2020 Grafting Thread


I have the opposite problem. If I rush it, my knife wants to split the trunk rather than cut a nice tongue. I’ve found (after being told by several here) that a sharp knife and a slow, steady hand are the keys to cutting the tongue properly.


Thanks @californicus, you look to be close by I’ll drop by to taste test when yours are ready :wink:


I have had a few grafts fail and dry out after some of them had leaves. We have had plenty of rain lately so I haven’t bothered watering them, I checked the dirt and some of them were compacted pretty good (so the rain probably wasn’t soaking in as good as it should have). I loosened it back up and watered them all. Hoping that some that had started to dry up might still be saved. I think that one of the potting soils I used (which was black and looked pretty ok) was the one that compacted the worst. I am going to keep check in the dirt more regularly now and next year I am going to mix real dirt in with the bought dirt and hope that this eleviates my problem. I may also mix some dirt into the top couple inches of the pots this week as well and see if it helps.


I was advised by an older gentleman in our area who runs an orchard to wrap my fields grafts with foil. So I do that. But I failed to ask him how long to keep the foil on. When should you take it off?


I generally do it for about two weeks and remove after. I found it was really only necessary if the grafts were getting a lot of direct sun. I often find earwigs and other misc critters living inside the foil. Other reason I have seen mentioned is to keep birds from landing on the unhealed grafts and knocking them off alignment or worse.


Thank you @fruitfruit. I think it does help keep the birds from landing on the graft, a bonus! Our weather has been so sporadic with dramatic fluctuations - Hot, cool, hot, cool. So it helps diffuse the heat on those hot days, but then we get those cooler days where it definitely isn’t needed. I just assumed that once the buds start to break through the parafilm, it was time to remove foil. But I didn’t ask, so wasn’t sure if there was any benefit to keeping it on longer than that.


Well, I felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of grafts I attempted this year. @Stan made me feel better with the massive number he accomplished.

Today I finally finished up and did a count. 56 varieties, 206 grafts. Way more than I would have guessed.

Peaches, nectarines, pluots, Asian and European plums.


Following up on my previous pear question (replied to for reference) the graft in question had been looking better, then started looking poorly again. I unwrapped it, the graft came apart with no effort, no sign of callus anywhere. Not even the rootstock with itself. None of my pear grafts have shown any growth at this point, and I have more than I need, so I randomly selected another to unwrap and inspect. Same thing: no connection, no sign of callus tissue on scion or rootstock. I put it back together for now. This is at three weeks, the first 10 days or so of which were at 60-65 degrees indoors, and reasonably warm on the sun porch since then. The funny thing is, other than the one, the scions look pretty good, and my test subject was green and moist with a scratch test. The rootstocks were awake when I grafted, and most have pushed some new buds. They are all w/t snugged up tight and carefully lined up, wrapped with parafilm then cinched down with electrical tape. Everything I’ve read has suggested that pears are all but foolproof, but it doesn’t look like I’m having much luck compared with apples, apricots, and peaches. Does this not apply to Asian pears or BET rootstocks? Are my scions duds? I feel like I would at least see some callus on the rootstock. Should I see if I can beg, borrow, or steal some leftover scions to try again, or should I let it ride and see what happens? Should I stop asking so many questions in one post???


Just let them go a while longer and see if they do anything. If the rootstock is alive and the scion still scrathes green then to me that means that there is still a chance it will take. I may be wrong though, as this is my first year grfating as well. :man_shrugging:


I hope you’re right!


I had massive pear grafting failures one year which I concluded was due to lack of vigor of the rootstocks.

There are also incompatibilities on some pears, but generally Asians and BET are good.


Lack of vigor seems plausible. They were awake when I got them, but basically carrot roots. And while the rootstocks have pushed some buds, it’s been much more slowly than the apricots or apples.


“(Just let them go a while longer and see if they do anything)”.
It takes as much time to UN wrap one…
As it does … to
Wrap up a new one…
Just make more.
Some years are better than others…


Thanks for the advice. I have a few sticks left with OK-looking buds. I may try to put a few chips on as the rootstocks get more obviously awake. Get a few more chances that way.


Glad someone with more experience came in with some advice :+1:


Of course, it probably doesn’t help that this one apricot bud is giving me unrealistic expectations. 3" of growth, half that since two days ago! I’m almost confident enough that it’s taken to prune off that backup branch…


Nice grafts id second the lack of vigor (energy) .
I think there has to excess vigor from lopping off a branch to make it push/callous a graft as this is more work than just pushing budgrowth on a rootstock…full disclosure all my pear grafting so far has been onto mountain ash which i had pruned back to add acions so lots of vigor…


Beyond lack of vigor you may just have a lack of life in your rootstocks. I hope it isn’t the case, but one year I bought a small batch of OHxF87 rootstocks and 3 out of 5 never woke up and eventually just died. A few of the scions had pushed some buds with their own energy reserves, but died when the rootstock beneath them died. Those are about the only pear grafts I’ve ever had fail and of course they were doomed from the get go.


Hmm… I sure hope not! They all had some open leaves when I got them. Only about half are currently swelling buds. Looking at them again, I do have one graft that the buds have started to break the Parafilm, so there’s hope yet!


Were they bare root? Open leaves is not good on bare roots, it is stressful on the plant. If the plant is otherwise healthy they can get over it but if it is weak it will compound the problem.