Scion  - /saɪən/ - noun 

May 20, 2020

Definition: In grafting, the stem of a tree chosen for its desirable characteristics, like the quality and size of the fruit. The scion is grafted to the rootstock of a compatible species by aligning the cambium layers so that nutrients can flow between the two. When grafted together, the scion and rootstock grow to become one tree that shares characteristics of both species.

Scion vs. Budwood: Scions and budwoods are both part of asexual propagation, but the techniques for which they are used differ. A scion is used for grafting a 10-12 cm stem of one species to the rootstock of another. A budwood is joined to the rootstock of another species through a technique called budding. A single bud or eye (budwood) is attached to the rootstock seedling instead of using the whole stem (scion).

Basic Steps to Grafting:

1. Source the scion and the rootstock you want to graft. 

2. Prepare the scion and rootstock for grafting.

3. Graft scion and the rootstock using grafting tools.

4. Wait for the graft to take and for the scion to sprout new growth.
5. Remove the wrapping and maintain the grafted tree.

The Forest Garden Training Center's Technical Manual digs deep into the process of grafting fruit trees. Read through chapter 6 to learn more about each step. 


3 Benefits of Grafting: Increased Tolerance to Climatic Extremes: The rootstock of some plants may be better suited for local soil conditions while the growth from a grafted scion is better suited for improved productivity. Grafting provides a means to meet the conditions of both.

Control of Fruit Quality and Quantity: Grafted fruit trees bear the same quality and quantity of fruit as that of the tree from which the scion was taken

Faster Fruit Production: A grafted fruit tree can usually produce fruit 2-4 years after grafting is completed. Fruit trees that are not grafted typically bear fruit much later, sometimes 7-10 years after they are established.