I have only been grafting for 4 years, and I only do 3-4 grafts every year, so I never feel very confident at it. But this year I had 5 scions (I ordered 3 varieties but was sent extras because they were so small) to graft onto my apple FrankenTree, and not too many appropriate sites to graft them onto, since the tree is only about 3’ tall. So the anxiety level was higher than usual
Before starting, I watched a grafting video as usual to refresh my technique. Most of the scions were very small, and all of them were size mismatched with what I was trying to graft them to. A couple of them I had to cleft graft, since they were too small for whip and tongue. Whip and tongue is the only graft I have ever done; this was my first time cleft grafting. When I was finished, sweat was pouring down my face (but no blood! yay!), and I walked away thinking that most of them would probably fail.
I didn’t pay too much attention to the tree for quite a while except to see if anything looked dead on it (no). Yesterday was the first time I actually looked closely at it since the scions started leafing out. All 5 of the grafts were successful, but the Calville Blanc scion must have had a shot of steroids! It not only had 3 shoots almost a foot long on it, but there were two golf ball sized apples on it as well. I had pinched the blossoms off the scions when I saw them, but I must have missed a couple.
I picked the apples off, of course, but they were far enough along that I could at least tell they ARE definitely Calville Blanc. (Last time I tried a CB graft, I got sent the wrong variety of scion, which I found out the following year when it produced apples.)
Anyway, I’m chalking this success up to beginner’s luck and watching @skillcult’s video on whip and tongue and cleft grafts, which made the techniques so much more understandable.