• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
  • Beau M. Davidson
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
  • Timothy Norton
  • Nancy Reading
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Christopher Weeks
gardeners:
  • Tina Wolf
  • Saana Jalimauchi
  • thomas rubino

Drill grafting

 
pollinator
Posts: 912
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
151
fungi foraging trees bee building medical herbs
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Came across a NAFEX site where one of the growers uses a drill bit for grafting. Not a tapered drill but a normal drill bit.
Can start a new branch off the trunk and also do something similar to a cleft grafting as long as there is cambium layers touching.  
I am wondering if anyone here has used that method.  It seems that this would produce a stronger graft and as long as you drill slow or pre-drill a smaller hole you can prevent overheating the cambium layer.
 
gardener
Posts: 3545
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
1240
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have not, and the "consensus of the internet" is sceptical, due to the limited area of cambium contact using this method.  However I spent quite a lot of time looking for more information, as it seems like an easier process to implement.  The best video I found of one man's actual process (not in English, and not including images of post-grafting success) was here:

 
Dennis Bangham
pollinator
Posts: 912
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
151
fungi foraging trees bee building medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I found the technique at a facebook NAFEX site.  The guy does a hole that is normal to the surface for the trunk and also for the top dressing. No angles so there is more contact area on the side graft and about the same as top grafting.  
He claims high success rate but has only tried it on chestnuts and persimmons. He mentions it should work on Pears and Apples also.
Worth an experiment since this would make a much stronger graft.
 
pollinator
Posts: 324
94
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Dennis,
thanks for your tip, I was looking for a grafting technique for when the bark cannot be detached.

I do however not understand your second message. Could you link to the site where the guy does it? Or ask him to post the message here, with pictures?
Thanks
 
Dennis Bangham
pollinator
Posts: 912
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
151
fungi foraging trees bee building medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hans,

I cannot cut the picture from the Facebook NAFEX site.  But you can go to posting from "Chilles Chestnuts".  NAFEX is North American Fruit Explorers and there should only be one site.  Search for his name and he has pictures posted.

 
hans muster
pollinator
Posts: 324
94
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
https://www.facebook.com/groups/272120753285618/permalink/582310648933292/

Is it this link?

Thanks anyway for sharing the info.
 
Dennis Bangham
pollinator
Posts: 912
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
151
fungi foraging trees bee building medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That is his personal facebook page.  NAFEX has one also.  He provides a lot of details on that one so it is a good place to ask questions.  I will be trying this in the winter when I top dress my Elaeagnus with Goumi.  I may try to do some Jujube if the root stock gets big enough.
 
gardener
Posts: 4857
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
915
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Very cool!
I have a beast of a peach tree, I wonder if I could graft almond branches onto it this way...
 
Dennis Bangham
pollinator
Posts: 912
Location: Huntsville Alabama (North Alabama), Zone 7B
151
fungi foraging trees bee building medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Please report your results.
 
pollinator
Posts: 234
Location: Michigan, USA
51
hunting chicken ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This weekend I tried my hand at grafting.  I went to the neighbor's and cut 42 cuttings off his trees and returned home and "attached" them.  
This was a first for me... a read a few things online and then just went and tried it.

It's the last week of march, and the weather is calling for above freezing highs all week, so I figured I'd better do it soon.  I had the time on a Sunday afternoon, so I just went at it.

Cleft grafting:
*I put 18" straight branches onto other trees (most sites say to use 3" sections... anyone have insight into why the shorter pieces?)
*I used electrical tape to cover the damaged wood - I know I need to remove it this summer to prevent girdling
**I put them on a "flowering crab"
**I put them on feral/wild apples around the property
**I put them on hawthorn (I don't expect success, nothing to lose)
**I put them on native/feral/wild saplings that are presumed to be Malus coronaria (thorny branches, green apples the size of golf balls)

Drill Grafting:
*I put 18" straight branches onto other trees
*I could not get the drill on the angle under the bark as sites indicated, so I just drilled holes into the trunk/large branches and shaved the bark on my scions so that hypothetically the cambiums touch)
I did not "seal" the wounds with anything like tape or wax... the scions are just stuck in.  
**I put them on feral/wild apples around the property
**I put them on hawthorn (I don't expect success, but nothing to lose)

I marked most of my graft attempts with red yarn so I can find them this summer.  
I will try to report back if I have success or failure.  
 
