The now common plan of root-grafting the apple is by the method known as tongue- or whip-grafting. It is easier and simpler than other methods, and no waxing seems needed. If corresponding sloping cuts are made on root and scion, and the inner bark of the two are united and wound, the union will take place with common care. But this plan is troublesome, as it is difficult to hold the parts together while winding with the waxed thread. Hence as a matter of convenience a small tongue is cut on the sloping surfaces. When shoved together the tongue holds the parts quite firmly until wound. Fig. 42 shows the sloping cuts with tongue and as joined together ready for tying. The essentials are a smooth cut with a sharp, thin-bladed knife, the union of the inner bark on at least one side of scion and root, and firm tying to hold the parts together tightly.
Fig. 42. - Whip-grafting the apple.
The tying is done with waxed thread that will stick without tying when the winding is completed. The common plan of waxing the thread is to immerse the balls of cotton yarn (No. 18 or 20) in hot wax (83. Grafting-wax for Varied Uses) until well saturated. But this plan gives trouble. The wax is unevenly distributed and the end is frequently lost. A better plan is to run the thread through melted wax by winding it on an improvised reel. To take off the surplus wax the thread as it leaves the wax passes through a piece of folded sheep skin with the wool on that returns the surplus to the dish. This gives evenly waxed thread and saves much time in graft-winding.