2023 Grafting Thread

I haven’t actually done a graft in 2023 yet :sweat_smile:, but I’m getting ready to and hoping to learn a bit more from my last years experience. This is an apple bark graft I did last spring. I was wrapping my scions in parafilm, then the union with a stretchy garden tape, and then black electrical tape. For bark grafts like this one, I wrapped the top of the stump with parafilm. What I found happened with bark grafts like this was the parafilm cracked sometime in our hot, dry summer and then I unwrapped it on the late side (this one only a few weeks ago :/) to find that moisture had gotten in and rotted some of the bark.

A good chunk of bark has died back on the opposite side of the graft, and I have seen videos saying that doing a graft on both sides would have kept that alive. So I think i have learned:

  1. use 2 or 3 scions on a stump graft like this
  2. unwrap the graft earlier and/or use a better sealing compound

Do you agree or have additional thoughts? I have seen suggestions for Gashell wax, Treekote wax, and Doc Farwell’s for sealing. Any suggestions for best sealer specifically for big cuts and bark or cleft grafts? And which is most likely to survive a very hot dry summer without cracking?

Looking forward to more grafting soon!


Looks good.

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I did a bunch of graftings this year, I hope some will survive. The one I did last year all died.

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So far this year I’ve done nearly a dozen avocado grafts (in the greenhouse only). New avocado varieties I’ve added so far:

  • “Puebla”
  • “Mexicola”
  • “Mexicola Grande”
  • “Frank” (ortet is in Brownsville, TX, but has been cold-tested in Switzerland, too)
  • “Opal”
  • “Magdalena” (ortet is a seedling from a tree in Mexico, with unknown hardiness or fruit quality)

And I have scions of these in need of grafting soon:

  • “Brissago” (ortet was found growing outside a senior home in Switzerland, estimated to be 20 years old, and it fruits regularly)
  • “Wilma”

A few of my grafts so far:

I’ve also got some citrus scions to graft soon, but waiting for the cold snap next week to end first.


For a stump that size I prefer a cleft graft, but then I haven’t done much bark grafting. Either way I make an angled cut on that stump so water runs away from my graft.


An angled cut is a good idea. Do you use anything to seal the cleft grafts for a stump like this?

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I thought the same thing. Even when just pruning, it’s a good idea to make angled cuts so water doesn’t accumulate

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Use this, looks like tar.

Tanglefoot Tree Wound Pruning Sealer & Grafting Compound

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It looks like my grafting of Adriatic JH fig took, the bud is a little pink, maybe it’s my imagination. I shall take some pictures later.
Picture of my Adriatic JH graft, it’s a splice grafting.


Pruned my Early Mcintosh today… got around 30 nice scions to practice grafting with.


I have some walnut rootstock to move. Three I believe so far. Just random. I need them in a better location. Caliper of 1/2 inch.or so. I want to graft onto them. When I move them I will graft at the right time. I wonder if they will not bleed much being newly planted. Might help. I guess I will find out.

The upcoming cold snap seems like it will be a bit less severe, so I’m going ahead and grafting some citrus this weekend.

One problem is the size of the Giant Key Lime budwood from CCPP is larger than the key lime seedlings I was planning to use as rootstocks. I’m most comfortable with cleft or whip grafts, but is this one where I should try budding or maybe a Z graft?

Here are the sticks and one of the seedlings for reference:


I managed to blow a bunch of whip and tongue grafts last year, and had great success with cleft grafts, so I’ll be doing that exclusively this spring to see how it goes. Steven from SkillCult says cleft works as well for him as whip and tongue, so I don’t see the downside.

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Here are my attempt at Cleft grafting, I think the KG is dead, but I keep my fingers crossed for the 2 Yali. My family actually likes Yali better, I bought a few KG from the store and they are still there.



You are better off covering the whole scion with parafilm


It’s too late, maybe next year. They from my own tree so I can do it again.

If you have dormant scions, there’s plenty of time to graft again. If not, request scions from folks who consider late Feb their winter season :slight_smile:

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I cut a long apical growth from my own tree, I didn’t want to throw the stick away, so this is my attempt at grafting.

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Cleft graft has worked well for me. not as pretty as w.t but in 5 years the tree will swallow it anyway and its so easy to do. i shake too much to do a decent w.t.


Has anyone ever used a liquid spray bandage (like New Skin) or an anti desiccant (like “Wilt Stop”) to cover grafts? I understand, of course, that there are cheaper options, like grating wax —but I’ve got the itch to try it, and am wondering whether anyone else has experience with it. (Not intending this as a replacement for the tight bands holding graft in place).