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Home and Building, Volume 18 Number 1 (June 1955)

[Grafting]

2. Grafting:

Reason for Grafting: This method of propagation is used to produce plants which attain an earlier maturity and bloom with more vigorous growth than would be possible in plants on their own roots. In fact the time is at least cut in half.

Time of Grafting: Camellias are gene-ally grafted from about June to October 1st. However, summer grafting is possible as soon as the first cycle of growth hardens, and before the second cycle of growth begins, from about December to January.

Type of Graft: There are many types of grafts, but the ones generally used are the cleft graft in the winter and the bark graft in the summer. A cleft graft is generally preferred, although a bark graft is generally used in the summer due to the fact that during the summer growing period, when the bark is loose, a cleft graft will generally result in the misplacement of the bark or understock. A bark graft also allows the scion to have full and complete contact with a solid cambium layer on the understock, while in a cleft graft the cambium layers are matched only on one side. A bark graft cannot be used in the winter dormant season as the bark is not loose.

Tools and Materials: The tools and materials needed are a sharp knife, pruners, fine tooth saw and string or heat treated rubber bands.

Selection of Understock: The factors to look for in selecting understock are vigorous growth, soft wood, width of canbium layer, and ability to heal or callus rapidly. The best results can be obtained from vigorous seedlings and such named varieties as Sarah Frost, Ake-Bono, Purity, Pink Perfection, etc., with a preference for Sarah Frost. Understock which has been transplanted or fertilised just prior to grafting is not recommended.

Preparation of Understock: Cut the understock on a slant (so water accumulating will drain away from the scion) as low as practical (about 3 inches above the surface of the soil) with a pair of pruners on small understock aged 5 years or less, or with a saw on larger understock. Smooth the cut surface with a knife.

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