Budding tape


GD is one of my family’s favorite apple out of all my apples I grow. They love the sweetness of it. But of course you can graft any type of apple you want onto your GD and turn it into something else. I’d encourage you to at least leave one branch GD. That’s what I have done, though my tree was not a GD.

Is there a grafting guide or reference thread?

I’m not against GD, but I go on this forum and get all excited about things I’ve never tried, then winter comes and I have nothing to do but think about doing these things. Then I buy too many scions. Oh well, I’ll give it a try.

We always pick a bag of GD from the local orchard, good for some pies.


Yes…! That’s the stuff I like. People can graft using anything, so I’m not trying to be snobbish here with my recs. I’ve even used plastic bread sacks cut into strips as well as Glad wrap, when I first started because I heard some people using it. Big nurseries use budding rubbers, so there isn’t a magic formula.

But, imo, you have the primo stuff there. I like the feel, the stretchy-ness, everything, it’s just lovely. You do have to cut it lengthways for ease of use for most grafting/budding. It takes a little extra time, but not much.

I just cut it lengthways on the roll, as needed in the field, with a knife (sometimes with my grafting knife). The rolls are 3/4" wide and when you go around them lengthways in the middle with a knife, the strips to tear off are 3/8" wide.

I rip the protective plastic off and pre-stretch it just like parafilm. Goes on like it was made for it.


Buddy tape is the best, NOTHING ELSE even comes close!


Ha! Glad I read this again! I thought you said GD was “good for some pigs.”


I think it’s time for one of you ‘pros’ to make a grafting video and post it on the forum! I would love to see how this is done . . . 'Have a hard time following all the questions, because I know so little about grafting.

My husband just piped in . . . (is he allowed to offer a suggestion even tho he is not a member? LOL) His Ft. Lauderdale, Florida grandma used to take a young branch of one of her citrus trees and wrap it with sphagnum moss . . . while still attached to the living tree. She would keep the moss damp . . . and Wah Lah! Roots would form under the moss. Then she would cut the branch, with the roots, and plant it.
I don’t know how this would affect the ‘new tree’, being that it would not have the stronger root stock that it probably should. ?


Buddy tape is worth the money. I get almost 100% takes with it. A roll lasted me for about 5 years.




Just a couple for starters- I left out great stuff by others here and will admit to losing track and leaving good work out. So here’s an appetizer for you!



Believe it or not, there is actually a name for that (air layering). Most people don’t do it with sphagnum moss anymore, but the concept hasn’t changed. You can search the forum under the term “air layering” to read about some of the techniques.


Is it possible to graft a scion onto a smaller diameter branch?

Yes, I have done it many times, using what I call a reverse cleft graft. You just make a cleft graft, except doing the opposite things to the scion and rootstock.

Cut the taper in the rootstock, split one end of the scion and slip it over the tapered cut on the rootstock. Position the rootstock so it’s all the way over on one side of the scionwood, so the cambium is matched up, then wrap. It’ll look weird and top-heavy if it’s a bare root but a limb might be all right. I’d find a slender stick and put underneath it and wrap it onto the limb and the end of the scion so a bird can’t land on it and dislodge it.


And I’ll just bet that yours are NOT the mealy things they sell in the supermarkets!
I buy one Golden Delicious each winter, hoping it will be like the GDs that we could buy years ago. But, I am always disappointed. (I can’t believe that anyone actually buys them! At least not more than once!)
Yesterday - I tried an Envy. Big. Beautiful. Hard. Promised to be super. The texture was great. Really crisp. But, the taste left a lot to be desired. Kinda ‘nothin’.


WOW! Thanks! I’m so glad to see this. I was hoping maybe someone already had made one.
These pics are great. I’ll go back and take a more focused look, when I have the time. I don’t think I have any, yet, that I want to graft . . . but it is something to work towards.


I have a very basic question.
What is the difference between a scion and any other ‘branch’ used for propagation?
Is it that a scion is a branch that is not a sucker or a water sprout? I looked the word up in a dictionary and it did not specify.


While we’re throwing out ‘alternatives’, I have a friend who recounted following her grandfather grafting apples back in the last century… he would bind the graft union with cotton string, then slather the union and scion with a healthy covering of slightly-thicker-than-soupy cow manure, fresh from one of the farm’s dairy cows. Anyone who’s stepped in a cowpie knows that they usually sort of get a dry, protective crust… but are still moist underneath for quite some time.
I suspect that the cow manure helped seal in moisture…and probably there were some antifungal properties, as well. And… apples/pears callus in pretty rapidly.

