Of grafting by approximation we speak when there is a need to strengthen a plant or when you want to give a different shape to the skeleton, even by joining two neighboring plants. The feature of this grafting is that it is carried out between two branches of the same tree or, in fact, between the branches of two related plants positioned close together. The percentage of good engraftment is quite high.
Among all types of grafting, that by approximation it is perhaps the simplest and can be performed in all seasons of the year. However, the best and fastest results are obtained in the vegetative phase, when the nutritional juices are in full circulation. There are three techniques: simple, English, inlay. It is a type of graft that, as we said, always above all to strengthen the plant.
Graft by simple approximation
On both the two branches that you want to 'approximate', a strip of bark is removed lengthwise until the wood is discovered. The debarking on the two symbionts must be facing each other and have the same size so that they can be made to match. To hold the two branches together, a binding is performed with raffia, without however tightening too much so as not to choke, and the insulation with grafting mastic. After taking root, the upper part of the subject and the lower part of the graft are cut with respect to the point of contact.
English approximation graft
Compared to the previous one, it changes that the two branches to be 'approximated' are wedged as well as made to match. This is achieved by making a downward V-shaped incision on the subject and a V-shaped incision towards the other on the graft (or scion). After which we proceed with the binding of raffia and the insulation. The graft by approximation to English is recommended on breezy days and in rainy areas because the large contact surface guarantees good resistance. The percentage of good welding is very high.
Inlay approximation graft
Of the three it is the least practiced and in essence it is a variant that can be used when the subject is very formed and has a tenacious bark. A longitudinal chisel inlay is made on the carrier, causing a hollow, while on the graft a projection suitable to be inserted is obtained. The two parts are interlocked and it binds and isolates itself. After welding, the branches above the subject and under the graft are cut.
If you are not an expert, thegrafting by approximation is the right one to give it a try. Choose a plant with a fairly thick crown and identify two 'approximable' branches. Then practice the graft (I recommend the English type) and wait for the results. You will almost certainly be gratified and can move on to more complex grafts.
The tools you need are a good grafting knife, raffia and putty. Find everything for less than thirty euros. I recommend these:
Grafting knife stainless steel blade with wooden handle
Mastic for grafts