Grafting is used when reproducing fruit trees. A section of a stem with leaf buds is inserted into the stock of a tree. This technique can also be used to repair injured trees.
To complement what crystalg said, it is not that the woody parts of both trees simply connect. A particular part of the stem tissue – the vascular cambium, which is the tissue that transports water and nutrients – must connect between both plants. This means that the grafting point will always be structurally weak. See the link below for more information.
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