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​The Tree Grafting Supplies You’ll Need For Proper Grafting This Spring

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While we’ve previously discussed tree grafting many times here at Frostproof Growers Supply — carrying the best grafting knives is one of our specialties, after all — it’s been awhile since we’ve gone in-depth on what you need when grafting trees. While tree grafting occurs millions of times a year in this country, it’s not something that most people even realize is an important practice.

For most trees, spring is the right time to graft, so it makes sense that we’d write a bit about tree grafting and what’s needed to make it happen. (Yes, spring is here, despite the snow that’s still on the ground in many parts of the country!) Today we’re going to look at the most common tree grafting supplies that individuals and orchard supply buyers require.

What Is Tree Grafting?

While most of our clients who are looking for grafting tools are buying in bulk as part of their orchard supplies, some people aren’t familiar with grafting at all.

So, what is tree grafting? Tree grafting involves taking the branch of one tree (called a scion) and physically attaching it to a different tree (called the rootstock) so that they grow together and become one tree.

The most common reason that grafting is performed is to continue a lineage of fruit trees that are sterile, such as the navel orange. Without grafting, navel oranges would be extinct within a generation, but grafting keeps this produce on grocery shelves. Other reasons for grafting include the desire to create a new kind of tree, having a tree pollinate itself, or making use of hardier rootstock that can withstand diseases the branches can’t tolerate.

What Do You Need To Graft Trees?

Now that you know what grafting is, what do you need to make it happen? Here are the three basic supplies you’ll need to encourage a successful graft.

A Grafting Knife With A Sharp Edge

The first tool you need is a grafting knife. The grafting knife performs two vital parts of tree grafting: sharpening the scion, and cutting the V-shape into the rootstock where the scion will be placed. It’s important to use the best grafting knives available, ones that will keep sharp edges even if they’re in constant use. Getting a good, clean cut damages the rootstock less and reduces the chance that the bark will shred and allow insects, bacteria, or viruses inside. We suggest Tina grafting knives, the most trusted around.

Will any knife do? Well, as we like to say around here, you need “the right garden tool for the right garden job.” While they might look simple, grafting knives have evolved over the years so that they meet the needs of grafters, specifically a) being ergonomically ideal for the cutting angles of the grafting process, and b) keeping a sharp edge.

Grafting Wax

While grafting is vitally important to orchards, it’s important to remember that doing so causes damage to the tree. After all, you’re creating a wound in it that wasn’t there before.

Luckily, with the help of a sharp knife and grafting wax, you can reduce the chance that the tree will suffer any permanent damage. Grafting wax creates an airtight and watertight seal around the graft, which prevents bacteria, insects, and viruses from getting in and harming the tree. The grafting wax we carry can be applied with a brush or even by hand, depending on the level of coverage you desire.

Biodegradable Grafting Tape

Simply sticking the scion into the rootstock isn’t going to keep it in place. After a short time, even the wind gently shaking the branches will dislodge the scion and ruin the grafting process.

Grafting tape puts pressure on the rootstock, which in turn holds the scion in place. Grafting tape is special because it stretches up to eight times its original size, which means that it grows as the tree grows without restricting growth or water flow. Not only that, but it also biodegrades over an extended time so that you don’t have to return to each and every graft to remove it. The grafting tape we sell even sticks to itself, so there’s no need to tie a knot.

BONUS!: Grafting Kits

When nurseries and orchards are looking for grafting knives, tape, and wax, they’re often buying them in bulk because they’ll have dozens of workers in the field grafting during the short window in spring when grafting works best.

But not everyone stopping by Frostproof Growers Supply is here looking for a dozen Tina grafting knives! Some home growers with just a few trees in the backyard might want an all-in-one kit to try their hand at grafting and see what they can do. That’s why we offer simple tree grafting kits that have everything you’ll need to get started. Included in the kit is a folding Victorinox grafting knife, grafting wax, grafting tape, and a set of instructions on the proper way to graft trees.

Ready To Graft?

Grafting can be fun a fun hobby for an amateur or a vitally important aspect of business for an orchard. But no matter why you’re grafting, it’s important that you’re grafting in the right way with the right tools. At Frostproof, we offer the best grafting supplies available so that the entire process goes as efficiently as possible, all while keeping the trees healthy and safe.

If you’re ready to get grafting, we’re ready to deliver the tools and supplies you’ll need. Click those links above for specific grafting supplies, or click here to see our entire lineup of budding and grafting products!

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