Top-Grafting of Citrus Trees

January 08, 2016


Photographer: Menashe Davidson
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson

Grafting involves uniting two living tissues by biological bonding. In trees, it's the joining of the scion (the aerial, fruit-bearing part) onto the rootstock (root system). Top-grafting practices are generally used to modify the fruit variety of an established tree. This past year I decided to replace the older trees in my citrus orchard, located in the Tira Sharon region of Israel, with a different citrus variety to improve the yield. Instead of digging out the older trees and replacing them with new plants, I employed the top-grafting approach. Since Citrus trees are evergreen, grafting is carried out in summer, while the trees are in full activity (growth).

The photomontage above shows the preparation of the rootstock (upper left), selecting the scion and grafting (upper right), maintaining the scion growth (bottom right) and thriving plants only weeks away from harvest (bottom left). Being able to adapt agricultural practices to changing climate conditions, market demands and political turmoil is essential if we hope to adequately feed Earth's growing population.