Hi, I started to Google about grafting, and it's really hard to find out what people were using before stretchy tapes, plastic bags, aluminum foil, and grafting putties were invented.
Does anyone know anything about or practice a more natural grafting?
I am about to graft some avocados and was going to use cotton gauze to tie the grafts and then tree paste to keep the scion medicated, moist, and sealed. But would the gauze decompose before the branch starts to grow? Ideally, I'd just leave the tree paste and gauze indefinitely.
Writing from Madhuvan, a yoga retreat/organic farm on the West Coast of Costa Rica.
In 1878 Charles Baltet wrote the a book on grafting and budding. On page 16/17 he talks about using wool threads soaked in oil to wrap grafts. Reed-mace and bur-reed are also suggested as things that can be used to wrap grafts. After wool or plant material is used to wrap the graft, then wax, pitch, resin or clay is used to seal the graft (pages 20 and 21).
What's super cool is that the book that was scanned was owned by Edward J. Wickson. Luther Burbank named a plum after Wickson in 1884, and in 2015 I've got a couple of that same plum growing in my orchard.