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In grafting, a scion from the genotype is united with a stock (root stock) from another plant. The stock is usually a seedling, rarely a rooted cutting or a planted air-layered branch.

For a good result of grafting the root stock as well as the scion has to be in good conditions, and the two parts should be compatible.

The best time of grafting is 1–2 months before leaf flushing when the scions have dormant vegetative buds, i.e. the dry season just before the onset of the wet season; or in cool climates the cool season just before the onset of the warm season (spring). At that time the buds are just about to sprout and the level of the plant hormone auxin is high.

Grafting can be done in the nursery in which case the stock is growing in a container. For some species grafting can take place under field conditions, provided the graft union is well protected after the grafting.

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