Apple grafting - callusing temp?

First time apple grafter :saluting_face: with a question about a less than ideal callusing temperature.

I just did some bench grafts today and I suspect I’ll have a pretty low success rate (more on that below) but I want to do what I can to get at least a couple to take.

I’m in the UK in zone 10a, so while we get some frost some years, we never get long freezing spells. Right now it’s around 7 to 10°C during the day and no lower than 5°C at night. Next week we’re going to get a couple days at 5 during the day and dropping to 2°C overnight. I’m not expecting it to go below that, but the wind chill here might just push it down to freezing.

I’ve loosely bundled the grafted whips together with the roots tucked into a small amount of loose, very slightly damp non-organic potting mix in a big plastic bag. I wrapped a few sheets of newspaper over the scions to block light but allow lots of airflow.

I can either stick them in the unheated north-facing shed at the end of the yard (super cold but no wind) or I can keep them in the coolest corner of the tiled kitchen floor, which is still around 21°C.

I know they’ll be alright in the cold in a week or two once the callusing starts, but is it worth keeping them indoors until that upcoming cold snap passes?

As for why I’m bound to fail :sweat_smile: circumstances meant I’m not set up for success. Scions are from mid October, kept nicely cool and damp in the back of the fridge the whole time, but the friend that gave them to me didn’t realise they need to be pencil thick - so some of these are just 2mm across and none are actually thick enough by any stretch. So the scionwood could be fresher, but also needs to be much older/thicker. Since they’re really rare varieties, and since I’d ordered rootstock before I knew the scions are probably useless, I just went ahead. What else can you do :confused:

I grafted onto G214 (17 of these) and M116 (only 3 of these). Here are some pics of the mess!


Hi Ari,
Looks like a good first effort! I’m not familiar with your weather patterns in UK, but you may want to read this thread to make plans for what to do next while your grafts are callousing. Keep them cover by all means to avoid direct sunlight for 3-4 weeks while your grafts callous.
Good luck and welcome to the forum!
Kent, Wa


You might be pleasantly surprised at your success rate. As long as you have cambium contact somewhere along the graft you have a chance!

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Thanks Dennis! I’ve been reading and learning for a few months, really happy to have found this little community. :relaxed:

Thanks Mark! I read up on the ways utilising a shorter cut on the back side of the primary scion cut plus positioning the graft at a slight angle can help with cambrium contact, so fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:t2:

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I think you will like this forum, there are a great number of really informative and freely sharing members on almost any subject you might have for propagating, growing and caring for fruits and veggies as well as innovative methods of improving growing media
Take care

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