Review: Various Methods of Budding 

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There are several techniques or methods of budding. The procedures on the common methods are described below:

1. T- or Shield Budding - a budding method in which incisions are made in the bark of the rootstock to form the shape of a letter “T” with one horizontal cut and another downward cut that originates from the center of the first cut.

A bud piece or shield piece containing a bud is prepared with an upward cut that includes a thin layer of wood from about 1.25 cm (½ in) below the bud. A horizontal cut is then made about 2 cm (¾ in) above the bud to remove the shield piece from the budstick. This piece of bark has the shape of an ancient elongated shield, with a curved lower end and a horizontal top. The shield piece , generally with the thin piece of wood attached, is inserted into the T-cut from the horizontal cut down.

2. Inverted T-Budding - similar to T-budding in that both methods of budding follows the same incisions on the rootstock and budstick except that in inverted T the horizontal cut is made at the bottom of the vertical cut. This method of budding is used to prevent the possible entry of water from the top of the T-cut which may cause rotting of the shield piece.

3. Patch Budding – probably the simplest to perform among the various methods of budding due to ease in removing or preparing rectangular patches of bark. It is widely used in plants with thick bark that can be easily separated from the wood.

The method involves the complete removal of a rectangle-shaped patch of bark with the longer sides parallel to the axis of the stem of the rootstock. It is then replaced with a bud patch of the same size from a budstick. The patch of bud is cut from both the rootstock and the budstick by two parallel horizontal cuts either with one stroke of a double-bladed knife or two strokes when using a single-bladed knife. With vertical stroke of a knife, both horizontal cuts are connected at each side. The bud patch is carefully removed intact and inserted into the rootstock.

The I-, Forkert, Flute, and Ring methods of budding have similarities and are considered modified forms of patch budding.

4. Chip Budding – a budding method which can be used to plants or stems with barks that do not readily separate from the wood as in Citrus spp. It involves the removal of a chip of bark (~1.5-2.5 cm) with a small piece of wood attached from a portion between nodes of a young stem of the rootstock. This is done through a downward and inward stroke of a knife such that the base thereof is up to about one-fourth of the thickness of the stem (the cut does not penetrate the pith). The bottom cut is then connected by a second inward cut at an angle of about 45 degrees. This chip is replaced by another of the same size and shape which contains a bud from a budstick. Alternatively, the sequencing of the first and second cuts may be swapped.

5. I-Budding – a method of budding in which incisions in the shape of an “I” (capital of letter “i”) is made in the bark of the rootstock by a single vertical cut and a horizontal crosscut at both ends. A rectangular bud patch similar to that in patch budding is then inserted.

6. Forkert Budding – a form of patch budding in which the patch of bark in the rootstock is retained. Incisions are made on the bark of the rootstock in the shape of “Π” and pulled downward as a flap which is then used to cover the inserted bud patch. This flap is later removed to expose the bud. Both Patch and Forkert methods of budding follows the same procedure in the preparation of a bud patch.

7. Flute Budding – similar to patch budding but the patch of bark that is removed from the stem of a rootstock almost completely encircles it except that there remains a narrow strip of bark (~1/8 the rootstock circumference) that connects the upper and the lower parts of the rootstock. The bud patch is prepared by two horizontal cuts about 2.5 cm apart (the same length as in the rootstock) in circular motion around the stem. The two cuts are then connected by a vertical cut and the patch of bark is separated intact from the wood. The circumference of the bud patch may be shortened by a vertical cut to fit into the rootstock.

8. Ring or Annular Budding – a method of budding the procedure of which is closely similar to the Flute budding technique. It involves the removal of a complete ring of bark from the rootstock without leaving a strip of bark that connects the upper and lower parts of the rootstock. As a result, a portion of the stem is girdled as if in preparation for marcotting. It is then replaced with a complete ring of bark with the same size from the budstick. Compared to the other methods of budding, it is rarely used because should bud union fail, the upper part of the rootstock above the ring may die.


HARTMANN HT, KESTER DE. 1975. Plant Propagation: Principles and Practices. 3rd ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc. p. 428-454.

VERHEIJ EWM, CORONEL RE, eds. 1992. Edible Fruits and Nuts. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 2. Bogor, Indonesia: Prosea Foundation. p. 392.

(Ben G. Bareja. November 2011)

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