Basic Tips For New Grafters #2: Different Grafts (Discussion Needed)

I use my own variation of Konrads variation on nearly all my grafts. @nicollas, on the stock its like any bark graft - the scion goes under the bark. The main difference is how he cuts the scion. Its nearly uniform in thickness over the length, because he “scoops” it out at an extreme angle right at the start.

I don’t make mine completely uniform over the length, its somewhere between Konrad’s completely flat cut for most of the length and the standard wedge of most bark grafts. It is very scooped-out at the start just like Konrad’s method. I feel a tiny bit of wedge to his graft gives a bit more contact overall.


Re: Konrad’s and Scott’s description.

I like when the blade finds that grain and the knife on it’s own follows the grain to the end. If you allow the tool do a lot of the work and just guide it to a starting point (and the knife is extremely sharp) it follows the grain like cutting thru well wood! It’s one of the greatest moments of life to repeat. It’s whittling 101 or 501 I don’t know which. Same with that initial angled cut just before you turn the knife and find that grain pocket. I get excited just thinking about it.



So I have my grafting knife, vinyl tape, paraffin tape, and some scions I trimmed from my apple tree. I have never grafted before so I wanted to practice before trying the real thing. I have been reading all the threads on this forum and watched multiple videos. I was mentally ready, and…

HOLY CRAP I’m going to cut my fingers off!!!

That’s the feeling I had making my first cut. I’m a chiropractor so I need my fingers. There is no way I’m grafting the scions I have coming without cutting myself at least a little bit. I found my instincts taking over while practicing and was scared of the blade. I would have said I was afraid of nothing, but I really had a frightened moment making that first cut.

Like everything in life, practice and trying will make it easier, but kudos to everyone for still having all their digits.


I’ve been playing with the idea of getting a Kevlar glove- about $10, I gather, on Amazon. They must interfere with dexterity, but if you only use one on the non-dominant hand you’d still have full use of the dominant hand. Might make wrapping cumbersome though.

I don’t do a huge amount of grating but I have yet to cut myself- knock on wood!

1 Like

Use a CD! See earlier in this thread.

I think the CD is a great idea if you’re bench grafting, but might be a little harder field grafting- I guess it would depend on what you were working with.

I use the CD in the field as well. (or a piece of cardboard if the CD is too small)

1 Like

field grafting. The fact so many have done it and lived to tell the story is encouraging.

1 Like

Ramv, I don’t see why you couldn’t make your own shield like a CD but with a larger hole if need be. One could file out the inside of CD to make it larger, too. You’re right- the CD ought to work outside too. Thanks for making the point.

1 Like

Trust me Jim- if I can do it anybody can!


Whenever I make bark grafts I usually take my knife and shave about a 2 mm wide strip down the back of the scion to expose green cambium so that now you have:

Bark | Roostock Cambium attached to bark | Scion Bark w/ Scion Cambium exposed | Scion wood | Standard Scion cut | Roostock cambium | Rootstock wood.

Who knows if this increases my take rate? I don’t… It makes me feel better though. Now I have 3 points of contact on the scion cambium.

1 Like

You will succeed!

1 Like

I use a roll of electrical tape to shield my hand while splitting rootstocks for clefts. It absorbs the shock of the blade and you can set it to the depth of the slice you want and still keep your fingers a respectable distance from the blade after cut has been made.


I keep a pair of butchers’ gloves around the house and often use one when making risky cuts.


When first seeing Konrad’s method on GW and I’m still wondering,because the photo isn’t real clear.Does he stuff the scion underneath the stock’s bark? Brady

I hope I’ve understood what you are asking correctly. In the below photo, on the left, use a knife to cut a line following the yellow mark down the branch. You can see in the photo on the right, an outline of the flap you just created. You are sliding down inside the flap you just created, making as snug of a fit as you can. Similar to sliding a bud into a T cut.


Okay,so the bark is split.Thanks. Brady


For me it looks like he cuts a line right down the middle of that “nub” cut.

On the scion after he has completed the angle and long cut, he exposes the cambium on the sides of the scion where there currently still is bark. You do that by allowing the knife to do the work and it will shave off the bark in such a thin strip that it’s less than “paper thin.”

Then the scion is inserted.

What you would furthermore look at carefully is how much more contact could potentially be made by shaving off more bark as you round the scion over (slicing more thin bark layers) on the side with the bark. So when you fold it all together you achieve maximum contact with the “winged” flaps of the rootstock.

It’s definitely a different method of bark grafting. Because… you’ve unfolded the insert area like opening up a book. That’s my reference to “wings.” Then when you close the book, you want the scion to have as much contact as possible “with the pages on each side…”

Oh yes, also on the back side you do make a 1/4" or whatever cut at the tip. And that is inserted under the bark.

It should be assumed the long cut on the scion is completed and turned over and a 1/4" or 1/2" “wedge cut” is completed. Then the book can be opened and the skimming off of the bark can be done; and finally it is all folded together. I think that’s called the enchilada grafting technique. :grin:


1 Like

Did you check out my pictures up thread? I did the same graft with a large diameter trunk. My version is less graceful but I took better pictures from better angles, I think. I love the technique; coupled with parafilm it feels very very forgiving and flexible.

I figure I have branches I pruned the same size as my grafted pieces sitting in the yard in the kindling pile that are still green and moist after a month in my current climate. I figure that means in my climate, knowing that the forecast is in the callous forming temperature for most fruit trees I have, I have over a month for the graft to take before its even in danger, and I have given them nearly two inches of potential grafting zone under the bark. I went four for four top working a peach in it’s fifth or sixth leaf last year, and I did six peach already this year and six pomegranates. I have six more of each to do when scions start showing up, so I will have a better idea of how successful I really am with it with a better sample size. When the sun comes out I will show the result from this year’s growth.

1 Like

Can any of you explain any advantage of complicating beyond a splice for spring grafts? The stronger connection via tension of an insert doesn’t count because electric tape (rubber or vinyl) renders that mute. I was at a site where I gave a 5 minute tutorial to a customer that claimed she was completely incompetent to perform skilled tasks. She used a cheap by-pass pruner to make about 10 grafts and only one failed- her first try. She had a couple that grew over 4 ft. and were well branched after a single short (northeast- late spring) season. Konrad always claimed he could perform his grafts in 5 minutes, but I wonder how long it took for him to get there. It takes me about 10 minutes a splice by the time I’m done wrapping and labeling and I do at least a couple hundred a season. How many hours would I waste by using a more complicated graft?