Grafters: Do not go to this page

I suspect plain ole masking tape will work, provided the cuts are good and the fit is tight.
I used it one time on a saddle graft where the small scion and small twig were the same size
and it took.

I tried masking tape one year and it worked fine. Only problem was that the dern tape stays ugly for a long time - years. And I suppose some tapes would tear too easily.


I am in the same boat! Super excited to try it out. The biggest pointer I’ve seen is that you need a very sharp knife to make clean cuts.



Share some pictures of your cuts and I’ll be happy to give some pointers. If anything it should be easier on small diameter scions.


Not sure if I’m talking out of turn, but in my experience cleft grafting pawpaws, parafilm alone is not adequate. You need rubber bands or something similar to apply pressure to the union. Otherwise the callous growth will just push the graft apart.


Not at all. The thread has taken this direction and you’ve made a direct, relevant contribution. More power to you. But next time you have to buy coffee.


For thin scions grafted onto thicker stock with slipping bark I use the lateral bark graft described by Sacadura in his YouTube videos

Practice is a good thing especially if your new to grafting. After using W/T grafts for over 30 years I switched to mostly cleft grafts. Clefts are just easier and faster with good results.


Agree the cleft grafts take. But the union is a lot uglier, and i do wonder if it won’t be much weaker in 8 years when the tree is loaded with fruit in a windstorm.


I tried W and T grafts when I first started grafting 20 years ago. I soon found cleft grafts were a lot easier for me and have done that ever since. Sometimes they look ugly initially, but I’ve not found them to be weak after they’ve callused and grown.


I agree that the cleft union can be ugly, and I have a fair number of those. But I didn’t learn until lately that you need to have enough grafts on a stem to ensure sap flow all the way around the stem, and I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve had that happen. And I have a few cleft grafts that have worked very nicely and even “disappeared” after about four years (whereas a good w&t can disappear the next season!)

I haven’t had any grafts fail -yet- but I don’t do enough of them to be a good judge there.

I will say that I think a simple whip graft without the tongue can be perfectly good. But the tongue is dern handy to help hold things together while you get going.

I’ve always thought that it’s easiest if the scion and the stock are as close to the same size as possible, and it’s really nice when the stock you’re grafting to is young.


I’ve gotten a lot from Fedco. They sell scion by the foot for less, but there’s a substantial minimum length -per varietal- that precludes most of us from using that option. I’ve had success with most of what I’ve received, so that’s great. However, the caliper of many scion were questionable and many were twig tips. It seems to me that the thicker caliper is reserved for the bulk buyers.

Undoubtedly, that’s good business for them. For us… we pay more for shorter and thinner scion. Home grower? Second class. Still… I have lots of trees from it so maybe I should be quiet and happy that I got the varietals that I wanted.

1 Like

A quick update on my grafting practice. Ok my kitchen floor is full of wood pieces, but I learned something new this morning. I wasnt pulling the blade across and down like Skillcult was demonstrating in his videos. When I combine both motions, I’m taking off more wood with a single pass and doing less of a whittle. I’m doing it by holding the wood in front of my chest and cutting by pulling my hands apart and down. This seems to give me more control than holding it out front and pushing the blade outward, although both work. Before, I could never have taken the piece down to the size I wanted with a single cut, but now its possible. Wondering if anyone else new to grafting has discovered this.


Good suggestion.
Hey…the concept works also when you’re peeling potatoes…same principle.
(Or carving meat, or skinning an animal, etc…even slicing up the bird at
(Those with an electric carving knife might not get it, but the movement in two directions also works best with a hot uncapping knife when you’re extracting honey from the bees.)

I think cleft grafts should be stronger than most- the support is vertical and in line, and as it calluses the whole graft union gets grown over/around and becomes integral.

I’m more worried about the nursery stock I buy that’s been budded. The buds can stick out from the stock at a 90 degree angle, and then the trunk makes another 90 degree angle as it turns up towards the light.

Using a grafting tool and getting good with it really helps with the snugness factor. If I cut both stock and scion right, and they’re size matched, they jigsaw right together and I can wrap them really tight. When they’re mismatched or imperfect somehow, it gets a little tricker and I need to correct with my grafting knife.


Whip and tongue
Saddle graft
can be mathematically proven to be the superior graft options
so far as their integrity is concerned if done properly.
(You need rootstocks and scions that match in size, ideally).

But, any kind of graft that takes will work, if you’re careful with it, not bumping it around the first year or two, and don’t allow it to over-crop the first year or two it has some fruits.

(There wouldn’t be any issues with a budded tree once you get past the first year or two…a crooked trunk is no big deal unless someone is OCDC about everything being straight.) :rofl:


no big deal unless someone is OCDC about everything being straight.

I have CDO. It’s like OCD except the letters are in proper alphabetical order :wink:


I have some budded plants that I worry that all the weight is shearing directly down along the rootstock. Makes me nervous, and it’ll be many years before the trunk grows enough to include the angle.

My cleft grafts don’t worry me, they look strong and straight. Ditto for my whip/tongue and grafting tool ones; the grafting tool cuts may as well be whip/tongue in my opinion, they grow ridiculously strong when both sides of the cut take and callus. When one side does, it’s fragile for another year before it heals over enough to be tough.


What’s bad is if you are both dyslexic and OCD.


Anyone hot tube grafting hazelnuts? If so what temperature is being used.