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Grafting Questions from a Beginner  RSS feed

 
Posts: 14
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I have a small orchard based loosely on The Permaculture Orchard DVD (1/4 acre). I bought a grafting tool that cuts the notches for me rather than rely on my knife skills (which failed me on my last attempts). I'm in Central Illinois, zone 5. I'm just wondering when I should cut my scions, when should I attempt to graft the scions onto my selected trees? My scions will be from the younger trees I've been planting (in the ground 5 years or less), and I am hoping to graft them to my 40 year old (at least) apple trees and pear trees, and also onto some 8-10 year old volunteer peach trees. So, scions and 'rootstock' are in the same place. Can I just wait til spring and cut scions and graft them right away, or should I cut the scions and get them prepped to rest dormant in the refrigerator until spring. Is spring even the right time? Again, I'm wanting to graft apples, peaches, plums,  pears, and nectarines. Also, I have 2 apricot trees (in the ground 8 years, 1 Manchurian apricot and 1 dwarf moorpark apricot) that have never fruited and was curious about grafting peaches, plums, and nectarines to the apricot trees. I like to read, ( I've read almost every thread in growies and critters) so don't be scared to give me as much minute detail as possible, anything I need to know. Thanks a million!
 
Posts: 89
Location: Oakland, CA
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My understanding is that apples,peaches and nectarines have better success when grafted in the summer from bud wood gather in the winter/dormant(and stored in the fridge in a plastic zip-lock).  I believe the idea is that the graft heals more quickly when there is active growth in the summer.  I have had success with winter grafted pears.  You could try a little bit of winter grafting and leave some bud wood for the summer too.  I would not recommend grafting peaches on the apricot,  plums thrive with alot more types of grafts than peaches and apricots.
 
Posts: 77
Location: Mad City, Wisconsin
bee food preservation trees
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Jobe Shores wrote:I have a small orchard ..... So, scions and 'rootstock' are in the same place.



Last year I made another round of grafting - about 20 apple/pear grafts sometimes in April.
About 90% success.
So every single apple tree in my backyard supports 5-6 varieties.

Per the sources, grafting of the stone fruits is a bit different.
I would not confuse stone fruit grafting with apple/pear grafting.
These are different "animals" in propagation.

Stone fruits, indeed, maybe better to graft in summer by a green bud.
Apple/pear work great in spring by dormant scion/dormant root-stock and I would qualify this as a "better way".
Just much easier to work the dormant stuff.

Simple razor knife with a fresh blade; electric tape; very little petroleum jelly - work for me great.
All the instructions are on YouTube.
I don't even spend the time asking anymore - just go and watch videos.
Plenty of good videos.

Timing - when the tree sap just starts moving (buds puff up just a little).
Need to watch for good timing - depends on the exact place.
I don't even bother with cutting/storing scions before-hand - I just harvest the scions on the spot and graft them within hours (1-2 days at most).
With all the materials being in one spot, I would do exactly this and keep it simple.

I am in Zone 5 (South WI).
 
garden master
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hau Jobe, for apples you will want to gather scion wood anytime now and put it in the fridge with moist towels (paper or blotter type paper) wrapped around the cut end and then placed in a plastic bag to keep that moisture in around the stems.

Stone fruits are indeed different since you want to try and catch the new buds about a month prior to bud out of your stock trees. (apple and pear tree scion wood lasts longer for me so I wait for the end of feb. for stone fruit scion wood gathering)

You can always simply wait till just before bud-out and do your grafts then, you will just want to work fast since you will gather buds and graft them at that time.

I like to have bud grafts waiting for sap flow for as short a time period as possible, especially for stone fruit trees.

Hope that helps you out. Those grafting tools are sweet by the way, short learning curve, perfect cuts every time and they speed up the process because of that.

Redhawk
 
Gregory T. Russian
Posts: 77
Location: Mad City, Wisconsin
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Jobe Shores wrote:... I like to read, ( I've read almost every thread in growies and critters) so don't be scared to give me as much minute detail as possible, anything I need to know. Thanks a million!



And btw, watch them videos and observe.
As many as you can afford to watch. They are great.
Even non-English videos - still watch and observe what the people are doing and how they doing it and what is the surrounding too (important details are often left unspoken, but in the video still).
I am into beekeeping lately and I watch lots of beekeeping videos (even in Spanish that I don't know - does not matter; there is something to learn still).

Another thing - just prior to grafting - get yourself a bunch of throw away wood and practice the cuts and the grafts.
As many you can afford - practice.
Every season I graft, I practice the cuts first before doing the grafts.
This is when you start grafting live, you are only allowed a single perfect cut every time.
Every bad cut amounts to likely a bad graft and wasted time/material.

Mind you, medial doctors go through tons of dead bodies practicing the cuts before are allowed to do the same on live people.
 
