Inoculation, or budding, in horticulture, an operation performed on apricots, nectarines, plums, cherries, or other stcne-fruit trees, and also upon oranges and jasmines. It is reputed to be superior to every other species of grafting, and is effected in the following manner:
A sharp knife, with a flat handle, must be first procured, in order to raise the bark of the stock for the insertion of the bud. Next, some strong bass should be soaked in water, in order to increase its strength, and to render it more pliable. The cuttings being then separated from the trees that are to be propagated, a smooth part of the stock must be selected, about five or six inches above the surface of the soil, if intended for dwarfs ; but if designed for standards, they should be budded at least five feet above the ground.
An horizontal incision is now to be made across the bark of the stock, from the middle of which a perpendicular slit should be drawn, about two inches in length. The leaf is next cut off the bud, the foot-stalk remaining entire ; and a cross cut is made about an inch beneath the eye, after which the bud is to be cut off, with part of the wood adhering to it. The bark of the stock is then to be gently raised with the handle of the knife, and the bud inserted exactly between the rind and the wood of the stock ; after which they are bound closely with the bass, care being taken to leave the eye of the bud open.
In the course of three weeks, or a month after the inoculation is performed, those buds which have a fresh and flourishing appearance will be joined, when the bandage ought to be removed. In the succeeding month of March, the stock must be cut off in a sloping direction, about three inches above the bud: the shoot proceeding from it should now be fastened to the remainder of the stock for one year, after which the latter ought to be removed by the knife, immediately above the bud.
The proper season for this operation, is from the middle of June to that of August. The fruit-tree first inoculated, is generally the apricot, and at length the orange-tree, which, however, ought not to be budded till the end of August. For this purpose, cloudy and moist weather is the most propitious; for, if the inoculation be attempted in the middle of the day, the shoots will perspire so rapidly as to leave the buds destitute of moisture.