This is a kind of green budding carried out on very young plants less than two months old. Stocks are raised in small bags of lay flat size 33 x 15 cm. The plants are given intensive nursing such as foliar application of fertilisers and fungicides twice weekly and soil application of NPKMg mixture weekly. When seven to eight weeks old, they are green budded. Four weeks after budding, plants are cut back leaving a snag of 20 to 25 cm length. Buds on the snag are nicked or the shoots coming from then pruned off promptly. When the scion develops two or three whorls of leaves, the plants are transplanted to the field. This technique has got certain advantages over the normal green budding technique. By adopting this technique bag plants could be produced within seven months after the planting of germinated seeds in the bags, which is usually done in August/September. In our country, the time required for this is around nine months in the case of normal green budding. Since small bags are used for the production of plants transportation is easier.
The cost of production is also slightly less compared to the normal method. Since the stock plants required for young budding are raised by sowing seeds directly in the bag, these plants have a better developed root system than the plants raised from green budded stumps. A well-developed root system prevents breaking of soil core and ensures faster and easier establishment of plants after transfer to the field.
Both the stock plant and budwood used for green budding are very young. Seedlings which are five to seven months old are used as stock. Buds are collected from six to eight weeks old budwood, also known as bud shoots or bud sticks. Buds found above the scale leaves of the shoots alone are used for budding. These buds are green in colour and hence the name green budding. Young, vigorous seedlings raised in nursery or in polythene bags are used as stock plants for green budding. Plants having a girth of about 2.5 cm at the base, with brown bark up to a height of about 15 cm, can be used for this purpose. The stock plants require about four to five months to attain this size. By proper care, this period could be further reduced.
Green budwood is obtained from budwood plants (source bushes) grown in nurseries for this purpose. They are collected when six to eight weeks old, when they have a length of 30 to 60 cm with a whorl of leaves at the top. The bud shoots are harvested by cutting at the base with a sharp knife. For proper peeling of the bud patch, harvesting should be done when the leaves are copper brown to dark green in colour. After harvesting, the leafy portion of the shoot is cut off. The non-leafy portion shows two to five scale leaves with axillary buds which are utilised for budding. Green budwood is obtained from budwood plants (source bushes) grown in nurseries for this purpose. They are collected when six to eight weeks old, when they have a length of 30 to 60 cm with a whorl of leaves at the top. The bud shoots are harvested by cutting at the base with a sharp knife. For proper peeling of the bud patch, harvesting should be done when the leaves are copper brown to dark green in colour. After harvesting, the leafy portion of the shoot is cut off. The non-leafy portion shows two to five scale leaves with axillary buds which are utilised for budding.
After cleaning the basal portion of the stock, two vertical incisions, a little more than 5 cm long and 1 cm apart are made starting from a point about 2.5 cm above the collar region. The lower ends of these cuts are joined by a horizontal cut and a few minutes allowed for the cessation of latex flow. The flap is then cut off leaving a short "tongue" of about 1.5 cm at the top. The stock is now ready to receive the bud patch.
The bud patch can be stripped from the bud shoot in the same way as in the case of brown budding. However, other methods can also be employed for this purpose. In one such method, a 6 cm long bud patch shaped like a pointed tower is marked out. Then the top 1 cm is separated from the bud shoot and holding on to this portion (by touching the inner and outer sides), the whole bud patch is gently stripped off. The top 1 cm of the bud patch with damaged cambium is pruned off. In a third method the bud patch along with a thin slice of wood is first taken from the bud shoot. This is the bud slip. The two sides of the bud slip are trimmed to the required width. The bud patch is then gently separated from the wood by pulling them apart. While doing so care should be taken to see that the bud patch does not bent. Only the slice of wood is bend. After separation, the lower and upper ends of the bud patch are also trimmed. When finally prepared, the bud patch should have a length of approximately 5 cm and a width of 1 cm, so that it fits snugly into the budding panel.
Brown budding is generally carried out by grafting brown coloured buds taken from budwood of about one year's growth onto stock plants of 10 months or more growth. Vigorously growing healthy stocks having a girth of 7.5 cm at the collar region are ideal for budding. Stocks should be budded when the bark peels off very easily. Peeling is usually good when the top whorl of leaves is well developed, but before further extension growth commences. Test peeling of a small patch of bark above 15 cm from the base is the sure method to assess the peeling quality of the bark. Since all stock plants may not attain this stage at the same time, more than one round of budding may be necessary to cover all the stocks.
Brown buds are usually obtained from brown budwood produced by budded plants raised in budwood nurseries. Buds found in the axils of fallen leaves are generally utilised for budding. Budwood should be collected when the top whorl of leaves have fully expanded but not hardened to ensure proper peeling of the bark and high budding success. Test peeling may be carried out before harvesting the budwood. Collection of budwood should be done with sufficient care so as to avoid bruising. As far as possible, budwood should be collected in the morning or evening, and should preferably be utilized for budding as soon as collected. If budding is delayed, special measures should be adopted for preventing moisture loss. Budwood is harvested as per the requirement and cut into pieces of convenient length, usually 1 m. Good quality budwood will have around 20 healthy, well formed buds per metre length. Weak and poorly formed buds should not be used. While handling budwood of different clones, proper labelling has to be done for identification.
Budding is usually carried out with a specially designed knife having two blades, called budding knife. However, an ordinary pen-knife with a blade of 7 to 8 cm length could also be used. The first step in the preparation of the stock plant for budding is thorough cleaning of the basal 15 cm to remove dirt, soil, etc. Cleaning can be done with cotton waste or rags. Then two parallel vertical cuts starting from about 2.5 cm above the collar are made. The length of these cuts should be a little more than 5 cm and 1.5 cm apart. Then a horizontal cut joining the bottom ends of the vertical cuts is also made. All the three cuts should be made deep enough to reach the wood. After making these cuts the latex is allowed to completely ooze out for a few minutes through the cuts. During this time the budder can mark a few more stocks in a similar manner. When the latex flow ceases, it is wiped off from the surface. The flap of bark separated by the three cuts is then gently lifted with the aid of the knife and peeled upwards. Alternatively, the upper ends of the vertical cuts may be connected by the horizontal cut and the flap peeled downwards. The practice of removing the flap completely is also adopted. The exposed region is called the budding panel. The bud patch used for brown budding should have a length of about 5 cm and a width of about 1.5 cm. For preparing the bud patch, two parallel vertical cuts having a length of 5 cm are made on the two sides of a bud, 1.5 cm apart. Then two horizontal cuts are made connecting the lower and upper ends of these cuts. A little time is allowed for the latex to ooze out. During this time, incisions are made around neighbouring buds of the same budwood. When the oozing of latex stops, it is wiped off and the bud patch marked out by the four cuts is stripped off by gently pushing to one side.
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