Jobe Shores
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Thank you all for your replies. I am excited to try my luck!
 
Posts: 30
Location: Berkshire County, Ma. 6b/4a. Approx. 50" rain
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two good resources for me are youtubers, Stephen Hayes and Skillcult.

 
Posts: 27
Location: Atlantic Canada (NS), zone 5b
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This is pretty straightforward:  the scion wood for apple and pear has to be dormant, and the best success with field grafting will be when the rootstock has just broken dormancy.  You can cut your scion wood any time between now and spring before the scion wood breaks dormancy.  (I cut mine about March.  I am in zone 5b).

But you are going to have difficulty with your grafting tool if you are grafting onto established trees.  These gadgets work only when both scion and rootstock are virtually identical in diameter.  If you are trying to graft onto established trees you need completely different techniques - cleft grafts or what Stephen Hayes calls rind grafts, (on this side of the Pond, more usually called Bark grafts), (or, if you want to get fancier, things like oblique side grafts, inlay grafts, kerf grafts etc.).  I second the recommendation to check out Stephen's videos.  He is a bit wild, but one of the best on the web - YouTube, look for HayesUK, or just enter "grafting" and Hayes

Stone fruit indeed does best budded in June up to August, and here indeed you go from growing mother tree to rootstock tree.  But this, again, is a different technique from grafting, and is done with a single bud, cut with a sharp blade. (Stephen has excellent videos demonstrating the technique)
 
David Maxwell
Posts: 27
Location: Atlantic Canada (NS), zone 5b
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Just noticed the line about getting only one chance to get the graft perfect when you move from practice to actual surgery.  This is not so;  if your first cut isn't right, you just make another cut a little farther back.  As long as you still have wood, you can keep hacking it back.  What the poster may be referring to is the idea that it is best to make a single clean slice, (with a very sharp knife), so as to get a continuous smooth cut, rather than whittling the cut, (which never gives a smooth flat surface).  But all you really need is cambium-to-cambium contact over as large an area as possible, and the trees will forgive less-than-perfect technique.  If your grafts fail, it is simply that you did not get cambium in contact with cambium.
And, unless it was not apparent in my first posting, those delta grafting tools look good, but work only under ideal conditions, (when both stock and scion are almost perfectly matched in diameter).  They are damned expensive, and useful only in very restricted circumstances.  A good sharp knife is a lot cheaper, and works in all circumstances.  And if anybody wants to pursue grafting to its full depth, the "bible" is a book by R.J. Garner, called "The Grafter's Handbook"
 
Posts: 30
Location: Northern Somerset Co. in PA
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Jobe,   Here is a link that may be helpful...  https://permies.com/t/61581/Bench-grafting.  ;

 
Jobe Shores
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Thanks again! I watched several hours of Stephen Hayes today and immediately understood about the different types of grafts for different applications. I also read the other thread that someone suggested, which was very helpful as well. I guess the next step for me would be to gather up my apple and pear scions and get them in the fridge. After this -15 F wind chill goes away of course.
 
Posts: 59
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I am not sure someone posted it yet but I'm going to mention it again if they have.  Never store any Scion that you cut off of a tree in the refrigerator with any kind of fruit such as apples Etc. They emit a gas and it will make the Scion would start to bloom.  That would be a big No-No.
 
pollinator
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I found two videos maybe they are too beginners for you guys but I liked them both:
and

I want to graft from one of my own apple trees. Our climate is cool temperate and it won't freeze more than -5C at night. Do I have to put my scion wood in the fridge or can I use it directly, say end of winter?
How dormant should the scion be?
I found more information on how to grow rootstocks, that sounds interesting: rootstocks

Now some questions:
How about using a stanley knife for people with lousy sharpening skills like me?
After a bit of reading: it seems that apples are easy - which other fruit is easy and which is more difficult?
And the aftercare of the bench grafting: it seems you need to put them somewhere in 15 to 21C could it be a significantly colder and not so well lit shed? Or is it OK just outside or in a small unheated greenhouse?
 
Bill Weible
Posts: 30
Location: Northern Somerset Co. in PA
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Angelika, those were good videos and so is this one...  https://youtu.be/9oCrcsXpn4k   ; Once grafted they are stored in a cool area (not in the 'frig) out of sunlight in my basement (around 60 degress F).  I put them in a box with moist, not wet, sphagnum moss (or sawdust or peat moss) within a plastic bag and let them sit 3 or so weeks before planting.  This allows the graft to heal or callous over (strengthen the joint, if you will) before planted. The warmer the area the quicker it will callous over, but may not be as strong.  Remember depending on the rootstock it may need supported.  Hope this helps.  Bill



 
pollinator
Posts: 115
Location: Australia, Canberra
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Have a look at this article. It may give you some ideas.
 
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