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Standard and Weeping
Tree Information



What does “Standard” and “Low Graft” mean?

We graft the majority of our tree varieties onto a rootstock. By grafting a tree, we know that the desired variety will grow “true to type” and will have exactly the same flowers and fruit, the same growth habit and shape as the parent variety, plus all the advantages of the rootstock.

The terms “Standard Graft” and “Low Graft” refer to the height of the graft on the rootstock.

Low Graft

When we do a “low graft” we are attaching our variety as low as practical on the roots of the rootstock. Any tree that we send in the post will have a “low graft”.

Standard Graft

A “Standard Graft” is when we grow-on the rootstock until it has reached a height of around 2 meters tall. We grow a single trunk, and ensure it is very straight. As it grows, we remove any side branches from the rootstock, so you have a “clear trunk”. When the rootstock is tall enough, we will graft the desired variety that we want to grow high up, at the very top of the rootstock.

This is commonly done for any type of weeping tree, where the branches of the desired variety will hang downwards towards the ground in a “weeping” fashion, so that the branches will have room to grown downwards and the tree will have a nice umbrella shape.

A standard graft can also be done for trees that don’t have hanging or weeping branches. Many trees with branches that grow upright look lovely with a straight clear trunk before it starts to branch out. This style is useful for trees that are grown as a feature in a lawn, and makes it much easier to mow around your lawn specimen tree.












                              Standard Graft                Low Graft

A Standard Graft (Left) and a Low Graft (right). The graft site is shown by a broken line on the trunk of the tree and is labelled where the graft cut has been made. The standard graft tree has a long straight trunk that is grown from the rootstock and the desired variety is grafted high up on the rootstock.

The Low Graft tree (Right) has only a short section of rootstock. The rootstock has been cut as low as practical to the ground, and the desired variety has been grafted onto the roots.

Why can’t you post a standard tree?

When we post our trees using Australia post, we are limited in the total size of our packages, and they cannot exceed 1 m in total length. If we were to send a “standard graft” tree in the post, we would have to cut off the desired variety! This is why we can’t post standard grafted trees.

We can arrange for special plant transport companies to freight your tree, however there are costs involved in the shipping to the mainland. If you would like to know more about shipping costs, please email us at

Can I train my low graft tree to look like a standard tree?

Yes! You can train your low graft tree to have a nice clear straight trunk. You can achieve a “standard form” yourself with some simple pruning and staking.

When you receive your tree, simply remove any low branches, cutting as close to the trunk as possible. Continue to remove any low branches as they grow, to encourage a clear trunk.

Stake your tree with a strong bamboo stake, or similar, and tie the trunk of the tree to the stake to make sure it grows nice and straight for a the first year or two. We use rubber hook bands for this purpose, as they are easy to apply and are re-useable, so you can move them up as your tree grows taller. They will also stretch as your tree grows, so there is less chance of strangling your tree.

When a branch grows from the top of your tree, tie this to the stake to train it upwards and very straight. Keep tying the branch as the tree grows. When your tree has reached the height that you would like it to start branching, nip the very top tip off your tree to remove the “apical bud”. This will encourage branching to start at this height.

It is easier to train a young tree with a low graft into a “standard” form than it is to train an older tree. You will sometimes get a kink in your tree when you train the top branch upwards if you are using an older tree with a thicker trunk. We encourage anyone who wants to train their tree into a standard form, to buy a 1-year-old tree.


Deciduous Rootstock and Tree Specialists

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