2019 Grafting Thread


Subdood_ky_z6b…I now have 45 ‘regular’ apples, and 29 or 30 red fleshed ones.
60+ successful last year, 71 and counting this year. The “extras” would possibly be for sale, but I intend to retain one of each variety.

Rootstocks are B9, B118, G30, G202, G890, Antonovka, and seedlings.
Maybe have the most B9.


(That’s not counting 8 or 9 older trees I have on M7 and M111 and Antonovka)….Which makes me now have 80+ total varieties. And 130-something potted trees.


This year I did a handful of W/T, 3 cleft, and 60+ V-grafts with my new tool- most of the V-grafts were modified with a knife. My 47 apples grafted look like they’ve a 100% take rate, my 10 pears were considerably lower (80%) but I blame some lousy scion for those. My stonefruit grafts look like I had a 0% take rate this year… very frustrating!


I suspect pear chips and tbuds are best done in 80 degree and up weather whereas whip and tongue / cleft etc are better done in the 70 degree range. Perhaps that accounts for failures. Noone can discount compatability being a factor


I avoid chip budding for two reasons: poor results (for me) and it made my tree look ugly with those scars :smile:

I have 99-100% grafts of pears, apples and plums using mostly a cleft graft. So, I just stick with it.

Peach grafting is more weather dependent and this year’s New England weather is mostly cold, wet and/or dreary. Not peach grafting weather at all.


Yes I try to do cleft whenever I can. These had to be chip buds. I was trying to get branches where there are non. Last year I think all my pear grafts took. So I definitely blame the chip budding which is not my thing apparently.


Obviously large commercial growers chip bud most of the time. How many trees have you bought that were whip and tongue grafted?

(My Camack Sweet, and another or two, came from over in Clemons NC a whip&tongue onto M111 roots, but that’s the only source I can think of, and I don’t know that you would consider Tom Brown “commercial”.

His website is www.applesearch.org


Chip budding has become my favorite method of grafting, on small potted or bareroot trees in my small nursery.
For me it is faster , easyer , each bud can become a tree , so rare scions go farther, can be done from spring to fall.

I still whip/ tounge on established trees in the feild. And sometimes in the nursery, just to stay in practice.


Potomac Pears, Ruby Queen Plums, Crimsom Crisp Apple. Also, several other pears and plums. Next will be peaches when the weather warms up a bit more.


My fall chip buds do beautifully, but my spring buds less so. Really fresh wood may account for that, unless it’s the weather: 80s for sure for ‘fall’.

You could try side grafts. Mine do well, but it’s hard to get a great angle, imho.

My grafts are still bumming me out. Peaches did almost perfectly, so yay and thanks so much Brady for great wood!

But the wood I ordered has been a huge disappointment. I’m still crossing my fingers that various ones pull through, but those that have worked got really expensive given the stats, lol. And I hate missing a year of growth :frowning:


I went out this morning and got my sweet cherry grafting done. So far, I got sweet cherry, pears, quince,crabapple, and gooseberry grafting done for the season. Left are plum/pluot, peach/nectarine. Get things done one batch at a time.


Got cherries, plums, pears, apples, apricots and persimmons done.

Wait for peach-friendly weather that may not show up here this year.

Tomorrow will be sunny for the first time in almost a week. I’ll take time off from work to graft peaches. I am that dedicated :rofl:


I grafted Shinko onto my espalier pears today. As I wrote the day on the tag, I realized it is Shinko de Mayo today. I think the sun scrambled my brain today.


Hi, im new to grafting. And am looking for some advice on a some grafts that are probably unlikely to take…

I moved out of my old home last fall and grabbed a branch of a super old tree that i love. Branch is 1 to 3 yr wood. Stuck it in the ground in zone 5 at a relatives house in late nov (was super busy moving around then). Thought it was a lost cause… But i got wind in early April that bud broke!, and it was then a race against the clock. I didnt have much scion to work with, and it wasnt consistently warm yet, so i settled on chip bud grafting. Planted 1 potted, well feathered 6ft tall pink lady apple tree to nurse bud grafts and 4 M111 rootstock. And 1 week after, on Easter, i grafted 16 bud grafts. 2 on each rootstock and 8 scattered across the pink lady (yikes!). None of the buds were swollen anymore as the swollen ones had leafed out with residual energy and wilted while i was away and the remaining buds never swelled. The cambium on half of the buds i used was bright green right off the branch (the rest were green with a hint of brown, and had been refirgerated on a bud stick in a moist paper towel for 1 week). I chip grafted, used a little electrical tape to secure the chip, then double layered paraffin tape. The first week was warm and sunny, which was then followed by a week of cloudcover and rain. This ll be week 3 and is forcasted to alternate between rain and sun. So far the nurse pink lady and the 4 rootstocks are all pushing new growth from their preexisting buds. And family has helped me water all 5 trees. cant tell whats going on with the bud grafts.

