Bench grafting technique for persimmons/peaches/etc


Hi, I plan to be bench grafting a number of persimmon trees this coming season.

I’ve heard often mentioned on this forum that one needs to wait for the rootstock to be pushing before grafting persimmon (or nectarine or peach). It is recommended that the ambient temperatures be around 70-75F before grafting commences.

What if I had bareroot rootstock? Can I simply subject the graft point to the appropriate temperature and hot callus it for 3-4 weeks? All while keeping the shoot area and root area relatively cool. (50F or so).

The theory being that callus tissue forms and cambium around the graft point first heals together prior to roots pushing sap and possibly interfering with the graft union. Also keeping the shoot area relatively cool will prevent the tree from prematurely budding.



That should work, I will be interested to see what you come up with for hot callussing.


It will be interesting to see your results but Dax tried to Bench graft persimmons a while ago with marginal results by added heat. @Barkslip. I only had great results when the understock leafed out.



There are multiple threads here on hot callusing. I will agree that even if you are going to hot callus your bench grafts, you should wait for your rootstock to wake up first, even a bud showing a little bit of green is enough. Your going to knock off those buds anyway so they don’t interfere with the scion you just put on. I do get better luck with stone fruit by letting the rootstock begin to wake up first but pome fruit do not need it. I have not bench grafted persimmon or pawpaw, I do those in the field. Using hot callusing, I have trouble keeping the scionwood dormant.


I was shocked that in a week or 8-9 days my bareroot grafts rolled up in wet (not moist I mean wet) towels were dry to the bone. Right there I killed (everything but a few). Then later mold set in. Now I was using a/several garbage bag that I loosely tied shut to house a lot of rolled up towels (two rows & extra large bags) and later after I removed the dead ones (I’m talking hundreds) mold came in.

I know what I did works. My buddy did the same thing on a heated floor of a bathroom but he only did maybe 20 or something.

The heat mats I used I was blown away how hot they got. That’s what I didn’t expect and that’s what dried out the towels so quickly and the trees.

It would be worth trying again.



I was thinking of wrapping the graft area with a heat mat like this:

The 3x20 size seems nice. A thermostat can control temperature.
The trees could be bunched up in a nice bundle. Alternatively the trees could be laid out horizontally on the heat mat with just the graft area touching the mat.


Dax, that was unfortunate. It appears to be worth trying again with a thermostat.
Was this persimmon scionwood? Had the buds broken on them?

Once the area calluses( say 3-4 weeks). Can I put the tree back in cold storage or should it now be woken up? I am wondering specifically about persimmons.


If you’re going to use any type of heat mat, I would suggest finding one that you could adjust the temperature on and try it out for several weeks to make sure you can achieve the correct temperature through the damp towel between them and the heat mat. You may be able to use multiple towels to control temperature in the center. It’s going to be difficult to keep the towels damp unless you put them inside something and even then you need to keep checking on them every day. Any type of system you create from scratch will require lots of testing to get it right but I’m sure it’s possible just expect some losses due to ‘things’.


I am using a high quality thermostat to control my fig “pops”. The temperature can be adjusted and the swing is within 5-7F.


I think @ILParadiseFarm said it best.

As to whether you may or may not put the bareroot grafts into cold storage will all depend if they broke dormancy or not.

Oaks, beech, and some other “difficult to graft” ornamentals require about 21-days on a professionally built callousing bench whereas Japanese maples need more like 14-days. Sometimes a few extra days are required for easy or difficult. A callousing bench sure does bump up the take rates no question about that.

I’ll ask my buddy that uses a professional callousing bench if the grafts break dormancy and get back to you.



Okay I got a big ton of scoop of information that I need to type or I’ll forget some of.

65 degrees for the temperature.

bareroot perfectly fine. my friend has a channel with media in it that he sets the bareroot seedlings in and keeps that media moist.

the softer the wood (acer palmatum as an example) 14-15 days to callous
the harder the wood (beech, oak as an example) 21-22 days to callous

there’s no reason to take them out any any specific time of course. if the maples are in 18-days so be it.

he mostly hot callouses potted material but he said he also does bareroot. he knows a guy in Oregon that does strictly bareroot and this fella does Japanese maples/Acer palmatum. He callouses them and they don’t break dormancy and he then puts them in ‘something’ moist and puts them into cold storage until it’s safe planting time at which points he plants them directly into the ground.

my friend also said that early (December, January, February) the callousing bench won’t break the grafts dormancy. But he said that come March or “late” is the word I’m getting to that they certainly can. So the time you’re grafting will influence whether or not they may or may not break dormancy.

