Grafting for complete beginners?

Thanks but I’ve never seen this subject discussed in print or video and think I’ve viewed all of Applenut’s good videos.

Maybe I should of asked differently. What size scions are regularly sent out from dealers as well as members.

I like pencil-sized and have worked with up to 1/2" and down to 1/4", maybe a hair more or less either way.

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Try this one- unless I misunderstand it might be what you’re looking for:

Edit- I see that the link doesn’t work, but I don’t understand why; I copy and pasted from a working link on my url bar:

If you right-click on the last link it will work.


Clark- I think your thread is the one I was searching for, helps a lot. Thanks. I have always figured I should force something- tree kote or Doc’s- down into the cleft to keep it from drying out. Now looks like that’s not a good idea. I have some grafting putty I’ll put in the cleft and then do Doc’s. Lots of expertise on this forum.


I’ve only used asphalt based sealer on one set of bark grafts a few years back and the grafts failed due to deer pressure. But I’ve used toilet ring wax on several grafts last year. Most notably a double cleft graft of sweet cherry. The understock was about 1.5" diameter and I inserted two scions. I used toilet ring wax and to this day the grafts are thriving and the wax looks like it did on day one. From what I can tell the toilet wax never melted down into the cleft. I don’t know what the melting point is for toilet ring wax but my summers get pretty hot and humid. I’ve also used toilet wax on a course of side grafts which also took and are thriving.


This is the first that I’ve used and may be the last,once the container is spent.The stuff works okay and I did like Mark,putting it at the ends of scions,after grafting.
That’s when I left the scion bare,but now,the whole thing gets wrapped in Parafilm,as others have mentioned.
I haven’t tried Treekote,but the Tanglefoot stuff does stay on skin for awhile.Brady

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I see a lot up-thread about clefts and parafilm, and adding other “stuff” in the cleft.

I’ve never done a cleft of more than pinkie-thickness or thereabouts, but when I do, I do the following:

Insert both scions carefully, making certain of good cambium contact and positioning the way you want.

Take parafilm, and wrap base of cleft 4-5 times.

Now wrap over and betwqeen the 2 scions, in a series of figure-8s 2-4 times.

Reverse direction w/ new slip of parafilm, and repeat both steps.

Wrap scions to tip and cleft to bottom of split w/ additional parafilm

I’ve only done a few dozen, but never had a fail without asphalt or toilet wax…so that’s another option


I did my first grafting last weekend. :flushed: I have a couple of questions. Well… more than a couple. This was a last minute decision and I’m really excited about it but I do know that the conditions are probably not ideal for success so I’m basically calling it practice. I cut some scions a few weeks ago from some wild mulberries and grafted back onto these same trees. I wrapped the scions in parafilm, wrapped the unions in parafilm and reinforced a couple of the grafts with electrical tape, and sealed some of them (cleft and side grafts) with pruning sealer.

Question 1: How soon do you notice bud swelling? We are in major spring here. The mulberry stock was barely breaking leaf. It’s been in the mid 80’s the last few days.

Question 2: I can see a scant amount of moisture around the buds through the wrapping. Did I not wrap them tight enough. It actually looks like condensation. Is this detrimental or expected?


I sometimes see moisture like you are referring to but it hasn’t cause any graft failures yet. The time to push new buds will not be exact. Some pop out in a couple of weeks and some takes longer but this time of the year they should start growing sooner than later.

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I understand that bench grafts need to be in 60-70 degree room for two weeks after grafting and then moved outdoors to 35 plus weather. Anybody done this successfully? Is the graft supposed to show signs of growth in 2 weeks? If it does is it a good idea to move it outdoors to 35 degrees?

Thanks Bill. Of course I can’t keep from going out to look everyday even though I do realize it might be a long shot.


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  1. Bud swelling doesn’t mean the graft took. If the graft took you can see it in 2 weeks but also 2months.
  2. It is condensation. It just means you did a good job wrapping the scion.
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I have made lots of grafting videos for beginners , my native language with English subtitles on most videos :smile:

This is my playlist about grafting fruit trees.


Nice work. Ne vidim titlova engleski. Možda na drugim videa?

I have titles on most of videos not on all, translating subtitles still in progress :slight_smile:.


Oh, I missed the ‘most’ in the first description. I’ll keep watching and learning!

I think the temperature depends on what you are grafting. I keep my new apple bench grafts closer to 34F for as long as 3 weeks before I bring them into higher temps. and they seem to callus very well. Plums and pears I keep warmer.

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These are plum grafts. I guess I will keep them inside for 2 weeks and then move outside. Thanks.

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I know it’s early. I know I have to wait for proving but I know no other grafters than on this forum and I’m really excited to get this far. I did my first ever grafts on March 18 and I’ve had a bud break through the parafilm!! I did 4 grafts on some wild mulberries in my woods and all four of them are showing green in the buds and this one broke the film.

Even if they fail I have broken the confidence barrier to try again!