Tools of the Grafting Trade

These devices will help you diversify your individual trees.

| March/April 2009

Scions meet trunk

A razor-sharp knife is essential to the grafting process, no matter the method used.
Teach Fruit Trees to Multitask with Grafting

Grafting tool

These are pliers-like tools that help ensure accurate cuts with specific blades for different types of grafting techniques. Grafting tools also have a heavy-duty blade and a wedge that are useful in cleft grafting. These tools aren’t absolutely necessary, but are very useful to have available.


 A razor-sharp knife is essential. It can be as simple as a sturdy pocket knife, or a special grafting knife. Just as important is to keep a steel or stone nearby to maintain an edge on the blade.

Grafting wax

This is usually a paraffin-based wax that can be softened in the palm of your hand and applied to a new graft to prevent desiccation.


Electrical tape can be used (as long as it’s cut later to ensure it falls off before girdling the branch). There is also a cloth-backed grafting tape that will decompose.  

Budding rubbers

These are elastic bands, typically 8 inches long, that do a fine job of maintaining adequate pressure.

Grafting compound

This is often an asphalt-based tree wound dressing that prevents moisture loss from the graft.

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