Seed-grown avocado trees take 10+ years to bear fruit, which is quite a long time. That is where the idea of grafting came in; to cut the time avocado trees take to bear fruit.
Avocado is widely adored for its juicy, tasty flesh. The fruit can be served with various dishes, making it even more popular.
But before avocados make it to our tables, they go through a growing process. We will discuss how grafting avocado trees is important and how it is done.
Grafting is the attachment of two different parts of a tree into one. In this case, the avocado cultivar (scion) is conjoined to the rootstock of another tree. A new tree will grow from there.
Why Does an Avocado Tree Need To Be Grafted?
Grafting speeds up the fruit-bearing process and produces consistently high-quality avocado fruits. Growing an avocado from seed will take years before the fruit matures.
Furthermore, the tree may produce low-quality fruit or fail to produce fruit at all. A lot of knowledge and patience are required to make this process successful.
Tips to Graft a Mature Avocado Tree
When your avocado tree attains a height of 3 feet, it is ready for grafting. Spring is the best season to graft your tree because then is when the bark slips off the inner tree more easily.
- Your grafting tools should be bacteria-free, or your plant may get infected and die. Sterilize all tools and dry them before use.
- Select a healthy avocado tree from which to pick a grafting branch or ‘’budwood’’. The most suitable buds are found towards the end of branches.
- Cut 6 to 8 healthy branches into 6-inch lengths, ensuring that each branch contains several buds.
- Carefully prepare your graft site. Remove a bud from the budwood and graft it. Secure the graft using a specialized grafting tape.
- You can remove the tape after 3 to 4 weeks when the grafts have healed and become one with your avocado tree. Soon after, new branches will grow and produce avocado fruits.
What Tools Do I Need To Graft Avocado Trees?
Some tools are required to make work easier during grafting. They include a sharp, sanitized knife, an alcohol disinfectant, grafting tape, and a cling film.
What Is The Best Method To Graft Avocado Trees?
The go-to method of grafting avocado trees is the T bud method. It entails cutting a T-shape through the bark and inserting a single bud.
Whip grafting is also a common method for grafting avocado plants, especially those that measure 0.25 to 0.5-inch diameter.
It involves making a 1 to 2.5-inch long, sloping cut on the rootstock plant and the scion stock. The scion should be of mature hardwood.
Join the two cut surfaces together and bind them using a grafting wax.
What Rootstock Is Best for Grafting Avocados?
To begin with, a rootstock is a plant that provides the lower trunk and the roots. Select a hardy rootstock that does well in your locality, is adapted to the soil, and is highly resistant to local diseases.
There are numerous varieties of rootstock, and the best one will depend on different factors. You can visit a nearby plant nursery or university extension to know more about this.
How Much Time Does Grafting Take To Heal?
Avocado grafts take 3 to 8 weeks before the plant heals completely. Please don’t tamper with the graft early on, or you will likely damage it.
Grafted Avocado Plant Care
Just like a fresh wound, new cuts require some care to heal quickly and smoothly. We have highlighted some of these ways to care for your avocado graft.
- Exposure of the cuts to the sun is harmful; therefore, use some tape to protect the new graft. When healing is done, you can do away with the tape.
- Check your soil and ensure it is moist enough for your newly grafted avocado tree. Wet soil is a problem for avocado trees. You should find a way to drain the excess soil water by adding amendments such as vermiculite or compost.
- The recommended fertilizers are nitrogen fertilizers. They increase crop yield, fruit size, and resistance to cold temperatures. You should also fertilize your new avocado plant thrice a year.
What Do I Do When the Bud Begins To Grow?
Once the bud starts to grow, pat yourself because the grafting process was a success. It would be best if you now pruned away the top of the rootstock to stop the plant from growing the wrong fruit.
When Will the New Avocado Graft Start To Bear Fruit?
A new avocado graft will take approximately 3-4 years to produce fruit. This period is much lower than the 10 years it takes seed-grown avocado trees to bear fruit.
Grafting avocado plants is never a guarantee of a good yield. However, the correct knowledge and skills can see you produce healthy avocados for your enjoyment.
The information above has been well-researched and developed to answer some of your burning questions about grafting avocado trees.
We hope the article is useful and wish you all the best as you put your knowledge into action.