Anyone tried these alternate grafts?

A combination of terrible spring weather, deer predation, and various disease/insect outbreaks left me with a shortage of good size first year bud wood to harvest from many of my plum trees. Along with that I had many trees lacking large enough first year wood in good locations suitable to graft the buds onto. I wanted to multigraft my plum trees to fruit salad trees to aid with pollination next year. This years spring weather resulted in a very low rate of pollination of my Japanese/hybrid and even European plum trees.

As a result I ended up testing a few new methods I’d never attempted with August budding before. I have an aprox 17 year old Redheart Plum I wanted to graft Shiro budwood onto down lower than where any 1 YO wood was present (deer stripped lower branches). I wanted to graft onto a lower scaffold that was probably at least a dozen YO and at least 2 inches in diameter.

I found this technique online:

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/propagation/greenwood/index.html

I did a few bud grafts a couple of weeks ago using the above method and I believe the grafts took as the petioles dropped. Is this method used by others with success on fruit trees regularly? I have never heard of this method before a recent search turned it up.

I also tried a method I’d never heard of before that just came to me. I only had very small Satsuma budwood and no 1 YO branches in locations I wanted graft onto a Nadia tree. So I thought I’d try grafting (chip budding) onto 2 YO wood. The tiny 1 YO scion branch was drastically smaller than the 2 (or possibly 3 YO) scaffold. I tried to cut a small section off the receiving Nadia to fit a small donor bud of Satsuma, but the size was terribly mismatched. Then I thought, what if I cut another chip out and placed both side by side in the single wound I’d cut on the receiving end. This actually seemed to match up with the size of the larger Nadia branch quite well, so I fastened both chips together side by side in the single slot I’d cut with parafilm. I know this is rather unconventional, but I think this graft actually worked.I was quite surprised to find that both of the buds in the single slot both dropped their petioles. Have others tried this strange method of tandem budding for drastically mismatched branch/bud sizes?

Thankfully, I believe a fairly high percentage of my other more normal chip budding and inverted t-budding attempts appear successful as well this month. I guess I’ll need to keep my fingers crossed for a while yet to find out if they all actually grow out in the spring.

Has anyone else tried some alternate methods out of the norm that seem to have proved fruitful?

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I had budwood that needed a place to go last year and was tempted by the methodology in the link as well. It was apricot to very vigorous plum rootstock. I tried branches from .5 inches to 2 inches in diameter. It was very easy to get the slip on the rootstock and the flaps were holding the bud just fine.

Fast forward to this year and only 1 out of 10 grew. It was one that was on a smaller branch, probably just over .5 inches in diameter. So definitely a fail for a technique. For this tree if I graft dormant plum/apricot scions and do 3 or 4 or 5 grafts as backups I usually get 3 or 4 or 5 takes so it’s not an incompatibility problem, it was a technique problem for sure. But yes, I tried it :grin:

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Just curious, did you completely remove the branch above the new bud graft, or did you simply notch above (or a partial girdling).

I let them heal first to make sure they were viable, then I clipped the branch so the bud was the new “tip” of the branch. 5 seemed to heal (1 actually did and became successful), and 5 never healed at all so I didn’t clip the ones that obviously blackened and showed no signs of hope.

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I unbound many of my grafts to inspect them for success. The graft above where I placed 2 buds side by side on the receiving branch appears to have taken quite nicely. This would seem a good way to place small bud chips in a larger branch from my single test.

The grafts where I made the flaps above and below seem to have had mixed success. These grafts where the receiving branch were younger seemed to take better than the older larger branches.

My standard chip budding and inverted T bud grafts seemed to have a far higher take rate than those I’d done in the past. In the old days I would simply use electrical tape for budding. Then the plastic stretchable wrap came along and I used that. The cheap clear wrap they advertise as parafilm on Amazon seemed to do very poorly. Switching to the much more expensive real parafilm wrap seemed to do much better this year. The real stuff is not transparent and has a waxy coating that is supposed to easily break down over time. Switching to the authentic parafilm wrap, while 5X (or more) the price seems to have increased my take rate quite dramatically.

Just thought I’d pass that along for those without a lot of bud grafting experience under their belt, such as myself.