Firstly I have been asked how can you do a graft, but then not see the graft on a Sweet Chestnut tree. Well I hope to explain things further.
Firstly a picture of a typical sweet chestnut seed growing and the names of the parts. I would to thank http://www.cactuspedia.info/note-book/Dictionary/Dictionary_E/dictionary_epicotyl.htm for sharing this picture. The Cotyledons are normally the seed leaves that are inside the nut/seed shell.
We will start with the basics. As these are new ‘born’ seedlings they are very fragile and are susceptible to disease. Cleanliness is number one. All tools must be sterilized. You would have normally been using Perlite as a growing media, but we are using coarse recycled compost, that has been microwaved for 10mins and let to cool off. Keep it slightly moist.
Next attempt was in grating into the Epicotyl, just above the Cotyledons . This is more of a traditional cleft graft that you do on a larger tree, but in this instance on a very small delicate scale. The scion is cut with 2 sloping faces about 20mm long, and then a vertical slot into the Epicotyl. Use a thin bladed knife or razor blade in a safety holder. The whole graft joint being held by a plastic clip.
The batch of grafts were the put into a ziplock plastic bag, with some of that dampened sterilized compost. This bag is then to be kept at 20 deg C for only 2 weeks, and you should then observe callusing and new roots being formed.
After the 2 weeks, very very gently they can be separately potted up, and then kept at a slightly cooler temperature to harden off. Progressively reduce the temperature.
The next graft attempted, is one where you insert the scion directly into the nut. The shoot is totally cut of and a vertical cut made into the nut, between the 2 Cotyledons. The scion is just pushed in hard.
Next year we will graft direct into the Hypocotyl.