The ability for cut tissues to join together and form a chimeric organism is a remarkable property of many plants, however, grafting is poorly characterized at the molecular level. To better understand this process we monitored genome-wide temporal and spatial gene expression changes in grafted Arabidopsis thaliana hypocotyls. Tissues above and below the graft rapidly developed an asymmetry such that many genes were more highly expressed on one side than the other. This asymmetry correlated with sugar responsive genes and we observed an accumulation of starch above the graft that decreased along with asymmetry once the sugar-transporting vascular tissues reconnected. Despite the initial starvation response below the graft, many genes associated with vascular formation were rapidly activated in grafted tissues but not in cut and separated tissues indicating that a recognition mechanism activated that was independent of functional vascular connections. Auxin which is transported cell-to-cell, had a rapidly elevated response that was symmetric, suggesting that auxin was perceived by the root within hours of tissue attachment to activate the vascular regeneration process. A subset of genes were expressed only in grafted tissues, indicating that wound healing proceeded via different mechanisms depending on the presence or absence of adjoining tissues. Such a recognition process could have broader relevance for tissue regeneration, inter-tissue communication and tissue fusion events. Overall design: We analyzed the poly-adenylated transcriptomes of Arabidopsis thaliana hypocotyle tissue during grafting. Our dataset contains 82 strand-specific samples, whereas each condition is represented by two biological replicates.