Bench grafting peaches

Does anyone have experience bench grafting peaches? I tried some years ago and I got something like 1/4 to work, and I have not tried since then. I didn’t know much about grafting back then, it was my first year and I didn’t have very good luck on any of the grafts.

Well, that was as of an hour ago, I just tried a couple now. I have 50 or so peach seedlings I needed to dig up so I have lots to experiment on. What has me intrigued is since peaches are more sensitive to callous temps I can keep them at the perfect temperature inside. I can also keep them nice and humid so they will dry out more slowly. They are now sitting in the basement with a big bag over them, we’ll see how they work out.

I have bench grafted grapes not too long ago, grapes also like higher temps and I had pretty good luck with that – better than my poor results on dormant field grafting. I finally did find a good field grafting method for grapes, let some nice big green shoots come out in the spring and graft the dormant scions to those. Almost all of the green grape grafts I did worked.

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That’s what I initially wanted to do with the seedlings I am getting from you; but I thought I may have better success budding them late Aug. Of course I have never grafted before :blush:.

I am benchgrafting peaches with variable success. Some years I get 80% takes and some (like last year) only 10%. I usually start in the 2nd half of April during mouse ear stage. April was very cold last year so I think that was the cause of the failure. It seems like I am getting the best results from youngest/green scionwood that grew in the 2nd growth phase after the summer heat is over.
But you cannot really affect what you get from others :slight_smile:
All the rootstocks with failed grafts are t-budded in the summer.

Scott,

If you can, bury the union and scion in your media in a very warm atmosphere. That always helps with all bench grafting. Unfortunately I can’t ever do that but I do have a greenhouse that really warms up during any sunny day. It was at 93 late morning and 81 now.

You’ll have to keep the understocks clean somehow though as they sprout under the media. It can be a really big hassle when you bury your grafts.

I would like to keep my greenhouse warmer at night but it costs too much for me. I keep it at 50. In an ideal world I’d keep it above 70 at night. 75 being perfect.

Dax

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fluffy bunny greetings…

Bench grafting peaches is a very furry kittened undertaking…but you knew that,already. However dormant wood bud grafting when the sap is flowing almost always takes, and at the same time I have never ever had a rind graft fail. Of course same season budding is also useful but I get the idea you are using dormant wood so dormant buds or a rind graft are likely candidates. I would do this in the field and transplant next year.

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I couldn’t agree more.

Dax

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I’ve done many field grafts on peaches, thats how I always do it. Since I already had these guys dug up I thought I would try some bench grafting… I’ll know in a month whether its a good idea or not.

Dax, 93 sounds too hot for bench grafts, grapes are the only thing that callous well at temps like that. If you could keep it in the 60-80 range though it would work well. My greenhouse has a fan with a thermostat on it so I can keep it at any temp I want now during the day, but it will get into the 50’s at night.

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Thanks Scott!

I’ll crank the thermostat down. I can keep it at 80 with some opening of the doors and a window connected to my basement.

Dax

I’ve done both bench and to already planted roots and by far I had much better luck with pre-established roots. Going to try again this year to bench and graft to existing root in ground, when the weather isn’t so up and down. That will probably be after mid May here in my Ohio zone.

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Has anyone used heating cables to warm the graft Union? This way you can keep the roots cool to avoid flooding the union before the graft has callused.Also prevent shoot from pushing prematurely.

I tried it two year ago and got a few to take. The problem is that peaches do not accept any graft well if they have been transplanted that year. I would put them in their final location or pot them and graft them next year.

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Peaches and Apricots are fussy Scott and I’m envious over your 25% takes you got last time. If one thing is off nothing works. You need perfect cuts, perfect scion and rootstock, perfect compatability, correct moisture & temperature and be consistent on everything. From my perspective your the expert and I’ll follow your lead since your 25% successful. Seen many try without your results ( most of the time people get 100% fails)

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Thats my normal method as well. I transplanted a dozen for grafts in the future and since I had about 30 left over I figured I would have some fun with them rather than throw them out.

The main reason why I thought it might be worth trying is I can keep them exactly at optimal peach grafting temperature and maybe that will up the odds. That worked really well for grapes, its 24/7 at perfect temps which is a huge plus.

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Hi Scott, can you please update about your experiment with bench grafting peaches. How successful it was?

Gee, it was awhile ago and I don’t remember exactly. But my memory was the grafts themselves did well but I had problems with the trees surviving transplant.

This fall I decided to bud for something different and it looks like I got many takes. I am going to move some of the trees with takes into the main orchard this winter.

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I’m now Getting around a 75%+ success rate by heating the graft to 80f+ with a heat lamp. Not a perfect take rate but, better then planting and waiting a year to push a bud or topwork. I suspect this method might work as an alternative to the hot pipe callus method for other hard to graft tree species.

The next experiment will be rooting peach cuttings. The only downside to a rooted peach cutting is unknowns about winter root hardness, nematode resistance other site specific issues. I would only be distributing them locally so, as long as they work here, who cares.

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Mike that is an interesting approach and idea. I will let you tinker with the idea a bit more and then pick your brain. LOL
Grafting year old peach root stock in the ground has proven successful for us, but digging a 2 year old peach tree in our experience is a huge amount of work. At least on Lovell root stock they grow tremendously fast.

Yes, Digging them up by hand is not happening. Shipping potted plants is a pain and we have to worry about Japanese Beetle grubs in the potted soil.

I may build a root pruning bed or try planting some in soil mounded on concrete. They probably aren’t a good candidate to grow on a large scale for us but, where should try to propagate a few for the local market.