Budding tape

What do you prefer? I used to use clear LE Cooke 4ml vinyl tape from Womacks Nursery but apparently the manufacturer has been changed and now the tape isn’t as strong as it once was. http://www.lecooke.com/supply-division/miracle-garden-tie.html Now I use 6ml vinyl tape from another source, it is a little stronger but I still like it: Grafting Supplies: Aglis Buddy Tape & Clear Nursery Tie Tapes. Some like colored tape but I always use clear as I can see thru it and tell whether the bud is still alive.

Some friends swear by buddy tape but I can’t see paying $30 a roll when I can get the vinyl tape for $3. Some use parafilm but I find it not strong enough for me. I use parafilm for wrapping scions only so they don’t dry out. I also use it to cover stumps for bark grafts, some use grafting wax but I never do.

I use 1/2 parafilm and then reinforce with LE Cooke white nursery tape. Parafilm wrap starts 1/8" below where the cut ends and wrap the entirety of the scion. Then the vinyl white tape tightly wrapped around the contact point of the graft. Get more than 90%success on plums.

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I use Temflex rubber tape. It’s about $3 per roll. I use a razor to cut it lengthways to get 3’8" rubbers. It sticks to itself much better than rubbers, but not so much it tears bark when removing. And it’s very stretchy. I used to buy it at Home Depot, but they quit carrying it and went to a cheaper brand, which I don’t like. I went to another Home Depot and bought the last 8 or so rolls they had.


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Would any electrical tape work?


I’ve used vinyl electrical tape before and much prefer the rubber tape myself. Some people wrap the vinyl tape backwards so it doesn’t stick to the bark, but I still like the rubber tape for the stretchy-ness. Temflex also breaks down in sunlight, so it doesn’t girdle and removes itself if you allow.

I’m all about saving money myself, but the amount of Temflex I use per graft is pretty much insignificant, so I like to go with what I think is the better product.

I do wrap the grafts with 2" parafilm as well. That is much more cost (about $30 per roll) but a roll lasts a really long time.


Do you mean that each single graft gets both parafilm and Temflex? If so, does it matter which goes on first? Or do you mean that some you do with parafilm and some you do with Temflex?

Use Parafilm only for moisture sealing… I would never count on it to have enough structural strength to hold anything. My minimal experience with the Parafilm Grafting Tape is that… I don’t care for it… I ‘grew up’ using Parafilm M, and I’m fully comfortable with it.

I wrap graft union and entire scion with at least one (usually two) layers of fully-stretched Parafilm M; then, depending upon the species… I’ll wrap the union with a rubber band or, in the case of nut trees, which are slow to callus in… I overwrap with masking tape, and then with a rubber band.
Later in the season, I’ll even cover the union on pecan/hickory grafts with aluminum foil.


I use both on all grafts and budding. I happen to like to wrap the Temflex first, then follow up with the parafilm for moisture sealing.

As Lucky brings to thought, there are lots of folks who wrap with parafilm first then go with something to “hold” it over the top. I’m used to wrapping the “hold” material first then wrapping the moisture conserving parafilm over the top.

It probably doesn’t matter much. There are a dozen ways to play a beautiful song. What we are really talking about here are instruments. Imo, Temflex and Parafilm M (the 2" stuff, or dipping the scions with meticulous care in paraffin wax, which is essentially the liquid form of Parafilm) are the Stradivarius’es, How the song comes together is the preference of the composer.


Thanks much! HD is out here too, but Lowe’s has it, so I’ll be picking up a bunch from there today. You mentioned dipping them in parafilm wax. I’ve done this before. I just got a lot of pear scions in the mail. I won’t be able to graft them until probably the beginning of next month. We have a week in low 50s here and lows in the 30s. We had the 2nd warmest January in history… going back 65 years. I still feel weird grafting this early, so I’m going to wait. Since pear scions are easy, do you think it’s that critical that I dip these in wax?

I like using rubber bands with parafilm over that. I’ve found store bought rubber bands work better than the actual grafting budding strips. My cheap rubber bands would deteriorate faster and not have to worry about girdling. The grafting rubber strips held long and if you didn’t monitor them and give them a little help to loosen they would girdle.

I’ve used tape and material just to try out and they work well. Just feel better with rubber bands… I wouldn’t feel comfortable using only parafilm.

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No. Pears love to be joined. They don’t care about the details. It’s like the old joke, graft pear to a broomstick and get a new tree.:1st_place_medal::ok_hand::raised_hands:


Glad this topic came up, I have a lot of the same questions. I have never grafted so I was planning on taking my scion and do a whip and tongue graft onto existing branches. I was going to wrap the graft union with paraffin tape, then wrap that with black electric tape. Do I wrap the entire scion from tip to graft with the paraffin tape? If I use the black electrical tape, do I have to remove it by a certain time as to not strangle the branch?

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I wrap the complete scion with parafilm. The cheap black tape I’ve used in the past normally loosens up and hasn’t been a problem of girdling. You still want to keep an eye on it… just in case.

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The primary function of the parafilm is to prevent dessication of the scion while permitting growth. As many others point out, it’s not that good for binding.

I like to wrap the entire scion in parafilm for storage. When I want to graft I cut the scion at the desired angle with my nippers, cutting right through the parafilm but not removing it. If you end up pushing a bit of parafilm back out of the way there’s no harm done. Just go ahead and make the graft and wrap over the new part with fresh parafilm, and then follow with tape or rubber bands for mechanical strength.

Whip and tongue is a nifty graft, with the tongue part providing a little help in aligning the pieces. I’ve had them “disappear” completely the same season on pear, which really makes you feel like you know what you’re doing! But I doubt they have any great advantage over a simpler whip graft, which is much quicker.

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Follow up question. Is it possible to graft a scion onto a smaller diameter branch?

I never have, but I’m sure you could, given a good cambium match on at least one side. I wouldn’t want a great disparity.

In that case you might consider budding or chipping instead.

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Got it at Lowes…


Are you asking if you can graft a large scion to a smaller rootstock or limb?


I have a one year old Golden Delicious. For the life of me I’m not sure why I planted a Golden Delicious. I have several scions ordered and was wondering if I could turn several of the GD branches into something else. The branches are the size of pencils, there about.

Same size or smaller scions work.

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