2017 Grafting Thread


Alright will do. @scottfsmith



Matt, you have such a positive way to look at things😄


I have an unusual graft situation. I did a saddle graft of an asian pear onto a callery pear. I was doing a lot of grafts that day, was in a hurry, and didn’t notice that the stick of scion that I used had only 2 bud positions and both had somehow been rubbed off. When I noticed this the next day I didn’t give it much thought and assumed that if the scion was accepted a new shoot would come out somewhere. I was wrong. So what I have now is a 5 inch piece of scion wood that still looks very much healthy and alive (IE the bark is bright green outside and a scratch test reveals perfect looking, bright green cambium. But no new vegetative growth is coming out anywhere! So here we are in mid July, almost 4 months since I did the graft, and it looks alive and well except it hasn’t sent out any growth. very strange (to me). I wouldn’t be surprised it the joint has even started to grow together.

Certainly this isn’t a big deal to me no matter how it turns out. I also have nothing at all to lose if I just leave it alone and wait and see what happens, which is what I’m going to do. But just out of curiousity, what do you all think will happen?
a) It will just eventually die
b) It will send out new growth at some point this year
c) It will do nothing but hang on this year and then next year it will send out new growth.
d) Other???

Just kind in interesting to me…others may have seen this before.


Could be either. You could try to force it this year removing competing branches in the apical postion near it, or at least cutting them back if you don’t deem there’s enough on the plant to keep the whole thing alive.



@speedster1, @Antmary, and @Barkslip, thanks so much for your replies. I believe I’ll follow the advice about training to a central leader.

I have no experience, but I’m going to try to prune them as tall spindles, minimizing the space required, but still providing enough fruit per tree for my family, with plenty to give away in total, assuming my trees survive to fruiting age.


good idea…ill try that. thanks, Dax


I agree with Dax. One other possibility is to small cut in the cambium (notch?
nick?) above the branch to simulate apical dominance. This could be a good option if you have other grafts higher in the tree that you don’t want to lose.

Found one more take, so that’s 65%…hoping for 1 more to get me over 70% :slight_smile:

Here’s a pic of some of the rootstock suckers. I’ll need to be careful to let them go fully dormant this winter before moving them. I transplanted a bunch last year, but was a few days early, as their leaves hadn’t dropped off. A few died and most that lived are coming back from the roots.

They continue to look good. I counted 6 apparent takes, where there are multiple leaves forming. Unlike peaches, I haven’t seen grapes fail after this point. Of course, I’ve gotten very few grapes to the point, so it is almost uncharted territory for me.


No Tape:

There are also several others which look promising.

Over the last two weeks I lost 2 multi-graft trees. I’m not sure what did them in, but it seems like the more time and effort you put into creating a franken-tree, the more likely something will kill it. In addition to the apple and sour cherry I just lost, the biggest multi-graft apple died last year.

The apple which just died had 50 grafts on it, which covered 22 varieties. What really hurts is that this was the tree that I’ve grafted my seedlings to. After I had successful takes, I don’t think I worried too much about them. I think I have a couple planted out at rentals, but some may be languishing (or dead) in a pot somewhere. And the whole goal of grafting them was to speed up fruiting. It wasn’t working so well, as everything else on the tree flowered, except the 5 seedlings.

It’s possible that a virus killed it. The tree could be on G16 (which is sensitive), but I’m not really, as it was mislabeled (large red apple, not Pome Gris). I did try to be careful what I put on there (mostly seedlings, Kaz apples, and modern disease resistant ones).

The sour cherry which died was the NorthStar which I was grafting over this spring. I’m not sure what killed it, but I’m not that sorry to see it go- it hasn’t been productive, so I wanted something to change- preferable to make it productive with a different variety, but this is an OK outcome, as I can reclaim the space.

I did check out some of the bark grafts I made on it this spring and was surprised how well they healed. They stuck out a bit, but it was quite strong. I eventually snapped it off, but it took quite a bit of force and didn’t break cleanly at the union, instead leaving part of the branch with the trunk.

So, maybe I shouldn’t put so many grafts on a single tree. Not only is it like putting too many eggs in a basket, but it increases the chances of the basket to break.

Of course, within an hour of thinking of this, I was adding (TBuds) another peach variety to a tree which already has several (Doh), without even realizing what I was doing…I’m going to strive to only graft 3 varieties per tree max. Maybe.

For now, I’ve pruned the small branches back to the main structure on both dead trees. I’ve planted pole beans around both, so they can become trellis, at least for the rest of this growing season.


