New Technique to graft when the scion is bigger then the rootstock

New Technique to graft when the scion is bigger than the rootstock. The photos are from Bass.



Tony, you posted some photos the other day and it appeared to me like you may have used this technique…am I right?
To be honest, it seems to me a cleft graft would be better under these circumstances…wouldn’t it? I do think it would be easier to get a good fit/cut with your technique, but it lacks the self applied pressure of the cleft. The cleft also offers the possibility of vascular tissue forming from two sides rather than just one, assuming differently sized stock / scion. Again though, maybe the ease of obtaining a clean and tight fitting joint overcomes that.
One other advantage to your technique I guess is that assuming your scion wood is long enough, I’d guess you could make the joint as long as you like improving the chances of good cambium contact.

I am going to give this technique a try next year. Thanks for posting…I always enjoy your posts.


This technique will give you more cambium contact than one side contact in a cleft graft with a small scion and a large understock but a little more cutting involved. After a few practice then smooth sailing.



I’m not following you Tony. If I do a cleft graft with say a 2" taper cut into the scion, then I would have 4" of intended cambium contact. If they were somehow the exact same size you would get 8 lineal inches of possible cambium contact.

Like I said though, I do see some potential advantages of your technique and I am going to try it next year…maybe even this year. Brady is going to send me some left over plum scions for a few very, very late season attempts at topworking .
I have very low expectations given the heat, but I’m going to give it a whirl. I’ll try this on one of them.

Tony, I assume you trim off the overhanging portions of both the rootstock and scion before wrapping right? In other words the bits with no possibility of cambium contact (looking at your first photo). Or do you just fold them over?

Here’s a video Bass has on Youtube where he does the Z-Graft:

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Here is why I think there is more cambium contact because both side of the scion and understock always matches. You just have to make a small splice until the two scion and understock match. The angle cut of each end there is also a match at least on one side or both depends on the different size of the scion and understock. I also did an addition step by making a small splice under the overhanging portions of both the rootstock and scion and wrap that down. I hope this will give it a clearer picture.


How many of these have you done and has it been successful? stonefruit?

Good video.


I did 6 totals in the past 2 seasons. Two with cherry, 3 with applie, and one with a peach. They did take but a lot more work than a 1 minute for a bark graft.


Great knife work, Tony!

I’ve used this graft the past two seasons, bench and in the field. Apple, pear, plum. I find it helpful when the stock is larger than the scion, as it heals over better than a bark or cleft graft or an offset whip and tongue.

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Think this would work for persimmons? I have scion that are thicker than the rootstocks that came in the mail today…

Did you try it with your persimmon scion?

I did not. My rootstock were really too small and the scions too big. I was successful with a modified bark graft.

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Maybe new to you. But not new to everyone.’
Only technique I know to be new is micro-grafting.

It was new to me and I appreciate you posting it. I suppose there really is almost nothing new under the sun but I hadn’t seen this done and suspect others may also benefit from it. It actually looks like something I could do, and I’ll be trying it this spring! Great photos, BTW.


Tony’s post was dated May, 2015, 3 years ago. It’s new to him and a lot of us then. I bet it’s new to many members even now.

Glad that it’s not new to you. I look forward to your sharing your experience with us.


I have used it for persimmon, and it worked fine. My stock was much wider than my scion, but they healed over real nice in just one season, much better than a bark or cleft graft.


I don’t know how long you’ve been growing fruit or much grafting experience you have, but if you are fairly new to all this (like I was and really still am) then I just want to be sure you know that most (not all) people here agree that persimmon is one of the harder things to graft in general. For me, they often start to grow and even put on a fair amount of new growth (more than just the nutritional reserves in the scion wood) and THEN fail. That is different, for me, that some of the other hard to graft fruits like peaches, Anyway, my point is just to tell you not to get too discouraged too quickly if you have trouble with persimmon grafts- no matter what technique you use. And you will get better. I actually had a 65% take rate (meaning they made it all the way to winter) on my persimmons last year. I’m sure that sounds just laughable to some people here, but after past rates of like 10-20%, I’m sort of proud of my “success” this year. Peaches are a different story for me tho!!! hahaha
Good luck, Daniel. Nice to see someone fairly close to me here. (I’m on the border of KY/TN south of Bowling Green on I-65)

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I used it on about 50 fig grafts this year. Nearly all took. It’s easy to do and provides more assured cambium contact than any other graft I know. — when the bark isn’t slipping.

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z-grafting, can be done also with cleft, just know where to cut! Doesn’t matter which one is scion or stock. Of course it has a limit in the different sizes, but you can always make a cut to match.