Two-in-one graft

That’s a neat idea! I think I would prefer a cleft because, as bleedingdirt says, the scions might not adhere well enough -but they might, and if a person has rootstock and scions and space why not?

If you didn’t need it to all come together in one season you do cleft or whip and tongue sequentially. Do one variety each year, each right on top the the previous year’s.

wasn’t sure if you were referring to my post, but at any rate-- one way of offsetting the mechanical disadvantages of multi prongs is to use very tiny/thinnest/shortest scions.
(which obviously didn’t do on all the grafts since wasn’t expecting much from the ‘just-for-kicks’ project)

I was replying to Scott’s original post, but looks like I didn’t attach my reply to his post, sorry.

Patty S.

Scott. I got some Ayers pear scions this year and then realized that an established quince tree was the place I had remaining to graft them.

Believing that Ayers is not graft-compatible with quince, I decided to use an interstem. I’ve never tried double working in one go, so as a backup I grafted a scion to a branch that already had a quince compatible pear growing on it that was grafted last year.

With a pruning for that graft I created an interstem for grafting to a quince portion of the tree.

A) Ayers grafted to existing Euro pear growing on quince.
B) Ayers and dormant piece of Euro pear grafted to each other and onto the quince in one go.

A and B both leafed out and grew.

B pushed and grew buds from both the interstem and Ayers. I rubbed off the interstem buds.

But If I’d wanted, I could have allowed buds from both Ayers and the interstem to grow.

Okay, that was a round-about explanation, but the bottom line is you could double work your rootstock with two varieties in series, all in one go.

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I think conventional wisdom with clefts says to cut the least vigorous one the following year, close to the graft, so the live tissue will help set the scar but it won’t form a tree with very weak trunk angles. I have no idea if that’s true, but I’ve seen it mentioned a few places before. In this case too I would be a bit curious if the angles created any problem.

That said, it isn’t an automatic problem in side grafting or budding…

If you try that you might want to enhance it by including an approach graft between the two scion. Remove some bark from the two scion and hold them tight together above the rootstock graft. That might add some strength.

Thanks for all the feedback!

They should be as secure as either half, assuming the graft is good.

The scions should send out shoots which you can put at good angles. Once the tree is big these little scions will look like a blip. Or so is the hope… it does concern me a bit and probably would be a good idea to add the approach graft danzeb mentions below.

I was thinking about that but got concerned the bottom one would not leaf out since it is not dominant. But it is the closest to the stock and as you saw they both could grow. So this looks like a pretty good option as well. I have done this one-shot interstem and they always did well.

Thats probably a good idea in any case, if one scion did not take as the base it could “feed” off the other one (like the one-shot interstem murky mentioned). Another variation is split the two scions down the middle all the way - you would not even notice it was two scions.

Now, to make it bit interesting, why not whip and tongue each scion?! :grin:

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I’ve had it work the two times I did it as well. A magness interstem on quince to allow a non-quince-compatible euro pear to grow. Both the target pear and magness leafed out. I’m not sure that this will work as well with other types of trees- after all, pears seem the easiest to graft.

I do this all the time- whenever the rootstock (or branch) is too big for the scions, I just use two. Though I’ve always used the same variety. Sometimes, if the scions are both 70% as big as the rootstock, they each need to be shaved down on one side to fit the inside the rootstock, with their outer cambiums in contact. But, the cambium layer in the middle isn’t really doing anything, so it is no loss.

It is a trickier question when each is only 30%. Then there will be a hole in the middle (I’ve tried filling it with wax), which also means that they are less stable in the graft. Eventually, assuming both take, I have to decide which one to chop back and make into a small spur.

I have also done the two per cleft many times. Above I was assuming the stock was a standard bulk rootstock, i.e. very small and so 2 would not fit next to each other. The way I was proposing was to put them on top of each other so each scion has one side to stock and the other side to the other scion. The wedges would have to be extra thin. I can draw a picture if its not making sense.

I believe in one of his videos @skillcult explains that he did something like 6 interstems between the rootstock and the scion of interest and had good results.

I see what you are suggesting, but think it would be harder than a double cleft graft. With a double cleft, at least there is something holding the scion in place. With a saddle graft (as Stephen Hayes would call it) that has been split in two, it doesn’t seem like there would be much to lock in place while you tie it together. I’m pretty sure someone could do it, but I have doubts that I would be that person. I can picture it falling apart, just as I start to tie it up.

Even if the rootstock isn’t too thick, I’ve often received tiny wood where you could still fit two of them into a 1/4" rootstock. Or, using better wood, just cut as much as you need off the scion for it to reach the half-way point in the rootstock.

6>? why would one need to use so many? I’ll have to find that video.

I think he did it because he is curious, I applaud that. Sometimes you just have to do the quick and dirty experiment and see what the results are.

Its somewhere in the 3 interstem videos. Grafting — SkillCult

No…i find that pretty cool. Interstems are like magic.

Yes, I did do that, and they all healed up and lived. It was pretty much just to see if it could be done and so see if that might be a viable method of making a multigrafted tree in one season. some of the varieties didn’t want to grow out and I don’t think it probably is a good method for that purpose. Not sure why, maybe competition between more vigorous and less vigorous varieties? Maybe with the right compatible varieties of similar vigor. Anyway, it’s possible for what it’s worth :slight_smile:

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For me, a graft taking is magic!:slight_smile:

have become a lazy, spoiled-rotten grafter after all these years, especially now that grafting shears with omega blades are sold for cheap. Tying these together ensures the lock everyone wants, be it a cleft-approach or a saddle. One could even cleave two equal-caliper scions lengthwise and in the middle, wrap them to make one scion wood then use this to carve the base


My brother gave me a pair for Christmas. I haven’t used them yet, as I’ve been a bit nervous about getting cambium match-up. Do you run into any issues with them when the scion and rootstock aren’t exactly the same width?

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it shouldn’t matter much, if at all, since they are carved identically.
as long as one side of the cambium matches, then it works just like a regular cleft graft where the calipers are not identical.
while, cambium approximation is important when grafting, i actually think sapwood approximation is at least as important. When grafting, scions are virtually nothing more than girdled stems, where the scionwood is a ‘parasite’ on the rootstock(especially during spring, since the net flow of carbs and proteins are reversed–flowing from roots to stems via sapwood). A girdled stem/budwood in spring will last a long time even with cambium totally damaged/have poor contact, and will grow back, whereas a stem/graft where a great deal of sapwood is destroyed/have poor contact, the stem/graft wouldn’t live long, because scionwood’s access to moisture is 100% via sapwood…
btw, if you decide to try using your shears, the only thing which may cause blips with using it brand-new, is that the lube oil they use often bleeds into the blade, which could result in an oily interface of the graft.
i had to use several alcohol wipes and tipped the shears many times over just to make sure there aren’t any drippings