Chip budding differs from T-budding because it can be done when the bark of the rootstock is not slipping. It has gradually become the most common form of budding for many ornamental and fruit tree species.

It is done in the summer when the buds are dormant but the rootstocks are active.

Chip budding results in greater grafting success and straighter trunks.

Photo showing an example of chip budding.

The rootstock is prepared by making a downward 45 degree cut followed by a second downward cut to form the "chip" shape.

Photo showing an example of the chip shaped piece of plant removed by the two cuts.

Illustration showing frontal and side views of the two cuts being made into rootstock.

Cutting the rootstock

Photo showing the first downward cut in rootstock.

First downward cut in rootstock.

Photo showing the second downward cut in rootstock.

Second downward cut.

Photo showing the rootstock now ready to have bud inserted.

Rootstock ready to have bud inserted.

Cutting scion bud

Photo showing first cut being made to remove a scion bud.

Photo showing second cut being made to scion bud.

Photo showing the scion bud being removed, and ready to be inserted into rootstock.

The scion chip is made the same way and inserted into the rootstock and wrapped.

Photo showing scion chip being made.

Illustration showing frontal and side views of a bud being cut into a chip to be inserted into rootstock.

The chip is wrapped completely with a rubber of plastic grafting wraps.

Illustraton showing frontal and side views of rootstock and bud chip before being brought together. Second step shows chip inserted and wrapped with plastic grafting wraps, except for the bud, which is left exposed.

Inserting the chip bud.

Photo showing a chip bud being inserted into rootstock.

Photo showing a chip bud being inserted into rootstock.

Photo showing a chip bud being inserted into rootstock.

Wrapping the chip bud.

Photo of a chip bud inserted into rootstock and being wrapped in plastic.

Photo of a chip bud inserted into rootstock and being wrapped in plastic.

Photo of a chip bud inserted into rootstock and being wrapped in plastic.

Field budding is a team effort with each group member specializing in either budding or tying.

Photo showing rootstock plants with lower leaves rubbed off.

Budding starts with rubbing off the lower leaves on the rootstock.

Photo of a field of plants with a first team member inserting chip buds to rootstock, and the second wrapping the chip buds.

The first team member buds and the second follows to wrap.

Grafting trolleys can be used to support and can be as simple as two connected wheels.

Photo showing front angle view of workers in the field using grafting trolleys.

Photo showing rear angle view of workers in the field using grafting trolleys.

More elaborate grafting trolleys have four wheels, storage capacity, and shade.

Photo showing a four wheeled grafting trolley.

Photo of a worker using a four wheel grafting trolley.

Click on the image to see the movie.

Rows of completed chip buds.

Photo of a field row of completed chip buds.

Close up view of completed chip buds.

After budding plants in the field, the tops of the rootstock must be taken off.


This can be accomplished in two steps. First, most of the top is removed mechanically with a field driven corn chopper in early spring.

Photo of an example field of rootstock plants with tops removed.

Photo of an example field of rootstock plants with tops removed.

Then, after the bud begins to grow, the rest of the rootstock is removed above the bud. Illustrated to the right is a hydraulic pruner that reduces the strain on workers pruning acres of trees.

Photo of a healed bud on rootstock.

Healed bud

Photo of a worker doing hand pruning of the top of rootstock.

Hand pruning

Photo showing a pneumatic pruner being used on rootstock.

Pneumatic pruner

Shoot growth begins from the inserted bud in the spring.

Photo of a field of rose rootstocks with buds beginning to grow leaves.

Roses

Close up photo of a paw paw bug beginning to sprout from rootsock.

Paw paw

The objective of producing shade trees from budding is to get a straight trunk without an obvious bend in the trunk where the chip bud was inserted. This is accomplished by training the developing bud with "grow straights" that forces the developing stem upright.

Photo showing rows of pots with buds growing straight with the aid of grow straights.

Close up photo of a grow straight.