Posts: 523
Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft Grafter, veggie gardener
22
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I went on a Cider apple walk in a commercial orchard in the fall of 2020. He had a row of apple trees about 150 or 200 feet long that he had topworked with a new variety on stumps of apple trees about 3 feet high. He had drill grafted I believe it was 5 grafts to each stump. They were all producing many apples. From what I could see all the grafts had taken, but he may have regrafted some.

I have a problem understanding how you get the grafts to fit the holes you drilled. Possibly you need to remove the bark and then group scions into similar sized diameters?? Don't forget you need to get the scion into the hole and then a tight fit where the cambiums mate. Meanwhile the size is decreasing from the scion tip in the tree. I'm guessing you want very little in the tree; possibly the reason for the short scion recommendation.

I'm planning to graft 8 pear varieties, this year, to a Bradford Pear that was sold as a Bartlett about 8 years ago. I'd given some thought of using the drill graft method where appropriate.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 1550
Location: Ashhurst New Zealand (Cfb - oceanic temperate)
471
duck trees chicken cooking wood heat woodworking homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My motivation for short scions when I'm grafting is simply to minimise the amount of leverage that will be applied to the union when the wind kicks up. The longer the whip, the higher the risk of the graft coming undone before there's enough tissue laid down to knit things together. I usually prune back the top growth pretty aggressively in the first year post grafting to keep breakage at bay.

I sometimes splint my grafts with a couple of hardwood sticks as well, for added insurance. We tend to get some pretty vicious winds here in the springtime (well, year round now it seems) and I learned this one the hard way.
 
John Indaburgh
Posts: 523
Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft Grafter, veggie gardener
22
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was worried that it's possible that there's zero cambium contact as the diameter decreases. I'm thinking you don't want the scion too far into the drill hole and therefore it won't take much scion outside the hole. Wedging would help the contact and so will a tight tape wrap.
 
Thomas Dean
pollinator
Posts: 234
Location: Michigan, USA
51
hunting chicken ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thomas Dean wrote:This weekend I tried my hand at grafting.  I went to the neighbor's and cut 42 cuttings off his trees and returned home and "attached" them.  
This was a first for me... a read a few things online and then just went and tried it.

It's the last week of march, and the weather is calling for above freezing highs all week, so I figured I'd better do it soon.  I had the time on a Sunday afternoon, so I just went at it.

Cleft grafting:
*I put 18" straight branches onto other trees (most sites say to use 3" sections... anyone have insight into why the shorter pieces?)
*I used electrical tape to cover the damaged wood - I know I need to remove it this summer to prevent girdling
**I put them on a "flowering crab"
**I put them on feral/wild apples around the property
**I put them on hawthorn (I don't expect success, nothing to lose)
**I put them on native/feral/wild saplings that are presumed to be Malus coronaria (thorny branches, green apples the size of golf balls)

Drill Grafting:
*I put 18" straight branches onto other trees
*I could not get the drill on the angle under the bark as sites indicated, so I just drilled holes into the trunk/large branches and shaved the bark on my scions so that hypothetically the cambiums touch)
I did not "seal" the wounds with anything like tape or wax... the scions are just stuck in.  
**I put them on feral/wild apples around the property
**I put them on hawthorn (I don't expect success, but nothing to lose)

I marked most of my graft attempts with red yarn so I can find them this summer.  
I will try to report back if I have success or failure.  



So far none of my grafts look like anything beside "dead" branches stuck on other trees.
Do grafts usually take longer to "wake up" than the tree they are grafted on?
I am wondering if:
1) it was too cold when I collected my grafts?
2) I should have put them in the fridge until the trees woke up a bit?
3) I should have tried to seal the cuts better?
It has been a cool spring, and the trees still are waking up, so maybe I just need to wait longer and not give up on them.
 
gardener
Posts: 1506
Location: the mountains of western nc
426
forest garden trees foraging chicken food preservation wood heat
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i missed your questions the first time, thomas. some thoughts:

i suspect the reason most pieces of scion being grafted are smaller is just so that the amount of material that has to be maintained through the new tenuous connection is smaller and easier to supply. that piece of material has to be kept alive while the graft wound is still healing and a small piece of wood with not much distance from the graft union to the scion’s buds that need to open is easier to maintain.

yes, waiting until the trees were waking up probably would have helped for the grafting. collecting scion in late winter when the wood is dormant is standard, and then that wood should go in the fridge until the trees to be grafted are starting to stir.  that’s kind of the standard for in situ top working of existing trees. you want the tree to be pushing up into the buds of your scion immediately.
 
