This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The better process generally for working Cherries and Plums, is to bud or inoculate at the proper season; but it often happens that it is desirable to work trees too old, or the season so dry that the bark will not slip and the budding process cannot be per-formed, in which case grafting sometimes becomes important.
The grafting of the Cherry is quite an uncertain operation and never succeeds well, except when performed early in the spring, and the scions, which are difficult to keep, are fresh and in good order, the bark is so liable to discolor, and the wood to shrivel, which is absolutely fatal to its vitality. The same trouble applies to the Plum in a less degree. Individuals not nurserymen are apt to neglect cutting their scions in proper time, and are only sensible of the oversight when they observe the objects they wish to alter at the opening of spring, when it is too late.
The new process to which I allude, is a, means- whereby a scion of any kind may be cut from the tree after the buds are fully expanded) but not opened, and grafted the same minute, and which almost invariably succeeds if properly executed. In this pro-cess I prefer the terminal point of a limb for the scion, or any part may be used by cutting the wood close to the upper bud and dipping it twice, with two or three minutes interval, into a vial containing a small quantity of collodion, or artificial cuticle, which can be procured of any apothecary. It instantly forma an air-tight coating, both flexible and elastic, and protects it from drying and loosing its vitality.
There is no time of year after the new buds are sufficiently formed, and the stock in a growing state, but what grafting by this process may be performed, in which case have but one bud on the scion, and dip the whole wood, except the wedge, in the collodion to protect it from the drying sun and heat of summer. It sometimes happens that one has a single choice, exotic, difficult to procure, that it is important not to fail in grafting, and this method almost infallibly ensures success.
[Some time ago we published an account of an experiment in the use of collodion in propagating Roses, and some other plants, from cuttings. We have not before heard of its being employed in grafting. The experiment is well worthy of attention. - Ed].