Whip/tounge vs cleft graft

Is there any advantage to W/T over cleft? It looks like both would achieve the same result and cleft seems to be a little easier to get right for me.

THere’s quite a lot of discussion of grafting methods on this site - the search function should bring them up

My own thought is that w/t is really best suited for bench grafting in situations where the scion and rootstock are just about the same size, while cleft is generally the better technique for field grafting. But individuals should try both methods and find which is best suited to them.


Advantage not really but I’ve had very good results with Alan’s favorite, the simple splice. W&T has also worked great but is more difficult and probably no better. I’m looking at 100% right now on ~15 splice grafts this spring.

The cleft does have the advantage of working when stock is much bigger than scion.

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Agreed - it’s really about the size of the lower half of the graft. For equal sizes and bench grafting I use a W&T. For larger branches/trunks I use bark/rind grafts (on apples and pears). I haven’t done cleft grafting but will probably start, because we get a lot of ice/heavy wet snow that tends to tear out the bark grafts until they are 2-3 years strong.

It seems that if you’ve got the fundamentals right, the techniques are very forgiving. For example, I saw a video on youtube where the guy (who seemed to know what he was doing) left the whole scion full length, where I was taught (by Delton Curtis, who teaches for MOFGA and grafts for Fedco) to cut it back to at most two buds. Probably it depends on the weather - in a humid climate the scion won’t dry out as fast before the tissues knit, so more buds is OK.

As another example, spring grafting of peaches doesn’t seem to work here in Maine (at least for me), but budding in August is pretty reliable. I learned on this site that peach likes temps of ~85F to heal the graft union, which would explain why others in warmer areas can spring-graft peaches but we can’t.

A few weeks ago someone linked a video here of a guy doing wedge grafts on what appeared to be some kind of stone fruits out west. I liked the look of it because it looked like it would work on larger tree trunks (like a bark graft) while providing more structural integrity (like a cleft graft). Has anyone tried wedge grafting apples or pears?


I have on both apples and pears with good results.

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