Thomas Dean
pollinator
Posts: 234
Location: Michigan, USA
51
hunting chicken ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

greg mosser wrote:i missed your questions the first time, thomas. some thoughts:



Thanks for the thoughts.  
There's always next year.  
Do you think there's any hope for these?  If the trees are budding, but the graft is not, is that a pretty sure sign I screwed up?
 
John Indaburgh
Posts: 523
Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft Grafter, veggie gardener
22
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I went out to check my grafts after reading your last post. Prior to this I've seen no signs of life. Today I find 1 of 20 grafts on the Bradford pear, a Bartlett scion, has a very small growth on the tip of the scion. No signs of life yet on the other 19 grafts.

I have a year old Shenandoah seedling that is showing about the same thing as the Bartlett graft. One small wisp of green. Nothing on a Bartlett scion I grafted this year to a big OHxF97 pear rootstock in the ground a year. But there's no growth on the root yet either.  Most of my apple trees just started greening up and showing color on blossom buds a few days ago. I also grafted a Stella and a Montmorency cherry to Mazzard rootstocks. The buds on the scions are obviously ready to leaf out. Big and green. The tree I got the Stella scion from is leafed out and done blooming.

I think we need to hang in there, not get disappointed. You're farther north than I am. The only other comparisons, on pears, I can make is a HoneySweet/ Seckel (?) Pear which is done blooming and the Bradford which has about the same timing. But Bradford is known to bloom early.

 
Thomas Dean
pollinator
Posts: 234
Location: Michigan, USA
51
hunting chicken ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
All my graft attempts were failures.  I will try again next year, saving my cuttings until sap is flowing.  I am playing with air layering right now - I have 2 attempts in progress on a feral apple tree that, if successful, could be apple trees in their own right, or rootstock if I can ever figure grafting out.
 
John Indaburgh
Posts: 523
Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft Grafter, veggie gardener
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
All of my 20 grafts to the Bradford pear were unsuccessful. The pear graft to the rootstock was also a failure. The Stella and the Montmorency grafts to two in the ground rootstocks were successful.

It's my guess that it was too late in the season for grafting; especially to an early blooming Bradford pear. I'm going to repeat grafting to the Bradford pear next year and focus on scheduling shipping for March or buying scions from someone else who will ship earlier. Most of this years scions arrived in April. It's my opinion that the grafts need to be done while the tree is dormant; so that the graft union has time to heal before the tree is actively growing and the scion is budding out and needing the resources that can't be pumped thru the unhealed graft.

I did one graft to this tree last year; a Shenandoah pear. It was successful, so I see no other reason for 20 failures except for the timing.
 
Thomas Dean
pollinator
Posts: 234
Location: Michigan, USA
51
hunting chicken ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thomas Dean wrote:All my graft attempts were failures.  I will try again next year, saving my cuttings until sap is flowing.  I am playing with air layering right now - I have 2 attempts in progress on a feral apple tree that, if successful, could be apple trees in their own right, or rootstock if I can ever figure grafting out.



Air layering also seemed to fail.  I cut a branch off that I hoped would have roots.  Unwrapped it, and there were weird nubs, but no roots.  I stuck it in the ground an put a metal fence post in next to it... but I don't have much expectation that it will grow.
 
gardener
Posts: 2946
Location: Western Slope Colorado.
538
4
goat dog food preservation medical herbs solar greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Aw, too bad all those grafts failed last year.

Did you try again?

It’s something I am going to keep in mind.  I think I would like to try it.  I’m wondering if there’s some kind of putty type grafting substance.  Drill, peg, (matching cambiums!) putty.

I think I will look for scion wood that is fatter diameter for more possible cambium contact.

How many buds per graft stick did you experimenters use?
 
Thomas Dean
pollinator
Posts: 234
Location: Michigan, USA
51
hunting chicken ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thekla McDaniels wrote:Aw, too bad all those grafts failed last year.

Did you try again?

It’s something I am going to keep in mind.  I think I would like to try it.  I’m wondering if there’s some kind of putty type grafting substance.  Drill, peg, (matching cambiums!) putty.

I think I will look for scion wood that is fatter diameter for more possible cambium contact.

How many buds per graft stick did you experimenters use?



I've been too busy to play with grafting this spring  
I used rather longish branches, in retrospect, perhaps that was part of my mistake.
 
