Cherry grafts

I grafted some cherries about 10 days ago and now see that both the rootstock and scion are leafing out, is this too early? Do these grafts have a chance of surviving? I also did notice that the parafilm on some grafts started to rip, does this have anything to do with callousing and should I add another layer? (It’s been ripped for a few days now)


Hi Palmy,
Not sure if you want the buds that are not parafilmed to grow, since your pics do not show everything above the graft. I assume they are above the graft from the pics, but for certain you should prune off the bud emerging below the graft. A better picture showing the graft and all the tree above might give members the information you are seeking. Also I would wrap the main graft with something more than parafilm, perhaps a 1” wide plastic strip, or electrical tape to provide some strength to the union thru this growing season, make sure to stake it and support the tree from external forces of nature through the growing season. Once you have 3-4” of active scion growth, watch the graft to assure you remove the plastic strip should it begin to girdle the graft.
Good luck
Kent, wa

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Thank you for you response @DennisD, here are some better pictures. (I hope)

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Much better, I think this graft is working well. I would have parafilmed all your scion and each bud, but that may not be needed now. They look healthy. Just nick out any buds below the graft to prevent the rootstock from taking over. This needs to be done all growing season if you see other rootstock buds below your graft. Also do firm up the graft union with a layer of stronger tape and stake so that birds land on the stake rather than your tree!
Good job and good luck!
Kent, wa


Thanks Palmy
As I read your response I heard crows outside and that reminded me to go place stents on my recent apple grafts to protect from bird landings!
I do this usually with a stent that I secure in 3 places: at the graft union, on the rootstock end and towards the end of the scion. This stays on thru this growing season. May stay on a second year if they have fruit loads.

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That’s cool, I have my grafts in a greenhouse, but I should definitely consider putting some stakes to prevent birds from landing on the grafted tree.
Thanks for all your help!

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If both of these buds end up being flower buds is there still a chance this scion will grow branches?

Great graft. If frosts come bury it in mulch. Otherwise you are good, this should grow well. I also protect the base of the graft from sun with foil for the first few weeks. Not sure if you need that.

The energy to bud is in the scion. Thats why you can cut a cherry branch and bring it in for displays. The worry is if the root stock is too strongly dormant it wont push sap before the scion needs energy, and no callous could form.

The rootstocks all seemed to be coming out of dormancy when I grafted them. I see the leaf on the rootstock isn’t growing much but that’s probably because of the thick layer of parafilm. I was just worried that these buds are flower buds and not vegetative. Also how and when would I find out that the buds are growing from the rootstocks energy and not just the scion, it’s been 2 weeks since I grafted this.

Here’s an update on how the graft is doing.

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The graft does seem to be growing, but today I noticed a few leaves growing under the parafilm right at the graft site. I opened the parafilm and removed the growth. By the time I got new parafilm I noticed that the callous had started to become brown from the green color it originally was. Does this oxidizing effect ruin the callous tissue? (It’s been about a month since I grafted it)

The graft has grown a lot but I have a concern. The scion portion seems to have very vigorous growth but I noticed that the rootstock is barely growing. I know I probably should have removed the bottom growth long ago but I left a shoot or two on each rootstock just in case the top wouldn’t survive and I have yet to remove it. For some reason the rootstock in the previous images (few posts ago) barely seems to be putting out new growth. On the other hand the other 24 rootstocks seem to be growing quickly. The image on top is an image of the original graft that was in the previous pictures which has stunted growth of the rootstock and on the bottom is another rootstock’s growth that seems to have normal growth. What could be a reason for the stunted growth?