T-budding tutorial

Did you have to tie those branches down or did they grow out like that.


@Johnnysapples They grew like that. The pear rootstocks are incompatable with most pears. They fruited extremely fast like quince would do! The rootstocks grew identical to the pear tree. For whatever reason these seedling rootstocks have a lot more influence than normal over the pear scionwood.


very informative thread. Reviving this to add my experience. I am grafting citrus now and tried both with and without the wood in the bud. Removing the wood for the latter is very hard and finicky with the thin budwoods from CCPP. Lets see how many will take.

Also, it is soooo much more easier to do the inverse T than the regular T on the rootstock. The starting point of the bud is the sharpest as I tend to start the cut from there. With inverted T, its easier to poke the separated bark with the sharp end of the bud and easily insert it.


I have not had as much success with T budding cherry or peaches as I have with Chip budding. Cherries are so difficult to judge where cambium lies.


Been getting pears for years now i grew using this tutorial. @fruitnut everyone appreciates you posting this!


I finally looked at the pictures in this thread. It never occurred to me to leave the wood attached to the bud stick instead of trying to fish it out after cutting the bud free. Hopefully I’ll remember that.

Also, you say to cut fully through the bark but not into the wood. For T-buds and bark grafts, I make no effort to avoid cutting into the wood. I don’t see how it can do any harm. Of course it isn’t necessary to cut into it, and if the stock is juicy and slipping well, the knife clicks through the bark and naturally stops at the wood anyway.


I don’t fish the wood out of a T bud scion. After undercutting the bud, loosen the bark at the top. Then twist the bud sideways with your thumb and it pops off the wood. Doing that there’s no need to avoid cutting into the wood.

But you’re saying things I don’t recall advocating.

I’m probably just not expressing myself well. My point is that I like your suggestion of leaving the scion wood behind on the budwood stick as you describe instead of trying to fish it out like I’d been doing in the past.


Make your two cuts, down and across. Cut fully thru the bark but not into the wood. It’s usually easy to tell as the bark is much softer than the wood

I’m suggesting that there is no harm in cutting into the wood of the host, just isn’t required or desired.

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On 7/15 I grafted three upright branches of a DV rootstock with Dar Sophia using Whip & Tongue grafts, then just below on one vertical I placed a chip bud as my insurance. I would have expected my 3 W&T grafts with apical dominance to take first, but to my surprise only the chip bud has taken! I am a bit mystified at the results.

Can I T bud onto the main trunk of a relatively young tree? I planted a peach this Spring and it has an empty area where I’d like a branch to be. The trunk is about an inch wide. Would T budding be a good technique for this scenario?

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No, T budding would not be a good technique on a peach on old wood. T budding in stone fruit only works when the bud is placed onto current season’s growth. Buds fail to take on older wood with thick bark.

In addition, even if the bud did take, the only way to force it to grow would be to cut off everything above the inserted bud. That doesn’t sound like what you want to accomplish.


Thank you for your response. What technique would you recommend for basically creating a new scaffold? And what time of year would you recommend? I’m in NY, zone 6b.


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Some people recommend scoring above a bud to try to force it to grow. You could try that now. I’ve never done that and success could be limited.

Other than that, the options are limited. If the tree structure is really bad, you could start over. Starting over would amount to cutting the tree back now or next winter. I picture would help decide if that’s a possibility.


Ideally there would be a few more scaffold branches well spaced somewhere between the fence and the branch on the right side. However, there aren’t any active buds on that area. I’m pretty new to all of this, so I may be missing something.

To get lower branching ideally that tree would have been headed back lower when planted. Cutting it back below all branches now would be risky. If you cut it off between the wire and the low branch it might not send out any shoots from the scion variety.

You could form a tree out of the lowest branch. But that might only gain you a few inches lower branching. If you want to try that, tie the low right branch upright. Then cut off everything above that either now or next spring. That might push one or more lower branches.

I don’t even have a clue what you’d call this graft I came up with earlier this year, but it has grown a lower scaffold on a quite old red heart plum tree.

Read my post here on the spring grafting thread:

The single bud graft has actually sprung 2 new growths that are now over a foot long. I’m hoping to finally have a more balanced tree after deer destroying half the limbs on this open center plum tree.

So I just took a look at this tree and it has gone from this:

To growth over a foot long now:

Sorry for the quality of the pic. It was hard to get a shot because I have 2 layers of wire around it to keep the deer at bay.

I will remove the second more upright growth soon, but I wanted to make sure at least one of them survived the caterpilers and other pests that feed on new growth.

Fascinating, I just read the original post. Was this in early Spring? Would you call that a side graft? I was reading this post and wondering if it could be an option for me.

It was an early spring graft. I have no idea what you’d call it really. It’s not something I’ve seen posted about. At first I thought I might be able to get the bark to slip, so I cut about a three inch or so inverted V with a knife in the bark. I couldn’t separate the bark after cutting the surface of the bark, so I brute forced it with a chisle. I then cut the point off the inverted V to give me just enough room to insert a small 1 bud scion cut exactly the same way as for a cleft graft.

After taping and sealing the graft only the top of tiny 1 bud scion was peaking out the top of the inverted V. I guess the advantage of doing this is that there is virtually no exposed surface area for the scion to dry out.

I tried notching this area and even adding compounds known to aid in promoting new growth before , but nothing could induce growth on the lower trunk. This was a last ditch effort to grow a lower scofold before I gave up and took the entire top off the plum tree. Truthfully I never in a hundred years actually expected the graft to work.


Ive scored above a bud to induce branchin and it does work on young trees, but also benefits from selective foliar spray on new growth. Might take a couple years.