Video: Whip and Tongue Grafting

Park Cultural Landscapes Program

Updated Cultural Landscapes

About Whip and Tongue Grafting


A diagram of a tree shows how the variety, above ground, is joined to the rootstock of another tree.
Two trees, the scion and rootstock, are joined by grafting.

Whip and tongue grafting is one type of grafting, which is the horticultural technique of joining two woody plants so that they grow together. It is used to join a cultivated variety (the scion) with a rootstock, and it is a common practice in growing fruit trees and other cultivated trees and shrubs.

The grafting method depends on the age (size) and condition of the rootstock. Whip and tongue grafting is the most common form of grafting, and it is appropriate for rootstock with a small diameter that is the approximately the same size as the scion.

Video Demonstration

Keith Park, NPS Horticulturalist and Arborist at John Muir National Historic Site and Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site in California, demonstrates the technique of whip and tongue grafting. In this video, Keith describes the specialized knife he uses, the particular cuts he makes to join the wood, and his hand position for preventing injury.


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