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Nurseryman Help Grafting or Rooting Black Walnut Scionwood

 
Terry Paul Calhoun
Posts: 29
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Does anyone out there know how to do this? I'm willing to pay someone who can do these things to assist me with my fledgling black walnut farm. I have a couple of trees that I think produce pretty special nuts, including the largest nuts I know of from reading the literature, and I want to have scionwood from the mother trees, about 70 years old, grafted onto young field stock.

Does anyone know someone near Ann Arbor Michigan who could do this for me?
 
Jay Vinekeeper
Posts: 77
Location: Northwest Lower MI
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To be clear ... you are interested in NUT production as opposed to simply timber production?

There is an extensive black walnut grafting program on black walnut plantation between East Jordan and Boyne City in northwest lower Michigan.  I can give you the name of a retired general surgeon who has been grafting black walnut for a couple of decades with excellent graft success.  This fellow is 92 years old, but going strong and is the best grafter I presently know.

In my opinion, this grafting MAY be valuable for nut production but is almost useless for producing timber type trees.

Is your superior mother tree a heavy and reliable producer?  Can you post or send pictures of the mother tree.  Full view and close up to illustrate nut production pattern?

How tall is the mother?  I ask because the best scion wood for grafting is likely to be high on the tree and difficult to gather.

Send me a PM or contact me at vinekeeper@forestfarm.org for contact information.  The effort "up north" consists of several thousand black walnut seedlings grown for future timber production.
 
Ray Moses
Posts: 74
Location: Brighton, Michigan
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I have grafted black walnut scion wood with success. I have done the bark inlay graft and the whip and tongue graft and they both worked. Success rate is pretty low so graft a whole bunch of stock. There is some prep work to do for bark inlay graft, such as cutting the trees a week or so ahead of time to let the sap run. Purdue and Missouri have some extension bulletins referring to black walnut grafting. You need to be careful how you collect the scion wood.
 
Terry Paul Calhoun
Posts: 29
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Jay Vinekeeper wrote:To be clear ... you are interested in NUT production as opposed to simply timber production? .... In my opinion, this grafting MAY be valuable for nut production but is almost useless for producing timber type trees.

Is your superior mother tree a heavy and reliable producer?  Can you post or send pictures of the mother tree.  Full view and close up to illustrate nut production pattern?

How tall is the mother?  I ask because the best scion wood for grafting is likely to be high on the tree and difficult to gather.

Yes, nut production. This tree produces massive walnuts that seem to be larger than the top end of the ranges I have found published in literature or on line. Only been watching the mother and paying attention for three years. It looks like she produces every other year, with some blanks in off years.

I will get some useful images this weekend. Not home right now.

The mother is about 70 feet tall and I know she was planted in the early fifties by a friend of mine. I have another friend who is an arborist 👍🏽
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Terry Paul,

black walnut grafts are best done as bud grafts.
I know this is not what you want to hear because of the length of time they will take to produce "working" trees (@ 7 years).

It is possible to use other grafting methods but as has been mentioned, they are a little sketchy when it comes to viability because of the cambium differentiation between scion and receptor is usually enough to mean a failed graft.
If you want to use the "normal" methods of scion wood, then you need to carefully match up the cambium layers and wrap just tight enough to seal the two layers to each other, early spring is the best time for maximum viability of these types of grafts.
whip and tongue works best if you are grafting to same sized wood.

I have grafted French walnut and English walnut this way and some of the trees I grafted back in the 1960's were turned into guitar wood sets just two years ago.
I saw photos of one that incorporated the graft area and it was very beautiful as the back.
I agree that this really isn't the best way to grow "wood" trees but the ones that were quarter sawn had been blown down by a huge storm with straight line winds.
My biggest surprise was the actual graft area, beautifully tightly knit wood fibers showed just how good my graft took on that tree.
I found out that it had been a very good producer while in the orchard but that is the way French walnut trees are normally. 

Redhawk
 
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