Micro-Budding & Grafting Takeaways:
Micro-budding is an all-natural, non-GMO process of grafting by hand which produce lemon trees, lime trees, orange trees, mandarin trees, kumquat trees and grapefruit trees that bear fruit earlier and grow faster with routine care
A smaller micro-budded tree has incredible root growth when planted in a large container, resulting in a quicker output of fruit and growth.
US Citrus is the proprietary producer of micro-budded citrus trees, all of our 12 varieties of flowering citrus trees are available online in our citrus tree store.
This makes it possible to give citrus trees as a wonderful gift tree, to have beautiful, ornamental flowering trees in your patio. The smell of citrus flowers is incredible, (pink flowering trees available with the pink variegated lemon tree).
Wikipedia micro-budding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbudding
A video is worth plenty of words: https://youtu.be/htmGUup7Gg8
What Is Micro-Budded Citrus?
Micro-Budded Citrus Provides Fast Fruit
Grafting is an ancient process, combining the strong and vigorous qualities of a rootstock with the desired qualities of the bud that is being grafted onto that rootstock. Micro-budding is a relatively new process of about 20 years, while grafting is an ancient process.
A rootstock is a part of a plant that has very hardy qualities. Example rootstock qualities include withstanding disease, resisting heat and drought or frost. Grafting is used across multiple types of fruit trees, and it is the standard process for citrus.
Without grafting, there are very inconsistent results on whether a tree would bear good fruit. This is similar to humans having children, the offspring can be quite different from the parents. In this manner, the genetics of the seed from a fruit tree may not be exactly that of the fruit tree.
So you may have a Mandarin orange tree - take a seed from an orange borne of that tree, and if you plant that seed, its fruit may have different characteristics (not as sweet or juicy, different color). Instead, with grafting, an actual piece of the mother tree is used, so that an actual clone of that tree is produced.
These two parts will become one tree, growing together while having and taking the best qualities of both the rootstock and the grafted bud. This process is so ancient, that it is even described in the New Testament. And because the graft is an actual physical portion of the old tree instead of its seed, it is like getting a clone of that tree. So if you find a great mother tree that produces perfect lemons of great sour characteristic, nice color, and plenty of juice, you want all those characteristics to remain consistent.
This is the standard in the citrus industry. Now conventional citrus trees will bear fruit after being grafted in about 4-5 years. This is because the actual grafting process is quite a dramatic shock to the rootstock tree and the new bud, and it takes quite a bit of time and very pristine conditions for the graft and the rootstock to grow together. After about 4-5 years you will have consistent large harvests of fruit which can last for decades.
Micro-budding involves the same principles of grafting; however, is done at a much younger age, when the trees are weeks old, instead of typically 18 months. This process is done entirely by hand and involves a very specialized care regimen, which is done solely at US Citrus Nurseries. This process is proprietary to US Citrus as it was discovered by our founder, Dr. Mani Skaria.
Because of the physiology of the micro-budded citrus tree, with the cuts being done in small areas and resulting apical dominance of the hormonal system and the fact that this is not a very young age, the trees respond prolifically. They bear fruit much faster and grow much quicker than conventionally grafted citrus trees, with much stronger root systems it seems once implanted into their final container or into the ground.
A similar analogy would be comparing a fracture in adult human to that of a small child. The human physiology allows a fractured bone to be healed within six weeks if it is in the right conditions (casted). However, in children, the bones can heal much quicker and they can overcome much larger deformities in the fracture with almost no future complications. This is because of the vigorous hormonal systems intrinsic in children.
This hormonal system of children is similar to the vigorous growth seen in our small, micro-budded plants. This is the reason we like and recommend customers to buy young smaller trees, and plant them directly into their final destination pot (15-25 gallon containers).
After the nursery phase, micro-budding requires no special care. In fact, because of vigorous regrowth, there's no need to repot plants implanted in containers. You can enjoy fruit and flowers from for example your Meyer lemon tree, Persian lime tree or orange tree earlier and not have to wait five years or purchase a very expensive five-year-old tree, with enormous shipping costs, if purchased online.
Buying local from a nursery is great, the varieties that you want and that the quantity you desire is difficult especially for larger trees. US Citrus trees are grown in a USDA certified facility, so you always have the peace of mind that our citrus trees are certified disease-free. You also have the convenience of purchasing on getting free shipping to your home.
We know there can be a bit of hesitation in buying a citrus tree, as many people are insecure in their gardening skills and say they don’t have a “green thumb”, and it is an investment in time and money. That is why we strive to make this process as simple and convenient for the customer as possible.
We will send you citrus tree care instructions, videos and email reminders on how to grow your citrus tree. It makes a great ornamental gift, keep it in a decorative pot and watch the fragrant flowers turn into tiny fruit buds! You and your family will enjoy tasty citrus fruit for decades to come!