A Grafted Plant
A Grafted Plant takes a Scion ( Young shoot ) from a mature tree and then joins this to the rootstock of a seedling plant. This has many advantages. Firstly a rootstock can be selected that is vigorous and disease resistant. Secondly we know the taste and quality of the fruit from the mature tree we took the scion from so we know that when our new grafted tree fruits it will taste the same. Because the tree is mature it also means that the plant will start fruiting straight away or much quicker when compared to a seedling. Grafted plants are more expensive to produce due to the labour involved in propagating them. They also require some degree of maintenance when they are small with particular attention to the suckers that are produced by the more vigorous seedling rootstocks, any shoots that form below the graft need to be removed a process that is called desuckering or they will drain the energy from the graft and if left unchecked they can kill the graft. Because grafted tree do not go through the juvenile phase they tend to be smaller growing than seedling plants and are ideal fro growin in containers where they can be kept as dwarfs or for espalier where pruning and cincturing techniques can be used to keep trees to a compact and manageable size
Cutting Grown Plant
Also known as Striking or Cloning this is is where you take a stem or young shoot from the plant and place it into a soil medium and then under the right conditions this will cause it to produce roots. This method like grafting means that we know the taste of the fruit from this tree. Cuttings grown plants will all be uniform but they can tend to have a weaker root system than seedlings or grafted trees.
Marcotted Grown Plant
Also called Air layering, Marcot, Marcottage and is like a cutting except instead of the roots being formed in a pot inside the soil. It is formed on the branch of the tree inside a plastic bag of soil.
This is basically making microscopic cuttings. Plant hormones are used to make the cells first divide rapidly and then to differentiate the cells into stem, root and leaf cells. Initially the plant cells need to be grown in sterile conditions to avoid fungus infections, these are called flasks. Once the plantlets have formed roots and shoots they are deflasked into potting media and grown on. Tissue culture is possible because plant cells have the ability to differentiate into different cell types, so the initial cell can turn into leaves, roots and stems forming a whole plant. Tissue cultured plants are genetically true to type and identical to the parent plant and is another form of asexual propagation. It is an excellent method to eliminate viruses from the plants and for this reason it is used for banana propagation.
Scions sold on Daleys Fruit Tree Nursery are rated according to the 3 skill categories below.
Scion Beginner Skill Level
Most people should get success when grafting this scion variety. A practiced grafter should be getting close to 100% success rate.
Scion Intermediate Skill Level
If you have never done a graft before it is best not to start with this variety. However a practiced grafter should be still getting quite good takes. Creating the graft with this variety is often a bit more difficult. You should not be expecting to get 100% takes but 80-95% success rate has been achieved by practiced grafters.
Scion Advanced Skill Level
Only an experienced grafter who has been successful grafting an intermediate scion in the past should attempt to do an advanced scion graft. Even when you are experienced you should be expecting to get 25-75% success rate.