Graft of majorcan escutcheon

 

I put like example a graft of fig tree with two harvests of figs on a wild fig tree born of seed of about 4 years.

 

This type of graft can be done in Spring, when the host and the graft are in the heat of growth. Also it is possible to be done in Summer, but in this case, the bud is not developed until the following Spring.

 

This method of graft is special for fig trees and others ficus, but also it serves for other trees or shrubs of soft wood. I have made several grafts of majorcan escutcheon grafting some buds of Datura arborea of red flowers on another one Datura of white flowers, giving rise to a shrub with flowers of two colors.

        

Also it is a good method for the avocado, the mango, the Asimina triloba (Paw-Paw tree), the Carob tree and  the white and black mulberry trees.

 

In first place you make a small cut on the host in form of small tongue and next another cut over of about 3 or 4 centimeters, also in form of tongue more large, cutting until arriving to the inferior little tongue and detach a piece of crust with a little of wood.

In this image it is appraised very well the form of the cut and the three layers of the stem:

A--- Exterior layer with the skin or dead crust and underneath the Floema or alive crust.

B--- The very thin intermediate layer or Cambium, that is the only part of tree that grows: towards outside giving to the Floema or crust and towards inside giving to the Xilema or wood.

C--- The internal layer with the Xilema or tender alive wood, which, when it suffers the  lignification and becomes hardened, dies and gives true wood.

 

Next you cut an escutcheon with a little wood that contains a bud without developing and a leaf, which must be cut leaving petiole.

The escutcheon with wood must be of tender wood of the same year, that is, that is not lignified yet absolutely. The escutcheon must have the same exact form of the cut that we have made before on the host. You can see the bud without developing and the inferior cut on half-bevel form that it will fit in the inferior tongue of the cut of the host.

Petiole of the cut leaf serves us to manipulate with facility the escutcheon, without touching the internal part, which must be avoided not to contaminate with bacteria and fungi the cut, which would make fail the graft.

Here very well you see the three layers of any lignified plant. The internal white part is the Xilema in process of lignification. Follows it the alive Xilema that little by little is lignified towards inside. Follows it a very thin green line that is the true CAMBIUM, the only layer that grows and that must be put in intimate contact with the cambium of the host so that its union takes place and the graft is successful. Next toward outside follows it the Floema or alive crust, followed of the dead and dry crust.

 

Next the escutcheon is placed in the cut of the host, putting it so that the three aforesaid layers agree.

 

Several grafts can be done simultaneously to the host, even of different varieties of fig tree.

Next the graft with transparent plastic tape is tied. This tape is the same one that is used for the grafts in plants of tomatos and watermelons. It is very resistant, very easy to handle and its transparency allows to see the state of the graft. Also it is possible to be tied with raphia to graft. See that has been left petiole outside. This has two purposes: on the one hand the juice of petiole serves in the first days like food and hidratation of the escutcheon, which are reabsorbed to survive and on the other hand, if the graft is successful, after about 8 -12 days, when touching petiole with the finger, this one yields easily and it is come off the escutcheon, leaving a green and hale mark. However if the graft fails, the petiole falls with difficulty or it stays glued on the dead and dry escutcheon.

They have spent 8 days and, when doing a slight pressure with the finger on petiole, this one has been given off with much facility, which is indicative of success.

In this image you go away the green and hale mark and heals left by petiole when being given off. This detail means that the escutcheon is well alive and that already receives nutrients and water of the host. In this phase it is necessary to hope one more week and soon to untie the graft, returning it to tie immediately, but leaving the bud discovered, so that it can appear.

Some weeks have passed and the bud of the escutcheon begins to appear. At this moment or a little before, if you are sure that the graft is successful, cut the host over the graft. In other species this is not due to do until the buds of the graft measure 10 or 15 cm, but in the case of fig tree in general it is possible to be done without problems, given his facility to sprout again after an energetic pruning, without too much danger to drown to the host or the bud of the graft.

One week later the bud measures about 4 cm. Already we have a fig tree of the wished variety.

And here it is after 27 days. It have grown 30 cm..