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I like the rubber bands, also happy with parafilm. I like to wrap first with the parafilm because it helps hold things together, and then follow with rubbers to guarantee snug fits. But I also like using temflex as a first wrap, followed by parafilm. Search temflex for some fairly long discussions.

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I love temflex

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Funny, I like to wrap with rubber band first, because it helps hold things together, then follow with parafilm or buddy tape to seal in the moisture :slight_smile:

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Yup! It works both ways. But I have a little trouble holding the graft and getting the rubbers started. Temflex, of course, is really good that way because it sticks to the branch for you. I’ve gotten to where I’ll do a simple whip if I can and those have to be held snug when you first start wrapping. Whip and tongue or cleft type grafts are easier to keep aligned. (I do all my grafting on existing trees, as @ncguire mentions, and I guess that might be different from bench grafting.)

My only problem with temflex, and it’s a problem of my own creation, is that if you wrap too heavily with it it’s hard to remove.

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I just wrap my grafts with electrical tape, and leave it until it starts losing its tackiness a bit, and then carefully cut it with a box knife. Ten out of ten took, but they were all apple bench grafts.

Just curious as to who has the best prices on parafilm and temflex?

I don’t know who has the best prices of parafilm, but it’s reasonable at several places. Temflex is cheap at big box stores. And sliced up bread bags make ultra affordable wraps to cover rubber bands or Temflex. Might not even need that on Temflex.

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Thanks. I used the tape to good effect, but wince trying to get it off, I worry about stripping bark if I remove it too soon.

So, is Temflex more stickier than Parafilm?

Temflex is thicker, slower to break down under the sun, but I wouldn’t say it’s exactly stickier than parafilm. It definitely sticks to itself and to a degree to the bark. You don’t have to actually remove it: you can just slice it lengthwise and leave it in place to fall off on its own.

Olpea, I think, slices Temflex lengthwise off the roll, stretches it quite thin, and I think overlaps it. That may be all he does. But he’s better at this than I am!

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@marknmt, do you ever suggest just slicing regular parafilm and letting it fall off? I know I damaged a few grafts while removing mine. Most were because of the way I tucked in the ends, and I tried to unwind rather than cut through it.

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Well, I should just leave them to fall off. But I’m always too excited to see how they calloused up and whether they took well and will be all beautiful and all that I start picking at them after I’m sure it’s safe. Usually I can take my thumbnail and score a line in them deep enough to get them started, but if I have my knife with me (I can’t carry a knife in my pocket very well or it will rub a hole in my thigh) I’ll go ahead and use that.

I tend to get carried away with how much I wrap my grafts. So I’m likely to have too much stuff on there - otherwise the smarter thing to do would be to just leave 'em the heck alone! Sunshine and time will get the job done (talking about frameworking an existing tree.)

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Great information here. I will try grafting some new varieties on my existing trees this year. First time trying this. So hearing the types of tape here helps me pick out what may work.

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I W&T graft, wrap (quite a few times) with Parafilm, coat it and all of scion to the tip with grafting sealant. And never touch it from that point forward… Parafilm will expand and fall off on it’s own. Sealant just more thoroughly insures no moisture penetration, or loss.

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Do you do anything special to snug your grafts up with the Parafilm, or do you manage to get them tight by virtue of the number or times you wrap, or what? I think @scottsmith spins some of the parafilm into a kind of string which he can then pull quite tight. I’ve experimented with that a little and ti seems pretty doable.

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Parafilm is just strong enough… To pull somewhat snug, before it pulls in two. It is a bit difficult to cause it to really hold the scion and rootstock real tight to each other, without doing something like that. I may try putting rubber bands on after the Parafilm this year. Smaller scions which are more pliable are easier for Parafilm to apply the needed pressure too it seems like. On some larger ones I did wrap some additional layers of a stronger plastic after the Parafilm and actually did end up slicing it later because I was afraid it would girdle the tree.

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The devil is in the details, ay?!

I went out and did some whip and tongue practicing today. I just can seem to get the tongue part right. It ends up breaking off when I try and push them together. Am I not making the cut deep enough when making the tongue? I’m sort of afraid of cutting through too far and I’m holding back I guess. Also, is there a minium diameter for a scion to be able to be grafted in this way? Guessing that the thinner scions are just not thick enough to make this graft work, at least for me.

Glad I’m out trying early, though, before messing up the real deal.

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I have gotten IdaRed from an orchard in Gettysburg-ish. OK, generic apple flavor. nothing to write home about or graft. Some a bit more east, yup, flavorless.

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This season will be my first time to attempt grafting. I ordered four different apple scions, two pear, and two plum. I do plan to practice alot on random scrap branches before i try the real deal! Not setting the bar high but I am very excited!

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Practice helps. Just a whip (two matching slanted cuts) would work fine—IF you can keep the cambium lined up and get it tightly wrapped. But, the whip and tongue sure helps keep the pieces from moving around.

Bark grafts, saddle grafts are two options if the scion is a lot smaller than the rootstock.
Or, do a cleft graft with the tiny scionwood… with two pieces stuck in the cleft…one lined up with bark on each side.
(Remove the weaker one in a year or two).

And if the whip and tongue isn’t right…you can pull them apart and slice a bit more off to help align them better, Rosdonald. Just try to keep your fingerprints off the newly cut wood surfaces.

Not that there aren’t a few more possibilities, but these should be workable options if the scionwood is too little to do the whip&tongue.

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Keep the inner bark lined up on at least one side of the union…and wrap so it stays together…and seal to keep water and air from the graft. You can do it.

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