Grafting for complete beginners?

Congrats! It looks great. I did my first ever graft this season. I’ve been checking on them couple of times a day. So I know the feeling right before that feeling :grinning:
Still waiting to see bud break through parafilm.


Ain’t it great? Way to go, Katy, way to go. Looks like you’re on your way.

One thing I will suggest, if you don’t mind, is to not be shy with the parafilm (nothing wrong with a couple of layers over everything) and don’t be afraid to pull it tight enough so that no air is held in. I know that when you’re wrapping at an angle it can be hard to get it all snug but it helps to pull right up to the breaking point.

Congratulations on your good work!


Thanks. I wondered about the parafilm. I was consciously making it only one layer thick because I wasn’t sure about that. Also I found out that if you’re going to use a sealer do all your parafilm wrapping before you get the sealer on your hands!

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Yes! I know too… we have had some really warm weather…days in the 80’s so I think that kind speeds things up down here. Good luck on yours!

Ah, that first bud break :slight_smile: Quite a thrill, grin. Most of us remember that like it was yesterday.
Grafting sometimes seems a little intimidating, and now you know you can.
From there, it all seems possible. There are different kinds of grafts each person likes, but they all work, so, go, and enjoy them. have fun.


Congratulations! The peaches I grafted at the end of February are also breaking through the parafilm. Parafilm is just awesome stuff. I can’t wait to get a couple inches of growth to declare success. I got bud break on all three attempts, both in the tree I am top working to a known variety, as well as the back up grafts on a stray root clone of St Julians as well as a on my larger Hale Haven.

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I grafted dormant scions to dormant R/S. Some of the R/S are leafing out while the scion still hasn’t done anything. Does that tell me anything about my grafts (like, that they failed?)

Also, should I let the rootstocks leaf out or pull off all the leaves for right now?

Keep all buds and sprouts from rootstock rubbed off as soon as they appear or they’ll starve the graft. Rootstock sprouts don’t tell you anything about whether your graft has taken- it’s just a response to being cut.


If the scion stays nice and plump looking, that is a good sign. If the scion gets long lines in the bark from shrinking it is dehydrating and that is a bad sign.

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So, I cut open one of my grafts, being as careful as I could. Is this trying to callus or is this trying to die? I have my suspicions but I want someone else to look at it.

Is this a reversed cleft graft? Unless the picture is upside down it appears that you have a bud growing from the understock.
what type of plant is it and how long ago was this grafted?

It’s not reversed, it’s a saddle graft. Or a reverse cleft, I guess.

It’s an apple scion grafted to G935 r/s and was grafted abt two weeks ago.

Two weeks is not nearly enough time. Keep it wrapped for at least a couple months or until you have substantial growth. If it is exposed to air now it will likely dry out and die within a few days.

Here is a picture of one of my grafts when I unwrapped it after a few months. The white material is callousing cells.


Ok thanks. I have re-wrapped it and we’ll see I guess. :slight_smile:

The green bud is from the understock. I would rub it off first then re-wrap it or else that bud will steal the sap away from your graft.


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It’s hard to wait but “no peeking” is a good policy. Then when the top bud pops and starts some serious growth it’s like Christmas. Until then I always think- Oh man I messed up, the scions looked old, I didn’t wrap it right, I left too many buds, my rubber bands are old and probably broke under the parafilm, I made too many wraps of parafilm and smothered the buds, I put it too high up on the tree, I put it too low on the tree, I already have way too many grafts on this tree so why do I put more, etc, etc, etc. Welcome to the club.


one more vote on “no peeking and leave it the f alone”…these things can take a month to callus, or even 2 weeks, and that’s great, but here’s the thing: if they DO callus in 2 weeks (or a month) you know the graft took…but if they don’t, you really don’t know ANYTHING for at least another month. and you just opened them up, increasing your odds of failure.

Waiting sucks; don’t for a second imagine I’m some wealth of self-control telling you to simmer down, because I am very likely twitchier than you are, if anything, but the reality is that you owe the graft at least 2 months; anything closer is you compromising things for your own curiosity. Waiting sucks, killing grafts because you couldn’t simmer down sucks worse. :frowning:

just the way it is…


Looks like they are already bonded, that graft was a success assuming there are viable buds on the scion above the picture (which there’s no reason not to). I would have avoided including a bud from the rootstock at the union, either by design, or I would have cut it out before the initial wrapping. Its not a big deal, you can just rub the green out with your thumb and re-wrap it.


my only successful graft last year was done on May25th and didn’t break bud until July 25th.

don’t peek…



I have a question…

The grafts I did were kind of last minute decision and I cut some (barely) dormant scions from some mulberries on the edge of the woods. It’s for practice So sunlight is not great out there. It’s my first grafts so I’m fighting some odds and to see some early results. So I do a couple of cleft grafts on one of the small trees that I sawed off, I put a grafting tool graft on a branch and then because I had scion left I started playing around with a couple of side grafts. So I had watched a video (maybe applenut’s) on chip grafts I put a bud on the trunk of the largest sapling. Total waste of time I know but I’m on a roll. So I want to post a picture of this because the parafilm split and I’d like your thoughts of why. Did the trunk expand and why? Was the wrap not right? If your going to wrap parafilm on a trunk do you have to use some kind of sealer at the top and bottom? I do see a bit of green on the bud but not enough growth to cause this split. Your thoughts?


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