Apple Tree Propagation: Budding

T-budding or chip budding are the most commonly used methods of apple tree propagation. The best time for T-budding depends on the maturity of the buds to be transferred and on the ease with which the bark “slips” or peels on the stock being budded. In a normal season, T-budding is possible from June to September. Chip budding can be used when the bark is not slipping, for example, in early spring before growth begins or during early summer when …

Why do nurseries use budding versus grafting?

Budding is often used because a single scion bud is inserted into the rootstock to produce a new tree. Also, with budding, many trees can be produced from a stick of bud wood that has different sized buds.

In contrast, a piece of scion wood with two buds is used in grafting, and the diameter of the rootstock and the scion piece must match precisely to form a union. Thus, fewer trees can be propagated by grafting as compared to …

I grafted 10 apple trees in the spring and only a few of the grafts started growing. Can I reuse the rootstocks? What kind of grafting can I do now?

If your bench grafts do not take but the rootstock is healthy and growing, you certainly can re-graft them in the same season.

► The earliest option is chip budding and is done as early as late spring to early summer.

1.      Remove a “chip” of scion tissue which includes a healthy axillary bud.

2.      Remove a chip of comparable size from a healthy section of rootstock.

3.      Place the previously crafted chip of scion in the place where the …

When should apple trees be budded?

Budding time will depend on where you live and the type of budding technique you use. Traditional timing in the northern hemisphere above 36 degrees latitude, roughly the Virginia-North Carolina border, would be to bud trees in late August to early September, when the bark readily “slips.” Slipping refers to the ability of the bark to be easily and smoothly pulled away from the heartwood of the tree. When this occurs, “T-budding” or “chip budding” can be performed. If you …