How to graft a cherry tree?

Asked January 16, 2015, 1:11 PM EST

The top (grafted part) of our dwarf cherry tree died. We have other cherry trees and would like to graft a new top on it. What is the best type of graft to make?

Douglas County Oregon

1 Response

The type of graft you make depends on the size of the remaining tree trunk. You should make a clean saw cut across the trunk into healthy wood when you are ready to graft. Normally the best time to graft is in about late March. If the trunk is small like a pencil you would make a whip graft. If the trunk is about 2 inches in diameter or more you could do a cleft graft and if the trunk is 3-4 inches or larger across you could do a cleft graft or a bark graft. You will want to collect the scion wood from another tree now when it is dormant. Cut a piece that is one year current growth wood about a pencil size diameter. Put this wood in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel and hold it in the fridge until late March when the trunk is ready to graft. Grafts take better when you let the soil and air warm a bit and the rootstock in the ground starts to get active. You can look up details online of each type of graft and how they are made.