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Tuesday, March 18

A Lesson in Grafting

Generally, flowering trees reproduce by seed. However, when flowers are cross-pollinated, the seed that develops in the fruit after fertilization contains genetic properties from two different plants. Therefore, the tree that develops when the new tree develops will not exhibit the same traits as the parent plant. Grafting provides a solution to the dilemma of how to get the exact tastiness, texture, firmness and other preferred traits replicated for future enjoyment. As you can imagine, grafted plants are the choice of the farmers.

Today I am fortunate to witness, refresh and broaden my knowledge on the process of grafting fruit trees. The subjects today are cocoa trees. 

1. The scion selections are prepared: The top is wrapped with a strip of plastic; The end to be fitted into the stock is trimmed into a wedge shape. It is important that the scion must be about the same size of the stock: not too big and not smaller.

Skilled hands

 2. Stocks are neatly cut off.

 3. A cleft is made down the middle of the stock.

4. The scions are inserted into the stock

5. The graft union is securely wrapped with another strip of plastic. This is meant to prevent water entry and prevent the growth of fungus. The new growth of the graft will gradually stretch and break through the plastic strips.

The finished product!
It is an optional step to spray around the completed graft union with the fungicide, Kocide for added measure. Growth progress is checked in fifteen (15) days.

Other tree crops which are propagated by the grafting method are mangoes and citrus.

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