Side grafting

I would prefer anytime over these goofy side “inserts” and drilling holes and stuffing sticks in 'em to simply do something correct such as either a mega chip or slide a bud in as a T-bud or, bark graft; or flap graft.

All these require that the bark is slipping but, so be it.

The cuts on both bark and flap grafting are very long if you’re doing them smart.

Slipping in a mega chip is my next preferred and is right along with June Greenwood Budding where current but stiff new growth is inserted the same way as the mega chip.

Stakes. Where are they? I can’t believe how often I mention there’s no stake on someones graft ready from the get go. I’ll keep doing it, however. It doesn’t matter if in a container or in-ground grafts, each graft needs a stake. It’s for creating the whip (single leader tree) to get above deer browse (and continue adding stakes until you’re above deer height…) & to withstand wind, birds, and inclement weather.

Good luck as always,



Many grafting techniques such as this exist but the angles are not my favorites long term

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Tell my 300+ grafts they need a stake. Only ones I’ve lost are on
‘frankentrees’…presumably a bird alighting on the graft.

what are we talking about?

okay, i’ll play dummy? are your whips/growth “straight”?

A big majority are straight…(straighter than $30 trees from Cummins that’s for sure).

I still don’t know what the hell you’re bringing me in?

I’m too old.


Have a beer and call it a night. I never stake my grafts.


This document is ancient by today’s standards. It’s an old NAFEX newsletter from back whenever we were all members. Kept this one because of the side grafting instructions. Hopefully since it’s nearly 10 years old Noone will mind me posting it to much at this late date. AIG-Feb 2013-10g.pdf (2.1 MB) . At the time as a NAFEX member we did not share newsletters outside the group. The side grafting instructional at the bottom is difficult to find.

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It’s been several years since I posted this thread and I can report that side grafting has been extremely prolific for me. Some of the most robust grafts I have ever made are side grafts. The angles are as pretty but I haven’t had one fail yet.


Actually if you have a crooked scion or a crooked rootstock…by chosing the correct side for the graft you can get a STRAIGHT result! I have several.

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I wish folks had pictures of their masterpieces. I’ve got ~100 failed graft rootstocks to rework this spring. Some of them are and will probably continue to be pretty uggly.


The good news is you can get beautiful fruit even from an ugly graft.



Few say it so I will soils like mine don’t support same year grafting. Part of it is figuring out what we did that works for you. As an example the fruits we get are from our former grafts Here comes the 2016 apple and Pear harvest! . If you look back over the years you can follow mine from grafts to fruit Top working Pears weather permitting . Many growers have been in your same situation like @ClothAnnie who’s grafted pear from this thread has been producing her pears now Wild callery pear rootstocks . It’s great to see success when it happens when growing fruit!

Dave do you typically follow the side grafting style from the video in the original post? Or more like the one described in the NAFEX article? The former looks like you just insert the scion in between wood and lifted bark, where the NAFEX article method looks like you make a cut into the wood and insert scion wedged into the wood, lining up cambium edges. I did a bunch a few weeks ago following the NAFEX article and they all appear to be taking, but that video method looks simpler.

Yes. I had extra sheldon scions and stuck a branch at 35" on a 18’ diameter trunk. No real problems… Tack it in place with small nails, or big staples, prune back 1st couple years to thicken and strengthen

I followed the same style as the graft shown in the video. Admittedly I havent grafted hardly anything the last few years. I burned myself out spending all of my spare time dealing with my trees.

I was in the orchard today and was look g for so.e of the side grafts to take a picture of. Only one I could find that I’m positive was a side graft is this one. It’s 6 years old this year and I’m ready to cut that scaffold back and graft some thing else to it. I’ve had a bad run of fruit production during my time as a home orchardist. But this limb bared a lot of fruit last year. Plums were frozen out this year so nothing to show for it today.


Experimenting with a few of these. Seems I forgot to pay attention to where my buds were! In my defense, these were leftover scions too large for my potted seedlings, and it was late. I found a wild seedling to test on.

Thanks! That’s a good looking graft to me. Interesting, looking at the NAFEX article again it’s hard for me to tell whether that shows cutting into the wood or just lifting the bark essentially like the method you followed. I tried a couple both ways, fingers crossed.

The way that seedling was done; was to cut into the wood just far enough to match cambium on both sides as best I could guess the depth to match. On small budwood it would just barely get through the bark. A long cut on the tree side with a shorter cut on.the bark side. The larger established seedlings have have excellent results. The smaller fresh potted ones are much slower, and will most likely have more failures.

Time will tell.