Grafted trees and nursery sales

Hi all,I’m in conversation with our local market manager and she seems convinced that selling a tree the same season it was grafted is too risky because the grafts could fail.
I plan to graft 1/4" m7’s in mid March,hold them over in our greenhouse with parafilm for a few weeks and then pot them up.Our market season wouldn’t start until June.I feel like it would be apparent by that time if the graft has properly healed and taken.
Am I missing something fundamental?

Even once healed only a thin layer of tissue is holding the scion to the stock the first year so the risk of breaking apart is higher if marketed the first year.

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Hi Mike, Welcome to the forum.

Standard nursery practice with perennial trees is to wait one year, esp. to see if the union is sustained through the winter.

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wow,that only took a few minutes!i guess we’ll be offering nut seedlings and herbs this year.
thanks all

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As Richard said, even if a graft takes, it may not survive. If you sold the trees with the label “bench graft”, people would be aware of that risk although the general public might not understand the concept without further explanation. Most of my friends don’t even know what a graft is.


When it comes to plants (in general) that aren’t quite ready I prefer to simply let people know they’re on the way so they can expect them to be available in the future. Sometimes if someone convinces me they understand the risk and are willing to baby it for a while I’ll sell a small plant that otherwise wasn’t quite ready to go.

i got inspired reading about Burbank’s June budded plum order ,he sold something like 10,000 at the end of that same season

its sort of a bummer though,the price point would be nice for people and the roots would probablly look pretty nice after a few months in a deep band pot.

does anyone think a 4x10 band pot is too small to hold them over till next season.I could also put them in the ground if need be.

For commercial growers, large nurseries (like Dave Wilson in California) use June-budding technique to deliver potted Almond trees in the same year. These trees get ready for plantation in Fall, October-November being the ideal time. For bareroot trees, the type of Dave Wilson trees mostly available in nurseries, they do not use same-year grafts.

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A local bareroot nursery june-buds their peaches and other Prunus species, digs them in early winter, and then ships them out throughout the winter. They cater to commercial orchards and ship out hundreds of thousands of bareroot peach trees per year.

Their apples and pears however, are budded in late summer/early fall and aren’t dug until after the following growing season.

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what do you all think of grafting apples in March during dormancy, growing the tree out all season in ground, then selling bareroot once dormant again?

specifically - will there be a strong enough union with just the one growing season, and enough confidence that the tree will break dormancy with a healthy and un-heaved union? thanks!

I think the answer to this is dependent on the type of graft you use. I did some cleft and V-cut tool grafting on pear, pawpaw, and jujube this year that I am confident would be good to sell if I desired to.

Check out 39th Parallel’s website and how he sells / markets bench grafts. What you’re proposing is a little different, but seeing what Mike does may be helpful for you. I like buying bench grafts from Mike.

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Yes Mike does a great job and 100% of the trees he grafted for me did well.

Thanks! based on 39th Parallel’s site, it seems a custom first year tree is timed how I was suggesting - grafted during dormancy, allowed to grow for one full season, then sold during dormancy again.

hopefully with whip and tongue grafts they will be plenty strong!