Whip-and-Tongue Grafting

This is a common method for grafting tree fruits or woody ornamentals.


Rootstocks should be well-established and scions should be from the previous year's growth with at least three healthy buds.

  1. The rootstock is prepared by cutting it back to 20-25 cm (8-10 in) from the ground. A 3.5 cm (1 1/2 in) sloping cut is then made on one side of the stock. Another cut should be made about a third of the way down the newly exposed cambium layer; this should be approximately 1 cm (1/2 in) deep, angled at 45° towards the base of the stem. This forms a 'tongue' into which the scion can be inserted.
  2. The scion is then cut so that it contains 3 or 4 buds, with the bottom bud 5 cm (2 in) from the base. An sloped cut is made to the stem on the other side to the bud, to match the angle of the cut made on the stock. A wedge is then cut into this to match the rootstock tongue.
  3. The scion is then fitted so that it interlocks securely to the stock. At this point it is bound with clear plastic tape and left to callus.