Grafting, Budding and Marcotting


Many of our fruit trees are grafted including our avocados, loquats, mangos, persimmons - amongst others. 

The concept of grafting has been around for more than a thousand years.

The process usually involves taking budwood from a specific variety (budwood is a short piece of a young branch also called a scion) and joining it to a rootstock by creating a cut and then binding the two parts so they heal together. 

It is the scion that determines the specific variety of a grafted tree and it is generally chosen from a successful fruiting ‘mother tree’, so it can offer the same or similar qualities to the newly created tree. 

The rootstock has been selected to offer varying degrees of robustness, suitability to growing climate, vigour and disease resistance. 

The purpose of this process is to produce a strong plant which is 'true to type' of the variety from which the budwood was taken but with the growing advantages offered by the selected rootstock. 


Our citrus trees are budded - which is a very similar process to grafting in that it involves the union of parts of two different trees.

However, whereas grafting uses a piece of budwood from a ‘mother tree’ budding uses a bud.

A single bud is placed in a cut under the bark of the rootstock. This is then bound together to heal and the resulting tree is the same variety as the ‘mother tree’ from which the bud was taken. 

You can also read more about budding in our dedicated What is Budding blog post.

What are the advantages of Grafting and Budding? 

Grafted and budded plants have many advantages over trees grown from seed, including:

  • Faster fruiting than a tree grown only from seed
  • 'True to type' fruiting
  • Higher yield
  • Better quality
  • More consistency

Marcotting or Air-Layering

Our lychees are marcotted trees. Marcotting - also known as air layering - is the process where the branch of a carefully selected successful 'mother' tree grows an independent root system whilst still attached to the tree.

It is a process that essentially produces a clone of the 'mother' tree so it will therefore have the same qualities.

The branch that forms the marcott is partially cut, wrapped in a specific propagation mixture and left to form an established root system over a period of up to 3 months. Once the roots are well-established, the branch is completely removed and is ready to plant into a pot or into the ground. 

The trees selected to marcott or air-layer are those that are already mature and have demonstrated excellent fruit bearing and health qualities.

Marcotted plants have advantages over trees grown from seed, including:

  • Faster fruiting than a tree grown only from seed
  • Higher yield
  • Better quality
  • More consistency