I’ve wrapped Parafilm over or under my budding rubbers… doesn’t make much difference which order you do it in. I used to purchase red budding/grafting rubbers, but after Mellingers went out of business, I couldn’t find them affordably, and just switched to the widest office-supply store rubber bands I could find. They work just fine, and do degrade pretty quickly with UV exposure.


I use the word “scion” for the piece I’m stealing from one source to place elsewhere. Any branch or stick that will succeed is good, and water sprouts and suckers make good scions.

As a rule good scions are from last year’s growth, are roughly the diameter of a pencil, have well-defined dormant buds that are nicely spaced, i.e., not too close to one another, and which have not been allowed to dry out.


The last roll of budding tape I bought was from Peach Tree Orchard Supply. Not expensive at all.


Can you tell me why you cut the tape in 1/2 instead of using it as is?


Buddy tape is different from budding tape. Buddy tape is supposed to be much better, at least many say it is, I have not used it. I will give it a try though. It also comes with a roll of tying tape that looks good. I myself don’t like the rubber electrical tape. I find it sticks good, and for me does not rot off fast enough for my liking. The wood cannot breath through it, so I would prefer it was gone by the end of the season. My experience is a mess at the end of the season with this rubber tape. I tried putting it n backwards, not as bad but still not acceptable. It does not want to come off sticky side either way. Hard to remove without breaking the graft. Here it does not break down for about 2 years. Way to long for my liking. Maybe in hotter environments it breaks down faster. Anyway i won’t ever use it again. I prefer a tape that does not stick. I don’t mind cutting it off, prefer to have tape like this as it comes off super easy and tends not to discolor wood. Now I have clear tying tape, and I think I will probably love it. Comes with Buddy tape. We will see this next grafting season.


Yeah. As you use it you’ll see that the 3/4" tape is too wide, for most grafts. Cutting it in half is about ideal for wrapping (and not coincidentally, the same size as budding rubbers). I have used the 3/4’ width for really big grafts, but for pencil sized grafts, I like half the width. As a bonus it makes the roll last longer. It’s a 7’ roll, but by the time you stretch, it’s double, then when you slice it in half, it’s double again. So a $2.50 roll ends up being a long roll.

This is different than regular electrical vinyl tape which a lot of people use. As Drew sort of alludes based upon his comments, I think he’s referring to the the electrical vinyl tape which has a sticky side and a non sticky side. Many people on the forum wrap the black vinyl tape backwards, as Drew mentions, but what I am referring to here (and the rolls you bought) are the true rubber electrical tape. It doesn’t have a sticky side. Neither side has adhesive. Because it’s so stretchy, it will not girdle.

It’s like 10 times the cost of vinyl electrical tape per roll, but still reasonable at $2.5-$3 per roll. Since it doesn’t have any adhesive, it sticks either side. Being black, I especially like it because it absorbs and transfers heat to the union, in colder grafting conditions, vs. clear tape. The downside of course is that it can heat the union up too much, which may require some aluminum foil wrap.

Again, I’m not willing to fall on my sword based on the type of wrapping to use, just that I like the Temflex. I’ve done a lot of grafts over the last 10 years, and tried lots of materials (masking tape, vinyl electrical tape, plastic, etc.) and once someone recommended the Temflex, I fell in love with it.

Honestly, I haven’t tried the Buddy tape, but it’s about 10 times the cost of rubber tape, and doesn’t have the benefit of black to absorb heat, so I haven’t been that excited to try it. It’s basically clear stretchy tape. Probably no different that Parafilm, though from the experience of other users, it doesn’t break down as fast. As mentioned, I use Temflex for wrapping strength and Parafilm M for moisture seal.

I do quite a bit of grafts per year the last few years, and pretty comfortable with my system (but I do mostly budding). For the last few years I’ve successfully budded/grafted about 50 peach trees per year (and sold the extra) on rootstocks. I’ve found this is much harder than grafting to existing mature peach trees to add varieties, so I’m pretty comfortable with the supplies I use. I’m probably not any better than other folks who graft a lot of peaches here, but I’m probably not any worse either.

@Barkslip mentioned a tool in a thread which garnered my attention because it seemed to produce such clean, effortless cuts for I bought it because for 30 bucks seemed like a no-brainer. I haven’t used it in the field yet, only in practice. But, so far, it strikes me as as one of the cleanest cutting easy to use tools I’ve seen. Based on practice, it gives perfect matches every time, which is more important than various wrapping materials (although wrapping materials can increase success, imo.)

As an FYI, here is some notes from large peach nurseries who graft. It’s just based on informal telephone conversations of large nursery growers (some mentioned frequently here) but sometimes that’s some of the best info.


Golden delicious and delicious apples really are good apples fresh off the
tree in September at the peak of flavor. Last good one I had was in Wenatchee, WA. Cold
storage really kills them.