My question is: should i remove the paraffin and replace with lighter buddy tape, wrapped only once over the bud instead of the 2x i did with paraffin? Just in case the buds swell? Or should I just leave it all be? By the time i can next touch the grafts, it will have been 3 weeks since grafting. Im guessing i should aim for it to callous and heal and not encourage it to break bud or push until next spring, should it last until then…?

I know the conditions were seriously lacking. I was so sad about losing the mother tree, that i just thought it was a lost cause… It might still be, but nature gave me a second chance! And id like to make the most informed decisions i can from here. Hence seeking the advice of the experienced folks on this forum! Also open to a reality check :slight_smile:

Thanks much!!


First, hi ,
And welcome aboard.
Short answer to long question…
If there are chip buds under there…
They will push through a layer or two of parafilm…
The parafilm looks like it is not stretched as tight as It could be.
So …
Maybe wrap more " .tighter "just above , and below bud. ?
When using parafilm, I pull it , maybe twice its original length.
It becomes thinner, tighter, a layer or two directly over the bud is ok, but the important wrap is just over, and just under, the chip bud, pulled really tight. ( like just before it wants to break ) So to secure the bud .
In general it’s best not to unwrap, rewrap, chip buds, as you may dislodge them.
They may be fine as is, and you just need to wait for them to pop.
What does the top of that look like ?
Good luck


Hi Hillbillyhort,
Thanks for your reply! That is a good point about the parafilm. The 1st layer underneath is slightly tighter, but definitely not as tight in retrospect as it should be. is it too late for corrective action at 3 weeks? All the buds wouldve died already as a result of not tying tightly enough right?.. i agree that not disturbing it is generally best…

On whats above the grafts, the 4 rootstocks are all pushing out 3 new shoots each. And the tree is growing from all branches. My goal for now is to preserve the genetic material of the mother tree, so i had assumed (perhaps incorrectly!) That itd be better to let the rootstock/tree grow out, get the sap really flowing, to help it callous over. Especially since the bud sticks had broken dormancy. And the growth will come when it does or with some encouragement at a future date. If thats the wrong way to think about it, im all ears. Its always good to learn… :slight_smile:


Oh snd heres the tree.
Sorry for the lengthy writing!


Three weeks should be enough time for a chip bud to heal if it’s going to ,on Apple, at that stage of growth .
Letting growth happen above the bud as you have done , can help keep the sap flowing and promote healing.
However , due to the apical dominance of the growth above the bud, it may not want to come out on its own.
Several options are ;
1 - cut the branch off above the bud, hopping it is alive and will grow. If it’s dead then you have obviously lost that branch since you cut most of it off.
2-wait several weeks to see it it wants to grow on its own,
Unwrapping at that time to check if it is alive.
If alive the branch could be headed then to force the bud to grow, this year.
Or left and forced next spring.
3- you could ring the bark with a knife down to the wood ,just above the chip.
This will break the apical dominance , causing the bud to grow if it has taken, if it does not grow ,and is dead , the ringing will heal and you will still have your branch.
If it does grow then you could cut the branch above it ,allowing the new growth to replace that branch.

Their are many ways to do this.
Others may have more comments to add.
Good luck


Then there is the option of cutting the parafilm beside the bud, vertically with a razor, and ever so carefully peaking under there to see if it’s alive, or shriveled and turning dark,
The danger here is in dislodging the bud. As it may be alive, and healing but just hanging by a " thread".
And the parafilm may be stuck to the bud, pulling it off as you peak…Be very carful


Hi Hillbillyhort,
Thanks for the great advice! A lot of options to consider. And thanks for the warning on sticking to the parafilm! Good to know. Ill take it slow and not do anything too drastic either way.

Thanks again!