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Bridge Grafting Historic Fruit Trees

Park Cultural Landscapes Program

Updated Cultural Landscapes

Bridge Grafting at Buckner Orchard

Orchardists of the 19th and early 20th centuries practiced this technique. Today, the National Park Service continues to use the technique of bridge grafting to conserve fruit trees in historic orchards.

This video is a brief introduction to the art of bridge grafting, which is used to repair injuries to trunks or limbs where large areas of bark have been destroyed. A bridge of scion wood from the canopy is grafted above and below the damaged area, which allows the conductive tissue to begin to reconnect and heal.

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Additional Resources

A row of thin vertical branches arch over a hole in the trunk of an aging tree.
A 185-year old apple tree is repaired with “bridges” of scion wood from the canopy of the damaged tree or a suitable tree of the same species and variety, when possible. Here, the scion wood is secured with yellow grafting wax.

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