All parafilm is not equal

I’ve always bought a relatively expensive parafilm product called “Buddy Tape” from AMLEONARD until deciding to try a much less expensive product that is sold as parafilm from OESCO.

Although the Buddy Tape is 4X the price it is the better value for me. The stuff from Oesco is much thicker, stronger and less stretchy. It doesn’t really self-stick well and seems almost too thick for buds to push through it.

I don’t use this stuff to attach scion to base, but to protect the bud carrying part of the scion from drying out, covering the scion unprotected by the connective tape from dehydration. The buds push right through the tape as they grow.

Apples and pears don’t require this but stonefruit needs some extra help to get a high percentage of takes and this is the ticket for me.

One roll might last a home grower a lifetime, so cost may not be nearly important as getting a higher percentage of takes.


Hello, I use the “scientific” type of parafilm, it is much stretcher and sticks to itself better. I use Parafilm Wrap PM996, 4" Wide, and slice off 2" pieces and stretch them out to fit.


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In two years when I need some more I’ll look into that and compare. The other advantage of the B.tape is that it is perforated every 3" and breaks off cleanly.

That buddy tape looks good. I would have bought some except I just bought a whole new box of parafilm yesterday… five more years before I need anything more.


I agree. The parafilm I first purchased did not stick or seal to itself and needed to be tied. I finally found Parafilm-M. It is the stuff someone mentioned about “scientific” parafilm. It comes in inch wide roles with backing. I simply use scissors to cut it in 1/2" wide strips. It stretches, sticks to itself, and a quick spin seals the end.

I started using this when bark grafting persimmons to keep the scion from drying out until it can take. It works great. I’ll never go back to the old stuff.

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I borrowed a few lab-sized rolls or Parafilm M at different times from the labs I was in, if you like I can mail you a couple feet to mess around with…

That does sound good. If you keep a roll of Btape in your pocket it gets damaged. It would be worth it to precut and then keep it in your pocket as you work, and the paper backing would make that possible- as long as removing the paper doesn’t take more than about 3 seconds.

I usually do at least 30 grafts at a go and dealing with all the components one by one is the main time suck.

Thanks Mark, but I will wait until I run low. I’m ok with the b-tape.

My parafilm M was a disaster. It cracked badly. I covered again and that cracked.

Parafilm-m might be too soft for areas with a lot of dry heat. Here in NY it is perfect. It doesn’t get weak until buds are pushing.

I ordered a 6 pack of this parafilm in 2012 and am about half-way through (including giving one partial roll away). I’ve been pretty happy with it, but it does need pre-stretching before applying. If you just wrap it as is, it is pretty thick for a bud to push through.

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As mentioned parafilm can crack. It is great up here because i’m not sure you could girdle with it if you used the entire roll, it stretches and over time sun-rots. But i could see a place like AZ being too much for it.

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I use the same stuff that Bob showed in his link. It is made by Bemis of Neenah, WI.

I like it a lot and I don’t think I’d like the pre-measured perforated stuff. The Bemis stuff is really stretchy and I’ve never seen it crack like fruitnut mentioned happens with the M. It lasts really good, but not so long that needs removed. I still see bits of it here and there on my trees from last year, but it is badly degraded at this point. Just perfect I think.
When it’s chilly, I keep it in my pocket between grafts to warm it a bit. If it gets cold it doesn’t want to stretch at all of course and will break easily.

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Interesting. I’ve never had that issue with mine.

I’ve touted this outfit before and I’ll do it again- it’s where I bought a fair amount of Parafilm and grafting rubbers some years ago. I don’t know whether it’s “M” or what, but I can attest to its suitability. Plus, it has held up without refrigeration for several seasons. I’m almost out now and will have to have some for next year.

Available in a couple of widths and several lengths .

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Parafilm M is all I’ve ever used… Had the opportunity to use some Parafilm ‘grafting’ formulation a few years back when I was doing a grafting demonstration for a local Master Gardeners class… do NOT like it! Doesn’t handle like good old ‘M’, doesn’t stretch like M, doesn’t seal/stick to itself like M.

I get it in a 2 inch by 250 ft roll, cut that into 6" lengths and split those into 3 strips ~2/3 inch wide. Most grafts use one strip to cover graft union and scion in their entirety… usually with two layers. However, I would NEVER expect Parafilm alone to be sufficient…it would soon crack at the edges of the graft union and things would dry out - and it has NO structural strength. Every graft gets at least an overwrap with a rubber band.

Sometimes, for slow-callusing stuff, like nut trees, I’ll wrap with parafilm, overwrap the graft union with masking tape, then overwrap that with a rubber band - and then finish that off with a protective covering of aluminum foil to slow degradation of the rubber band.

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I can’t be bothered with rubber bands or other more time consuming methods of binding scion to wood on existing trees. I graft mostly onto water sprouts or thin pieces of older wood the same diameter as scion with a splice graft using electric tape to hold the graft securely in place.

That way you just have to pull the roll of tape out of your pocket, wrap and snap and the graft is very secure. You can use vinyl or rubber tape but vinyl usually must be removed or cut to prevent girdling once graft is healed.

If you only do 20 or 30 grafts a season you may not worry too much about investing a little more time on each graft but I need to streamline the operation as much as possible.

Yes, Alan - if all you’re grafting is apples/pears, you don’t need much.
I think all Ed Fackler used in his nursery was masking tape on whip&tongue grafts. Doesn’t take much to hold those in place on an apple or pear until they callus together.

But for other things that are slower-callusing… like nut trees… you’d better optimize all potentials.
If you don’t seal adequately to diminish dessication with those species, graft failures are gonna be pretty substantial. Heck, after 20 years of playing around with them, I still look at a 50% success rate with nut tree grafts as a phenomenal level that I’ve yet to reach! but, with apples/pears… I expect virtually no failures.

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Yes, I know nothing about grafting on those more demanding species, but I wonder what would be missing from the methods I use that yours supply. The electric tape insures very secure, watertight unions and the parafilm wrap above that entirely covers the scion wood with another water proof seal. The parafilm I use takes a season to disintegrate- the waterproofing isn’t broken till the buds push through it.

I developed this method with the use of parafilm to increase my takes on peaches and plums where I now succeed about 80% of the time (at least most recently).

Midwest vineyard supply was where I bought my parafilm. I got half inch, and might get wider stuff next time.
I’ve been really happy with it, and have not had issues with it cracking too soon, and this is in zone7 Arizona.

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