2017 Grafting Thread


Here is a Swiss Limbertwig grafted to G.41 in early May. It wants to be an open center tree, with its four limbs on the four points of the compass rose.

Would y’all recommend I either remove or shorten one of those two fighting for dominance?


This Hall apple is growing well. G.41, grafted on May 5 this year.

Here is a mix of grafts over a four-week span in May and June. L-R: Swiss Limbertwig, Umfress, Bean, and Hall.

Finally, here below are a Slemp Limbertwig and a Kentucky Limbertwig. The Slemp was done earlier, but it’s the KY with the growth advantage.


While most people and books suggest using the central leader or modified central leader for apple trees I’ve read about many people that grow vase shaped apple trees. Stephen Hayes seams to prefer it. I never really understood why it wouldn’t have the same advantages that stone fruit trees have in terms of adding more light exposure and increasing ventilation to the center of the tree.


When several branches grow from the same spot of the main trunk which often happens in a vase shape, they are likely to split under the heavy load. Apples usually have heavier loads than stone fruits so the central leader shape with evenly spaced branches is preferable.



You should stake one as the central leader and leave the other one on until it’s time to cut scionwood next-year.



Any particular knife??


This is what I use. Tina 605T. I’ve had mine for more than 10-years. If you can find a used Tina (left or right handed) 605T, it’s a good bet.

The curved handle on the Tina really positions your hand differently form the Victorinix so you feel safer and are safer. All Tina knives have the best steel of any grafting knife made. That’s a really big bonus. If however you’re going to be doing a lot of bark grafts on really large stock, I would recommend you find a handle and blade that’s twice the Tina 605T in diameter of both blade and handle.




Tina 605T for 81$

I continued to checkout and this is what is said:

Total Cost (Not Including Shipping)
Standard UPS Ground or Post Office rates will be added to this total.

I’d call them before I ever placed an order.



For home grafters I’d go with a cheap grafting knife, as long as its got the one-side bevel it should work OK. For example:


I got my Tina grafting knife from Raintree and I really like it a lot! I do about 40 grafts a year so I went with something I would not have to buy again, It really holds its edge well. If you are only doing a few a season no need to spend the extra money. The one above looks pretty darn good for $13.99, especially if its not going to be heavily used. Raintree is selling the Tina I got for $49.95.


To Mamuang:

The apples have definitely been encouraging, and the pears have been instructive, so I really can’t complain, especially considering how little practical experience I had coming into this. (Like, none.)

Thank you again for posting the link about nutrient deficiencies, it was really extremely helpful. In answer to your question, the fertilizer I used was Espoma Organic Bloom, which is advertised as promoting fruit and flowers. It’s a soil drench with a 1-3-1 formulation that also contains 1% calcium, plus a bunch of microbial stuff. Like I said, it was something my wife picked up for use with a potted Meyer Lemon, so I’m sure that there are other options that would have been more appropriate for what I was trying to do. (And I would be happy to learn more about them.) But it was what we had, and it seems to have worked pretty well, at least on the apples.

To Matt: Thanks for the encouragement, and the info about the growth habits of new pear grafts, that’s very helpful to know. From what you say, I’m hoping that the root systems will recover and eventually bring the trees along if given some time and a little TLC (without overdoing it). We’ll see.

Interestingly, two of the three rootstocks that ended up dying were ones that had some (minimal) growth start above the graft. Hoping to encourage them to push growth into the scion, I pinched out the growth below the graft - but the scion growth never really got going, and in the end the whole thing went kaput.


You guys are just show offs😡
I grafted whole spring last year,(multiple dozens), only 4 survived to this year!:sob:


Excellent tutorial. That should be a separate topic in the Guide section.


I’ve grown to like a razor knife.


@danzeb Thank you, Dennis. Next year I’ll do the exact same thing for bark grafts. @scottfsmith If you think the same, I’ll take the time to do it again in the Guide section. The thing is I don’t know where the guide section is. You decide.

@clarkinks I don’t know if you’re talking about a utility knife or some hybrid. Any grafting knife should have one side of the blade sharpened and the other side unsharpened. I assume you know that but I’ll mention it.

When you’re carving a scion… say you make a long 3" cut for a bark graft only to find a pith that is corky (not solid.) Then you have to carve and remove all the corky matter. A utility knife’s blade is too wide from bottom to top to make lots and lots of sweeping/curling motions. Additionally, the blade is too thin and gets caught up. And you’ll end up cutting yourself.

This is what I’m talking about:

At any rate, like I said, we all do what we do. You may never need to carve a scion like this.



Or, you’re looking for healthy wood so you carve and carve hoping to find it. I do a lot of these every year.

New growth scions at times didn’t chamber fully. And all Persian walnut wood is not solid. I don’t care where you cut it from the tree. Therefore you should do 3-4 flap grafts when grafting Persian walnut.



This is a Sweet Lavender Mulberry grafted on to a mulberry rootstock from a Wellington that died back last year. This graft started to leaf out then got hit by frost but came back and has grown well. The graft union is right above the spiral guard. It has grown about 3 feet this year.


Dax, it would be great to have some more grafting tutorials, all we have is fruitnuts budding one now.

All you (or anyone) has to do is to post a nice how-to guide on any topic in the regular category and an admin can move it over to the official Guides category. We can’t move over replies like your post above, it has to be a new topic.


I fixed your picture manually. I also noticed that they finally fixed this bug a week ago, so in the next update this will be fixed…


Sara- That means you won 4 times.