Advanced Grafting of Figs: Part 2

  By Jerry Meislik

2. The base of this Ficus retusa needed another root to help soften a flat appearance to the base of the tree.

 Ficus kingman start

The base of this fig is flat and would benefit from an added root.

A seedling Ficus retusa was planted in close approximation to the tree. The trunk of the host tree was grooved about 1/2 inch deep to accommodate the seedling. The seedlings sides were shaved down to the cambium in the area where it would be inserted into the host tree in an approach graft.

 Ficus kingman grafted root A small seedling fig inserted into a groove in the trunk and secured with 2 staples into the trunk.

Sixty to ninety days later, the top of the seedling was cut off, and the root remained secured with a small staple.

 Ficus kingman root enlarged The graft one year later is much thicker when compared to the root on the right.

With time the bark of the new root will mature and change to the same color as the trunk.

3. This large Ficus retusa was grafted to cover large scars resulting from removal of large branches.

 Graft on scar one Scar # 1 with one small graft.

 Graft on scar 2 Scar # 2 showing one or two grafts across the cut.

 Graft on scar 3 Scar # 3 with several grafts in place.

 Grafts on scar 4

Scar # 4 showing the cut nearly covered with grafts.

Large scars on a fig heal slowly , and over many years they are still visible. Using approach grafts one or more small branches growing near the cut are brought across the scar and approach grafted across the scar . The tip end of the branch is grooved into the callous near the cut end of the scar and stapled down into place.

 Branch reeady to graft on scar

Branch on the right of the cut is brought across and grafted into the other side.

The usual approach graft technique is used but the branch over the scar can be curved a bit to give a more natural appearance, as if an aerial root formed there. The foliage is allowed to grow vigorously for perhaps two years and then is cut flush with the edge of the original scar. Once the foliage is removed the grafts grow very little but over many years may gradually close in the remaining gaps. In any case the scar is no longer so obvious.

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