Z graft (grafting scion larger than rootstock)

Grafting season is coming! Many techniques exist for utilizing a smaller scion on a larger rootstock. That is not what this post is about. This is to discuss a larger scion on a smaller rootstock. I hadn’t seen any posts specifically about this so I figured I’d share. The following video was shared with me and I included it in the Beginner Grafting Guide, but I wanted to highlight the technique for anyone scratching their head wondering if they are able to make a larger scion succeed.

If you know of other methods that would work well to accomplish this challenge, please share here.

Also if you have succeeded (or failed) with this technique on various species, please share so we can learn from your experience.


I’ve used z graft with larger scion/smaller stock on mulberry, worked out fine


That might be one of my applications Jesse, thanks for weighing in! As I hadn’t seen a lot of people using this for anything but citrus, I was worried it wouldn’t be effective for other fruits.

I’ve had good luck with using this for figs. I have trouble with the W&T with the pith. This makes it a lot easier.



That’s beyond beautiful carpentry @Travis


Thanks! I try and practice as much as possible with anything extra I have.

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I have not yet tried the z but I may do so this year as I have a number of one year pawpaw seedlings that are much smaller than my scions. Fortunately I have a large number so I can try this and several others methods, Thanks for sharing


I was doing the same today. Grafting into my kitchen sink with extra scions. That’s how to do it. Well, you’re obviously extremely-talented.

Best regards Travis!



We had a previous member doing cleft grafting upside down. Wider scion to skinnier roots…

He had plenty of success with apples, for-sure.

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I accidentally did that with my zenport on one jujube graft last year (is that called a saddle graft?) and I can’t remember if that one took. I’ll have to check. It seems like it should work out just fine if all other factors are in order.

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Please share if you try it out Dennis! I am curious to see what success rate can be achieved with this method. You’d think that with such a large amount of area that could connect that it would have a high success rate.


@disc4tw here’s a mulberry I did. This was somewhat modified and a cross between a z and w&t.


Hi Travis, the graft looks great. Was this mulberry ‘field’ grafted on an existing tree? If so, what do you look for in terms of the timing of grafting?

Yeah it was grafted on to a wild seedling. I transplanted it and grafted it last year. I tried to time it when the buds were starting to swell, but also when the temps were going to be warm enough for it to heal.

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On a few other threads I have seen that mulberry is easy to graft if grafted later in the season and if the rootstock is not super wet so the union doesn’t bleed sap too much.

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Thank you @Travis and @disc4tw. I’ve heard similar things from others but wanted to hear of your experience as well. I have had decent takes on mulberries the last couple of years but not as good as apples, plums, pears.

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So my first go at a Z graft was tonight on a Poncho avocado. I think it was a great introduction as all of the grafting I’ve done so far was either a Zenport /Omega tool or a cleft graft (moderate success with both). Avocado wood is very soft and I felt it was forgiving because of that. It wasn’t nearly as pretty as the beauty @travis posted, but I think it has a good chance of taking.


Do you line up just one side of the graft or skew it so both sides touch?

I kind of skewed it to one side, trying to make sure the top and bottom were kosher too. I’m hoping that is sufficient…