Gem graft

Gem graft

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Gem graft

Grafting is a technique widely practiced above all by agronomists that allows the joining of two plant individuals in order to obtain one that combines the advantages of the ancestor. The part which lends the root apparatus to the individual and which bears the graft is commonly called rootstock. The part that lends the aerial apparatus and that is inserted above the rootstock is called marza or object. The reasons for which it is grafted are many, but the aim is to obtain benefits. It can be grafted to reproduce valuable varieties, when on a vigorous rootstock, but of low value, a scion is inserted that produces flowers and precious fruits. To cultivate a certain species or variety in an unsuitable soil, to avoid the attack of some parasites, to strengthen a branch, rejuvenate a hair, pollinate a plant, etc. In order for grafting to be successful, it is necessary to act in accordance with certain rules of affinity, of which the fundamental ones are: grafting time (usually spring or late summer), affinity between marza and subject (grafting similar plants together), vigor of the parts (graft similar bodies between them for vigor and age), perfect overlap of the generating areas (make the generating fabrics coincide), polarity (ie insert the scion on the body in the right direction and not upside down). There are different types of grafts and they vary according to the geographical area in which they are used and the variety of plants they are intended to plant. We only describe the bud grafts . These are so defined because they have a graft consisting of a single gem of the variety that is to be grafted, surrounded by a minimal portion of bark and flakes underlying it. Depending on the time at which bud grafts they are distinguished in: grafts with vegetating bud, with a dormant bud, graft with a whistle and with a piece.


The grafts with vegetative bud are made at the beginning of spring using buds that are taken from cut branches during the vegetative rest and stored stratified in wet sand or in the refrigerator. In this type of graft, the rootstock is mounted in the part involved by the graft from any anticipated branches that would prevent the correct carrying out of the operation, moreover the rootstock must be "in juice", a condition that is achieved by watering it in the two or three days that precede the graft. Having said that, we proceed by cutting the subject's bark with the grafting knife until it involves the sapwood, making a transverse and a longitudinal cut so as to form a T. They then detach from the preserved branches as previously mentioned the buds to be grafted, removing gem by gem with a portion of adherent bark with a small portion of sapwood (shields); the edges of the T-shaped subject are spread apart and the shield is inserted so that the gem remains clearly visible. Once this is done, we proceed with ligation.


The graft with a dormant bud and from this differs for the time of execution, or end of summer, and for the maintenance of the leaf stalk attached to the bud. This detail allows us to control the engraftment: if the petiole detaches spontaneously or due to light pressure, it means that the grafting has succeeded perfectly. There are many varieties of trees and plants that can be grafted with the dormant gem technique, the most common being: the rose, the hawthorn, the Quince, the Cherry, the Almond, the Pear, the Apple tree, the Medlar and the plum tree . Thanks to these old grafting techniques, many farms have managed to preserve plants that would otherwise have disappeared or would not have given satisfactory results for decades. Today, organic farming frequently uses these techniques for the production of flowers and fruits of controlled origin.


The graft to whistle as already mentioned is also another type of gem graft which depending on the subject to be grafted can be performed in spring or late summer. It is made with a special graft with which the gem to be grafted is obtained by making two transversal cuts parallel to and above the bud on the marrow, three or four centimeters from each other, joined together by a vertical cut. The same operation is carried out on the rootstock, from which a cylinder of bark comes off of the same width as the gem to be grafted. At this point the bark cylinder with the gem is placed on the rootstock, binds with raffia and, after two or three weeks, is cut to avoid dangerous bottlenecks. The other type of gem graft mentioned at the beginning is the one called a piece. This differs from the others in that a wider surface of bark with a gem is applied to the peeled rootstock of an equal surface. On the rootstock three incisions are made, one upper transverse and two longitudinal, so as to delimit a rectangular surface. Starting from the transverse incision, pull the bark downwards for a distance equal to the length of the longitudinal cuts, then insert the patch so that it fits perfectly with the incisions made on the rootstock and proceed to the usual lacing with raffia. The latter, which we have indicated several times to make ligatures, is a specific product as it is made with the homonymous palm quality from whose leaves these very resistant filaments are extracted.