John Indaburgh
Posts: 523
Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft Grafter, veggie gardener
22
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I whip and tongue grafted 3 Bartlett and 2 Bosc scions to my Bradford pear tree on March 9. The scions came from Fedco and arrived in early March. The tree is blooming now, on April 8, and I assume the grafts are healed. I also drill grafted 1 each of Bartlett, Bosc, and a Honeysweet to a feral seed grown pear tree on March 16; a good 3 weeks ago. I still don't see any bud swelling on any of the scion sticks. They arrived about 8 inches long and I cut off about 2 to 3 inches on those I drill grafted so allow me to tap the scions into the hole in the tree. i later measured the cut off pieces and determined that I had a drill bit and should have also drill grafted the scions tips. I determined a 9/64 bit would have been appropriate. I didn't use them though as they were dried out.

I also ordered 4 D'Anjou scions from a supplier in California and asked for early March arrival. It's now April 8 and I haven't even received shipping notification so they won't even arrive in early April a month late. What I received last year, from a different source, was scions that were leafing out and I guess that's what I'll get this year also. I don't think it's good to have freshly grafted scion sticks waving in the wind with a lot of sail surface to pick up the wind. And how does a scion stick with green leafs on it get moisture out  to the leaves thru a fresh graft union?

I tried to get scions from " Scion Exchange". I made 4 offers to trade and never received a reply from any of those folks.

The tree the Honeysweet scion came from is on a lot next door; where they're finishing up a new house. Shortly after cutting my scion they were spreading out the soil from the house foundation and pulled out a 20+ inch tree and flung the whole tree against the Honeysweet tree smashing it into the ground.
 
John Indaburgh
Posts: 523
Location: SW PA USA zone 6a altitude 1188ft Grafter, veggie gardener
22
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I meant to add that shorter scion sticks won't attract as many bird landings. But then there's less chance of one bud coming to life.
 
Thomas Dean
pollinator
Posts: 234
Location: Michigan, USA
51
hunting chicken ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thomas Dean wrote:All my graft attempts were failures.  I will try again next year, saving my cuttings until sap is flowing.  I am playing with air layering right now - I have 2 attempts in progress on a feral apple tree that, if successful, could be apple trees in their own right, or rootstock if I can ever figure grafting out.



I was pruning... and I found THIS (see image, not sure how to get it to upload into this spot in the text)

So, not all of my grafts were a failure!  
My 8 year old daughter and I went out and played with grafting, excited by my apparent small success.  I told her that 1) I don't really know what I'm doing 2) I'm trying to learn 3) I'd love it if she learned with me.
I explained about connecting the bark, because that's where the sap it, we talked about how you have to stay within certain species boundaries (but then I put apple on hawthorn... I told her that I didn't think it would work, but I read that it might), I took her to the trees we purchased in the past and we looked for the graft marks by the ground, we talked about "rootstock", we talked about suckers, etc.  I also showed her the baby trees that were from suckers off the apples and plums - I told her that while they might not be fruit makers, if they grow, I might be able to graft good branches onto them.  She spent an hour with me before she got bored and went to play with the baby goats.
I did not try any drill grafting, just cleft grafting.  Flowering crab onto feral apple and hawthorn and cultivated apple varieties onto feral apple, flowering crab, and hawthorn.  Not as many attempts as last year, limited by time.  
This year it's warmer when I am grafting.  I did not store branches, I cut them off and walked to another tree and grafted them straight on.  
20230408_150257.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20230408_150257.jpg]
 
Thomas Dean
pollinator
Posts: 234
Location: Michigan, USA
51
hunting chicken ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thomas Dean wrote:
I did not try any drill grafting, just cleft grafting.  Flowering crab onto feral apple and hawthorn and cultivated apple varieties onto feral apple, flowering crab, and hawthorn.  Not as many attempts as last year, limited by time.  
This year it's warmer when I am grafting.  I did not store branches, I cut them off and walked to another tree and grafted them straight on.  



I have 3 tentative successes this year!  All are conventional apple on flowering crab.
Hoping to try cleft grafting later this year.
 
The longest recorded flight time of a chicken is 13 seconds. But that was done without this tiny ad:
FREE Perma Veggies Book! - Learn how to grow the most delicious and nutritious food with the least amount of work.
https://permies.com/t/238620/perennial-vegetables/FREE-Perma-Veggies-Book
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic