Split grafting is one of the most popular cultivation methods for the propagation of fruit trees. The vegetable nature, even if it has foreseen sexual and asexual reproduction systems, does not always manage to guarantee good results in terms of fruit quality and that is why in agriculture and gardening it is preferred to resort to grafts, or manual crossings of two or more plant parts that can determine a new variety with excellent aesthetic and organoleptic properties. The split grafts they are now widely practiced to aid the development of fruit trees. They are so defined because they are implemented by practicing a slit on the rootstock, that is, a split made using special tools, generally the knife. The split graft falls into the category of scion grafts in which the rootstock is added with some branches containing two or three buds.
How does it work
Split grafting is a typical intervention practiced to encourage the propagation of fruit trees, vines, citrus fruits and some ornamental trees (beech, ash). The main feature of this graft is to make a slit on some parts of the mother plant (rootstock). The cut is done with a knife, on a vigorous branch suitably deprived of its vegetable parts. Grafting knives are specially designed to make cuts in the bark and match the line of the scions with that of the split. The blade of grafting knives must be well sharpened to allow the creation of a split without irregular edges. The same knife is used to shape a scion with two or three buds, obtaining a wedge shape in the lower part. The scion thus processed is inserted at the ends of the split, making sure that its shape coincides with that of the rootstock. In cultivation practice, there are variants of the split grafting that can give excellent results based on the fruit tree that you intend to grow. Among split grafts the most known and widespread are the common split, English or tongue split, the lateral split graft and the full split one.
Common split graft
In the common split graft, a vertical slit is created along the entire diameter of the rootstock which has been appropriately pollarded, that is, deprived of its plant parts. This type of graft is also known as a diametral split. In the diametrically split graft, in fact, the rootstock appears like a cut tree trunk. To insert only one scion, a rootstock with a diameter between two and five centimeters will suffice, while to insert more scions it will be necessary a diameter of at least ten centimeters. The cut, in the common or diametral split graft, must be carried out in such a way as to open both the branch with buds and the rootstock in two. If it is difficult to obtain the split only with a knife, it is better to proceed with the aid of a hammer that gently hits the back of the blade to make it penetrate better into the crack. To retain the scions and avoid infections, putty must be applied to the joint split graft, which must cover the entire surface of the rootstock. It should be remembered that the scions must be removed using a shears. The diametrically split grafting can be performed on both adult and young plants.
English split graft
The English split graft creates a narrower and smaller slot than the diametral one. This type of graft allows easier healing of cut wounds, also minimizing the risk of plant infections. The English or tongue split consists of a longitudinal cut, to be made at the base of the rootstock formed by one of the most vigorous branches of the mother plant deprived of all the other branches. A single scion must be inserted into the rootstock, with a bud, of the same diameter as the rootstock, which must be between half a centimeter or at most one and a half centimeters. The grafting carried out in this way is called a simple English split, while if a second incision (tongue) is made in the rootstock cut longitudinally and in the scion to raise the bark, it is called a double split graft. The additional incision allows you to better fit the scion and avoid the use of the binding which is however usable in any case. The English split graft is practiced on young plants to favor the renewal of the mother plant or the development of other varieties.
Full and lateral split graft
Other types of split graft are the side or full one. The lateral grafting is practiced with a slit on the sides of the mother plant where a wedge-shaped two- or three-bud scion is inserted. The cleft of the rootstock can reach a depth of three centimeters, in order to reach the internal bark of the plant. The scion is then fixed with mastic and tying. Full split grafting is obtained by tying together a rootstock and a scion of the same size and cut in such a way as to make them fit together perfectly. The rootstock and the scion are cut by also lifting the bark in order to allow easy interlocking between the two parts of the graft.
Split grafting period
The period of split grafting varies according to the plant and the climatic conditions of the area in which it is grown. Generally, the scions (branches with buds) are taken in the winter season, when the plant is at rest and has not yet resumed its vegetative activity, and are grafted in spring or summer. In order not to deteriorate, the scions can be stored in a food bag and in the refrigerator.
The split graft is certainly the most used, by inexperienced and non-professional people, in fact it is quite easy to perform, even with the use of a few
Like the triangle graft it is suitable for young plants, with two or three years of age.
For the split graft it is necessary to cut the rootstock at a height of 10-15 centimeters from the ground. For the structure of the plant the graft is a weak point, so if the area is very windy, it is advisable to raise the graft point to 60-70 centimeters from the ground, in order to avoid the leverage effect, which could cause ruptures of the plant itself.
With a sharp knife, produce a 8-10 cm deep, wedge-shaped split in the heifer, trying to have the same size of the cut in the rootstock, making the two parts fit together perfectly.
Tie tightly, so that it does not move and seal with putty, filling the gap well.
How to Graft Roses
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Grafting is a technique for propagating plants by taking a piece from one specimen and "fusing" it into another. To tell the truth, roses are easier to propagate using cutting, but grafting is still possible, especially when it comes to a variety with beautiful flowers but with a weak root system. One of the most popular methods of grafting them is the "T-bud" procedure,  X Source of research but it takes some practice and patience to perfect it.
Traditionally, we proceed by cutting the entire upper part of the stem or of the grafting branch, then a split is made in the rootstock branch, about 4-5 cm deep, trying to make the split well in the center of the branch or stem.
The scion must already be lignified, therefore taken from branches that are at least one year old, with well swollen and healthy buds under the first bud we will have to leave more or less as much wood as the cleft is deep in the rootstock, after having practiced on the graft oblique cuts in order to obtain a pointed and smooth apex, with the greatest amount of exposed wood.
We proceed by inserting the scion into the cleft, inserting it up to the first bud then we secure the scion to the rootstock by tightly tying the rootstock with wet raffia or with a special grafting thread to avoid the onset of diseases we cover the exposed part of living wood with mastic to grafts.
The split grafting can also be practiced in different ways, with incisions in the scion and it brings grafting of particular shapes.The important thing is that the two cuts, i.e. the one practiced in the graft and the one practiced in the rootstock, are complementary, and that the approach of the two parts leads to a smooth and compact surface.