Grafted today (good, bad, ugly)

I got time and energy together and did some grafting to my apple today, and there is some good, some bad, and some downright ugly.

I’ve been abusing this poor Liberty over 15 years and am slowly gaining understanding in my attempts to make it into a multi-graft. This year I decided to add Calville Blanc d’ Hiver, Macoun (second, third? try) and Cox’s Orange Pippin. I must have two dozen other varieties stuck here and there, including some I’m not sure about.

I decided to follow suggestions here and use the 3M tape, and also cut whips with my nippers. I had played with a similar tape in the past, but this stuff is better- in fact, it’s my go-to now. It exerts enough force to cinch parts together, but gives enough so that you couldn’t choke them. (Yes, I’ve done that!) I believe it must seal as well as parafilm, but I overwrapped anyhow. And cutting for whips with the nipper is a treat- fast, straight, easy, safe, repeatable.

That’s the good. The bad is that I didn’t have all my stored scions quite damp enough and some showed a little stress, and some wanted to push buds. I went ahead anyhow and am hoping for the best.

The ugly is that I made a nice little cleft graft high up in the tree and then knocked it off with my elbow climbing down- and then may have messed it up in the second attempt. I find all this easier in theory than in practice; in the real world I keep getting branches in my armpit or the sun in my eyes. Half the time I’m just sticking wood onto wood and hoping good luck covers my blunders!

Anyhow, thanks to all for the advice, suggestions, and camaraderie.




I think your grafts will be just fine. I did some bark grafts my multigrafts apple tree a bout 2 weeks ago and the temp was in the high 50’s and mid 60’s and all the grafts showed green tips and good signs of taking. This weekend I am starting to graft my stone fruit projects (Sweet cherries, Nectarines, and peaches). The weather is going to be in the mid 70’s the next few weeks.


Did a few more grafts today and am more encouraged. Last week’s efforts look good at the moment, and this week’s went on much more readily. There is hope …

Observations: In the future I will wrap entire scions with parafilm as soon as I get them. It’s very easy to cut scions through the parafilm, and doing it this way reduces the chances of dislodging the scion by wrapping it too vigorously after grafting. You can also cut right through it neatly when preparing the scion.

And I expect to be using 3M Temflex 2155 tape on everything except possibly chips and buds. It’s everything Olpea and others say.

And as I said earlier, making whips with the pruning shears, as Alan describes, and then wrapping in Temflex, makes them come together so quickly and easily that you can’t imagine them not working! Combine those three things and the frustration factor drops hugely!

Thanks to everybody for all.


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That’s what so nice about this forum. Everyone shares their knowledge.

About a week ago I decided to order one of those Victorinox grafting knives (again) after so many people on this forum said that’s what they liked. I had lost mine old Victorinox years ago, but at the time didn’t think it worked any better than a regular double edged knife. The post where Appleseed showed the guy grafting with the Victorinox made me decide to order one (thanks Apple) on the grafting knife thread.

I tried the Victorinox on a graft yesterday and it was indeed much easier to make a straight cut with that single edge bevel rather than the double edge knives (or razor knives) I’ve used in the past. Thanks to all who recommended it.

Yes- I’ve gained so much knowledge from this forum, and I’m sure it’s much, much more than I’ve given. And this particular group of people is the exemplar in helping newbies, several of whom are having more success their first year than I had for several- and who will very shortly be providing that service to other newbies!

Olpea, which Victorinox knife did you get? I’m going to get one too, even if I can’t really justify it!

This is a great place. I love it.


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Is there a trick to cutting the whip with your pruning shears? I tried searching for Alan’s description you referenced but can’t find it.

Not too much of a trick- it’s more one of those “just do it” things. Since the cut is for a whip you want the stock to be pretty close in size to the scion. Cut so as to make the length of the cut as long as possible- that’s the most challenging part.

Really, the first time you try it you’ll see what it takes.

Here’s what I’d advise:

I) Stick a length of tape of your choice to the stock.
II) Cut the scion on the bias and stick it in your mouth.
III) Cut the stock on a matching bias.
IV) Place the scion and wrap with sticky tape
V) Re-wrap with parafilm. Label.
VI) Step back and wonder how it could be so straightforward.

Only shortcoming to my mind is that I’d like a longer cut, but I suspect it’ll be OK anyhow.

Good luck,


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Thanks. So looks like you don’t cut a tongue?


I got the Victorinox swiss army floral knife.

I see they sell a green one. My last one was green and I lost it (blends in wonderfully in the grass). I got a red one this time.

Olpea- thanks. I’ll get one too.

Hambone, you certainly could cut the tongue, but I didn’t on these. I felt like the cut was a little short and it might have been a good idea to cut the tongue- maybe next time I’ll try that.

How much was it Olpea incl. shipping?

Less than 15 bucks. From what I could tell, these knives are a dime a dozen but the single bevel design is really helpful in making straight cuts.

Did you purchase it from the link I posted in the thread you mentioned earlier? I think with the coupon it also came to just under $15 with shipping.
How do you like it? Was it sharp from the factory? Did you try it out on some wood?


" II) Cut the scion on the bias and stick it in your mouth." I saw one grafting video that a demonstrator did that to keep the cutting part moist.

I do not want anyone that I gave (or will give) my scions to, to do that. I spray my trees in late fall with copper and sticker. Although I don’t know if there will be any copper residue left on the scions, I’d not want anyone to keep them in their mouth.

Appleseed - can’t answer your question. I have the Victorinox but forgot about it when I grafted apples and pears last week :unamused: I’ll try it when I graft peaches and plum in a couple of weeks.


I ended up getting it off Ebay. It was sharp, although I didn’t check to see if it would shave hair. I did try it out on some wood and was pleased with how easy it made a straight cut.