Grafting a mango tree in your backyard has lots of advantages. This gardening technique is widely used throughout the Caribbean island of Jamaica and in other parts of the West Indies.
It involves attaching a limb from a mature Jamaican East Indian tree to another, often younger plant. Implanting a new branch in this way makes the young tree produce different types of fruit.
The technique of grafting a mango tree is also employed on a commercial scale. For people in the food processing industry, cultivating East Indian mangoes in this way provides the same advantage that it offers small scale farmers. That is, it cuts down on the length of time required for the tree to bear fruit. Like other trees of its size, such as apples, naseberry and tamarind, mangoes take a few years to develop.
During this time, homeowners look longing at the branches for any signs of maturity and rejoice when they see the limbs begin to fill out. East Indian mangoes are large, with the perfect blend of sweetness and tartness. Young children who enjoy this fruit are even more impatient as they long for the days when they can sit under its branches and eat as much of the sweet, sticky tropical produce as they want to.
On a commercial level, every year spent waiting would be a year spent not making any profit, so farming methods such as these must be utilized. It is relatively easy to graft a tree and once you get the hang of it with one, you are likely to try it with others. Sometimes people insert a branch from a tree that is known to produce sweet fruit in their own plant. This gives them a good chance of reproducing mangoes with that flavor in their backyard.
Steps Involved in Grafting An East Indian Mango Tree
- Identify a plant that you want to graft from. This should bear fruit of a good size with a flavor you enjoy.
- Select a healthy young bud from the parent stock. This is known as the scion.
- Sterilize a sharp knife to remove bacteria.
- Cut off a slim, low branch from your root stock. Ideally, this should be a young plant in your backyard. The branch should be really young, no thicker than about ½ inch in width or diameter.
- Make a thin v cut in remainder of the branch. Don’t go down too far with the cut or make it too wide.
- Shape the cut tip of the scion to form a wedge. This will be fit into the v on the root stock.
- Put the two branches together. Make sure the inner bark of each branch is touching the other.
- Using grafting tape to bind the union and give it support. You can get graft compound at a farm and garden store and use it to cover the junction.
- After a while, the plants merge and form one organism.
- Bear in mind that you may not get it right on your first few attempts. Keep trying till you get it. It will be worth it.
I previously published this article on Expertspages.