Full interstem in one year

I’m going to try doing some interstems this year (M.111/G.11 & M.111/B.9). I’m wondering if anyone has successfully grafted both rootstock to interstem AND interstem to scion at the same time and had it take. If yes, any special considerations for doing so?


I did it in 8 months. Seville sour rootstock with and interstem on Poncirus Trifoliata then grafted with Fortunela Obovata. Different family all together but the same idea.

I am using a dark callousing method to prepare my interstems for top working my sweet cherries into plum varieties. To do this I first prepare the Adara and/or Cherry plum interstems by chip budding each with the plum variety of choice. Then I seal the majority of the interstem with parafilm, place it in a container with fresh water in bottom and cover with a dark blanket indoors for 1-2 weeks. This allows callousing of the plum chip buds onto the interstem, so they should be ready to grow once the graft onto the rootstock is healed. My plum buds are placed in the middle of the interstem leaving at least one interstem bud on either side of the plum chip buds. This keeps nutrients flowing thru the entire interstem while the chip buds are trying to grow.
You could try this on apple, prepare your interstems about 1-2 weeks before the outdoor temperatures are ideal for apple grafting.
Callusing temperatures of Fruit and Nut trees

Posted on May 21, 2013 by qwertyqweryt61

Many people ask me what are optimum callusing temperatures to ensure a good percentage of viable grafts.

Nectarines/Peaches – 18-26 deg C. ( 64.4 to 78.8F)

Apricots/Cherries – 20 deg C. ( 68F)

Plums – 16 deg C. ( 60.8 F)

Apples/Pears – 13-18 deg C. ( 55.4 to 64.4F)

Walnuts – 27 deg C. (80.6 F)

Grapes – 21-24 deg C. ( 69.8 to 75.2 F).

Do not forget tissue damage for most temperate fruit will occur at temperatures over 30 deg C. (86 F)

Temperatures either side of the optimum will also work, but the percentage take will be reduced. See graph below for walnuts.


Callus graph showing optimal temperature range

i have done multiple
MM111 with ~30-40cm interstem of M9 and B9. And then even chip budded at the top of the B9/M9 all at once and have it take.
if done roughly 14, i think 1 or 2 of the chipped buds did not grow. first year. (but they did take) (and i did 2 chip buds on opposite sides for espalier purposes)

I bought rootstocks of MM111 and B9 and M9.
Cut of the roots of the longest/straightest B9/M9, and grafted something on those “left over” roots. And used the long B9 and M9 pieces to W&T to the MM111. And chip budded at the end of those B9/M9’s.

I wrapped the whole 30-40cm B9 piece in parafilm and painted white. Not sure if it’s 100% necessary. But since it’s such a large piece and it was relatively sunny while planting i thought it could not hurt to lessen evaporation of the interstem.

I’m not sure if my description is easy to follow. But ill do some more the next week or maybe 2. Ill try and make some photo’s

I’ve done so the past few years. I graft the scion to the interstem piece first. So that when I graft the interstem to the rootstock, which is typically the heaviest of the three parts, it puts less stress on the first union. Have done some M111/BUD9 but primarily M111/G.41 Don’t know how long of an interstem piece you’re planning on, and I’ve no proof yet this works as I hope it will. But I use about a 12" long interstem piece and plant them out that fall, burying the bottom union by about 4 or 5". Anyway, good luck.

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I’m curious, why do it in 2 steps? Aren’t you worried you’ll wake up the plum bud? or buds on the interstem by letting it callous inside?

Apples are easier. But for my MM111/B9/2x chip of apple variety. I just did all the grafts on the same day, and than planted it outside the next day.

I did so since i assume if the temps are right for the graft to take on the rootstock/interstem union. They should also be good enough for the interstem/variety (scion) union. So i just did it all on the same day, let it all heal at the same time. I did keep my scions in the fridge at 2c though. And kept the rootstocks that donated the interstem piece outside at higher temps (2-10c) so the interstem would come out of dormancy before the scion.

i know ken from https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv2bvuWnc8v7NmBpzbICKmw/
Did the adara plum changeover with end of summer chip buds on adara shoots.
And then he cut of those shoots (containing the plum bud) in the dormant season and used those as “normal” scions during the dormant season grafting.

I have done several … just graft on the interstem, then one minute later pretend that is the stock and put the scion on the interstem with a wedge or whip and tongue graft. Fast, easy, reliable.


My first grafts ever were one step interstems doing bench grafting. Whip and tongue then wrapped with parafilm. Very reliable. I healed them in a safe spot for the summer then put in the ground at dormancy. M111/B9

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Actually no that why I callous them in the dark for several days indoors which is 68 degrees, much closer to ideal for plums that I can get outdoors, last 2 weeks barely got to 54 F with nighttime lows high 30’s. With sealed scions and no light the scions keep well a few days while callousing can occur around the clock much faster that the typical 3 weeks outdoors when temps vary so much. I admit that with apples it’s not necessary.

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Last year was my first year grafting anything. Because I am shooting for ~ 12’ trees and have clay soil that it certainly wetter than apples trees would like it I tried ~10 interstems made with M111, B9 and the scion. Of the 10 all but one was successful in growing the B9 but for only 2 did the scion grow (Virginia Winesap and Hewe’s crab). The grafts were either cleft or W-T, the two methods, I was trying my hand at. Of the two interstem successes both were cleft, but as I only attempted 10 I would not read much of anything into the statistic. I cannot characterize my technique (or lack thereof) vs that of another. I would just say that I was inspired by and tried to follow the skillcult videos on the topic (Interstem Grafting Videos — SkillCult). The grafted plants were treated pretty well I think: planted in a raised bed, given water, protected from cicadas. One thing I noticed about others’ grafts (e.g the handful I purchased from 39th parallel) was that they had covered the whole of the scion in wax whereas with mine I only parafilmed the graft union and the tip of the scion. This year I will try to graft new scions onto the 7 remaining m111/b9 treelings that I have and I will wrap the whole scion with wax.

Some pears are easier to graft than others. We use interstems a lot here.
The easiest pears to graft - pear interstems

There should be no buds on an interstem piece of wood

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Left buds on mine and rubbed them off later after the grafts took. That small yellow pear will graft to anything @Barkslip. It’s the best interstem.

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I did the same. Cheap insurance. I had to pinch some back though for low vigor scions because the interstem wanted to overtake the leader.

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I usually let several of my interstem native buds grow until my planted plum chip buds are growing, then I ascertain if my plums are aggressive enough to keep several interstem buds growing so that I can later chip bud plums without additional interstems.

a few days would be fine yes.
I was under the impression from your previous post, that you kept them indoors for 2 weeks. That time + high temps i would be worried of the plum bud breaking though.

You’re taking away healing power and it’s the not rubbing the buds off that creates failures. Your interstem should be budless.


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It was a back up plan in case of failure to leave a bud on the inrerstem. That way I could graft it again in 3 weeks If all didn’t go well. I’ve been down that road before. Better to have an interstem take than nothing.

You gotta get the interstem grafted to the tree or rootstock/bench rootstock so you don’t need buds.

once it’s grafted, it doesn’t need buds to grow… it’s alive and on there until you get your cultivar you wish for.

The whole idea is to have a piece of wood about 5" long and to do the work either as a one motion (doing it in one year) or (two years) doing the work over two years.

The interstem should always be w/o buds. Always.

Remember too, there are always buds under the bark (adventitious) that we can’t see and if for (I don’t know the reason) they will push and grow that interstem, but again, you don’t want/need any further growth from an interstem.

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My interstems all worked so it must be OK to do it the way I did as well.

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