I lost both Krymsk-5 rootstocks that I grafted over with tart cherry scions from the ARS. Some of the scions did take but eventually leaves on all branches wilted and the trees died (they looked very similar to the dead NorthStar tree on your photo). Most probably it was Monilinia laxa infection, as @Antmary originally observed. Other Krymsk-5 rootstocks nearby that I grafted over with sweet cherry scions from CRFG are doing fine.


So sorry to hear that two your multi grafted trees died. I don’t have a lot of space so each time I lose a multi grafting tree, it hurts and is a setback.

If the deaths caused by soil borne pathogens, you may want to think twice before planting another tree there.

I will not use Krymsk 5 again after losing my this year. I, too, made use of the dead tree as a tall pole when netting my cherry tree next to it :grin:

People have written enough about G16 so I won’t that rootstock, either.


Great stuff. Exquisitely humorous.



I actually planted pole beans (Chinese Red noodle foot long, Lazy Housewife Stringless, and a 3rd Chinese variety) under it and the support pole. I bet they will be fine and if they aren’t, the loss won’t amount to a hill of beans. :wink:

A few feet away, along the wall, I planted a jujube seedling. They seem pretty tough. I may replace the multi-graft apple with a jujube next year too, or I could do one of my peach/apricot bench grafts from this year…They were meant to be my spares.


The Harrison scion I put (double into cleft) onto D’Arcy Spice seems to have inviable or rubbed-off buds. I grafted Connell Red onto the nurse branch and it took off. Maybe the Harrison scions, which still look plump and green, will offer growth next season from adventitious buds. If so, they can heal over the stump and I’ll trim them late in '18. If not, I think it worth trying to cut the stump with a flap retained, lay the flap over and tack it in position in order to heal the stump wound. The stump is about 2 1/2 inches across where it will need to be cut.
This is the first year I have had dual scion pieces in cleft grafts both take: Redfield/Gen222, GoldRush/Gen30 and on EMLA26. The Redfield grafts have healed over the stock completely already.


This persimmon graft just sat there for nearly two months – not dying, not growing, but occasionally trying to send up growth from beneath the graft. Then, just last week, the graft finally started to grow. So I guess the lesson is to never give up on persimmon grafts, or any graft really.


So I dug these jujube suckers about a month ago. A couple weeks back I decided to graft Chico and Ant Admire scions onto a a few of these suckers. Last week I removed all the rootstock growth and “push” the scions/buds. This is not dormant scion wood. I like to experiment.

Chico using a saddle graft

Ant Admire using a chip bud. There are actually two chips. Only the lower one is showing some growth. I’m glad it’s the lower bud.


It seems that flower buds can be useful on graft wood.

My sister (not a grafter) gave me a bag of graft wood she collected while pruning her apple tree in late winter. Unfortunately, it was already near bud break. I made several attempts with different cool places, but grafts would leaf out and die before the graft unions could form. I finally had success with my last piece of graft wood. The two vegetative buds leafed out and died, but there were two flower buds that bloomed. Those buds didn’t leaf out until after the flowers were finished, which was a long enough delay to allow the graft union to form.


I have 40 grafts all in 1 gallon pots and not quite sure what to do with them this winter.

Should I pot them up to 5 gals?

Snice they are not going to fruit next year can I just keep them in the house under HID lighting all winter?


Those that I don’t plant in fall, I dig a big trench and plant the whole pot in the ground over winter… In spring pull the pot out of the ground and I either decide to plant some in the orchard or will keep them through spring and summer and plant in fall. I sale some of them as well or give them away. I do separate them out of the big pots either in fall or early spring depending on my needs.


Is 1 qal pot good enough for now and how deep is your trench, just to top of pot?

I live in zone 6 about 35 miles from Ohio border in mi. What is the latest I should plant them if I decide to go that route?


My trench is as deep as the pots or maybe a little deeper. I do get some of the backfill soil in the pots but I try to makes sure I stay below the graft joint, if that makes sense…It is very little I get in there but it happens . My trench is already dug as I will just reuse the one from last year … however, I would dig before the ground freezes. I wait till fall when it starts to really cool down and before it freezes. That way I can get them in the trench while the dirt is not frozen. My goal is not to let the grafts in the pots freeze and having them in the ground protects them this way.

I know some people will put bales of straw or hay around them and over winter in pots and some will bring them in garage or basement where it is cool and won’t freeze.


Outside is always best… in a trench (for our climate.) Rabbit fence is a good idea.