Grafting and Budding Nut Trees

Chip Budding

Chip budding is another form of grafting. Instead of using a stick of wood, only one bud is used. It can only be used on branches that are about the same size as the bud wood and there is no need to cut the branch off until later. Chip budding is a spring technique like the grafting method described. It can be started a week or so earlier, and bleeding is less of a problem. Bud wood should be cut and saved in the same way as the graft wood.

  1. Make a deep diagonal downward cut about 1 cm below the selected bud.
  2. Starting about 2 cm above the bud, cut into the sapwood and draw the knife downward under the bud until it meets the first cut. Remove the chip of wood containing the selected bud.
  3. Make similar cuts into the stock branch in a spot that is easy to work. Try to match the cut surfaces for width and length.
  4. Place the bud chip in the stock. Try to match the line between the bark and the sapwood on both parts, the chip and the stock. This thin line is the cambium layer and it must form the union. If you can't match both sides be sure to match one side.
  5. Wrap the bud in place with plastic budding strips, one inch wide by 8 to 12 inches long. Be sure to leave the bud tip exposed, but wrap tightly. Finish the wrap by tucking the plastic underitself. If you don't have the proper budding plastic, cut strips from 6 mil construction plastic.
  6. After a week to 10 days, start removing the new growth on the branch above the bud. This will direct energy to the bud and force it to grow. After another week or more, the bud should start to grow. Once the bud has grown out 5-10 cm, you can cut back the branch above your bud graft to within 2-3 cm of the bud. Be sure to brace this new growth as it expands. The wind can break it off very easily at this stage. Leave the brace on for 1-2 years. If the plastic wrap appears to be interfering with the growth in diameter, you may take it off, otherwise it will eventually break and then can be removed.
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