry leaves and its vegetal parts and suitably pollarded so as to appear as a small tree trunk formed by a smooth and round surface. Even the scions with two or three buds must be cleaned of excess leaves and must be shaped with the same knife used to practice the split. The shaping allows to match the tip of the scion with the shape of the split. Remember that the scions must be picked up using shears. The latter must be cleaned of dry leaves and its vegetal parts and suitably pollarded so as to appear as a small tree trunk formed by a smooth and round surface. Even the scions with two or three buds must be cleaned of excess leaves and must be shaped with the same knife used to practice the split. The shaping allows to match the tip of the scion with the shape of the split. Remember that the scions must be picked up using shears. The latter must be cleaned of dry leaves and its vegetal parts and suitably pollarded so as to appear as a small tree trunk formed by a smooth and round surface. Even the scions with two or three buds must be cleaned of excess leaves and must be shaped with the same knife used to practice the split. The shaping allows to match the tip of the scion with the shape of the split. Remember that the scions must be picked up using shears.

Common split

The common split graft occurs when two or more scions with two or three buds are inserted into the split of the rootstock. The split is practiced by making a vertical slit along the entire length of the rootstock, which must have a diameter of at least five centimeters since it will be necessary to insert more scions. Not always with the knife it is possible to make the slit along the diameter of the rootstock. In this case it is better to use a hammer, which by hitting the scions favors their complete penetration inside the cleft. To prevent the fissure from becoming infected leading to the premature death of the plant, the slips must be tied to the rootstock with mastic and raffia. The mastic makes the scion more stable by covering any spaces in the crack, while the cord guarantees the stable bond between the mother plant and the secondary one from which the new one will have to be born. The scions are placed on the sides of the rootstock, which looks like a topped tree trunk. For this characteristic, the common split graft is also called «diametral split». This type of grafting is suitable for both adult and young plants.

English split

The English split graft follows the same characteristics as the common one, except that a single scion containing a single bud is inserted into the rootstock. In this graft, a longitudinal cut is made at the base of the rootstock. The cut is much smaller and shallower than that of the split graft and this allows for quick and easy wound healing. Sometimes a second incision is made to help lift the bark of the rootstock and the scion. In this case we speak of a tongue or double split coupling. This technique is mainly used on young plants to favor the development of new varieties or the renewal of the mother plant. In this type of graft ligation is not necessary,

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