A lot of us would like to grow different citrus trees at home. However, not all of us have enough space to grow large trees in our backyard or patio and must to settle with one or two fruiting trees. However, this is no longer the case. With the process of grafting different bud woods within the same family onto a single scion, you can now grow a Cocktail tree and produce different fruits from a single tree.
Citrus Cocktail Tree
The majority of citrus varieties are compatible with each other. When grafting to create cocktail trees, the Lemon Lime Cocktail trees and Cocktail Grapefruit trees are the most popular varieties created by nurseries and botanists.
For Cocktail Tree Lemon Lime, nurseries make use of the Meyer Lemon tree and Key Lime tree to make a perfect citrus cocktail tree for sale that is cold-hardy, pest and disease resistant, and has an increased chance of pollination. These trees also offer multiple harvests from a single tree.
On the other hand, Cocktail Grapefruit trees for sale are made using Siamese Sweet Pummelo and Frua Mandarin. These trees produce medium-large size fruits that are almost the size of a Pummelo and boast thin, dark yellow rind. These are premium, juicing fruits that are brightly fragrant and extremely plump and succulent.
The Process of Grafting
So what is grafting? Grafting is an ancient science that can be traced back 4000 years to China and Mesopotamia. It is the successful joining of the lower rootstock portion of a semi-dwarf or dwarf-sized tree to a scion of a standard-sized tree to create a manageable fruiting tree with better disease resistance, improved drought tolerance, and higher yields to suit home growing.
The next question is how to graft a citrus tree to make a cocktail tree?
There are many grafting methods you can follow, however, cleft grafting is the technique that is mostly utilized by beginners as it is easier to follow. Take note that grafting a Cocktail Citrus tree is best done in winter or early spring when both the rootstock and scion are both in a dormant state.
- Prepare the rootstock by cleanly sawing off the stock perpendicular to the main axis of the stem you need to graft. Make a split through the center of the stock down to 2 to 3 inches deep with a clefting tool wedge and a mallet. Take out the clefting tool wedge and insert the pick end into the center of the cut you made to keep it open while inserting the scion.
- Prepare the scions of each cultivar you would like to use to make the Citrus Cocktail tree. Choose scions that are about ¼ inch in diameter with three or four good buds. Using a clean, sharp knife make two, 1 inch long, opposing, smooth-tapered cuts starting from the base of the closest bud toward the basal end of the scion. Make sure that the cut made on the side near the closest bud is a bit thicker than the other and ensure that the basal end of the scion gradually tapers off on both sides.
- Insert the scions on each side of the cut you made on the stock, with the wider side of the wedge facing outward. Make certain that the cambium (living tissue layer) of the scion is in contact with the cambium of the rootstock to successfully grow your Citrus fruit Cocktail tree.
- Proper Citrus Cocktail tree care is essential to successfully join the rootstock and scions after grafting. Secure the graft by removing the clefting tool from the cut to close the rootstock. Seal all the cut area with grafting wax or grafting paint to prevent drying and water from getting in. Prune any buds or shoots that develop below the rootstock.
Note: If you find grafting a bit tedious you can purchase your Florida Cocktail tree from reputable, established nurseries.