So if I was going to do this over I would use soil media to encapsulate the roots and rest the graft union only on the heating source. there’s no question ramv that the roots should be kept cool.

on a professional hot callousing bench a piece of poly is draped over it.

one last bit. the scion and union should be waxed/parafilm. and on a professional callousing bench there is a sponge that’s slightly damp (always) never soggy/ and the union is placed inside it where a slit in the sponge was made. therefore add these components to anything you do.

This is 100% the information for how to callous grafts ‘on the pipe’ as is what a hot callousing bench is called.



This is unbelievably awesome information. Thank you!
How do you know when the wood has callused? There is no ‘evidence’ like sprouting of leaves or root, no?


you’ll see callous. it’s a white tissue formation that surrounds the cuts. :slightly_smiling_face:



Yes, your ambient temperature will be what keeps your scionwood from breaking dormancy. I have a heated garage, which is why mine broke dormancy and why I quit doing it. You need a relatively cold room to pull this off. My apples callused in a week, so you’ll be surprised by how fast they callus. Just remember that they are extremely fragile still and whatever you do with them after they have callused you have to be gentle with them.


Yep my friend has two huge greenhouses. One is kept very cool and the other kept cozy warm. Of course as time heads into March the cooler of the two warms up substantially which ties all these components together and indeed why some grafts will break dormancy while on the bench. And I’ve been there at that time and his rootstocks are also breaking dormancy in that cooler of the two. So, it only makes sense.



I benchgrafted grafted a couple hundred persimmons early in the year and treated them the same as I do apples (storing them cool letting them callus over. I got a 40% to 50% take rate but, I am confident it will be 90%+ take by just grafting in Late April / May. I think persimmons can be grafted successfully grafted dormant but you should wait until it’s warm out unless you have a greenhouse.

Stone fruit does not accept grafts as well if it has just been transplanted. I’m not sure there is a efficient method for dormant (bench) grafting stone fruit. You would definitely need total control of temperature to force the grafts to get a good take rate.


My buddy said if he simply waits until April/May that he gets the same results as using the callous tube so right again.

This all ties together, nicely, simplistically.



Persimmons ;
Bareroot or potted ,I bring into a warm room 75-80deg. Say in early March here Wv. …keep "warm and wet " for 1-2weeks … To get them moving…
Graft., then heel in bareroottrees ( bundle together , label ,put in a large pot with soil ,water ,).poly bag over top keep warm for 2-3 weeks 75-80deg.
Until buds start swelling noticeable …,. Befor first leaf comes out
Pot up ,(, bare root trees ),put outside in nursery, with remay row cover. At that point I just need to keep a killing frost off.
I like getting the whole plant warmed up, roots and all,! ! !
I believe keeping. " the root “. – " warm, wet, and happy " is the key…!
I see this as " the " life force” coming from the root !
With out a good push from the root , you have little.

I like the idea of a warm pipe …
For healing the graft only.
Never tried it.

But ,I want the tree to jump …, not just heal.


Any way you can get a successful knit is the aim. The reason I did what I did is because I didn’t have any room in my greenhouse. Having a greenhouse is “whip (cut), wrap, wax, and walk away.” Of course potted stock is infinitely better than bareroot and you’ll get a substantial or sometimes an unbelievable amount of growth from containerized roots a year or more old. That’s the key: established roots.

But we all don’t want to wait until next year is the problem, lol.

Using a system like ramv is contemplating will work excellent if the stock is potted a year in advance and the foam and/or sponges are at the desired height so the seedling when laid on its side rest perfectly-horizontal on the foam w/o any pressure pushing from any direction on the union. I would use rolled foam cut to desired width and determine which containers I’ll be using in advance and set those containers side by side on both sides of the foam for maximum use of space. Then do the “whip, wrap, wax” and lay them in the slots cut in the foam to house the unions; cover with a piece of poly; and walk away whilst checking the foam daily to get a sense of how often it will need to be wetted down.

ramv can store the potted and grafted trees in cold storage or move them to as much strong light as possible at that time.



I have also has some success bench grafting Paw Paws and Jujube later in the spring.