Grafting peaches

Grafting peaches is supposed to be more difficult that other stone fruit or pome fruit. What would be the best grafting method to use? I have so many exotic peaches to graft this year I would really like some success. Thanks.


I’m no expert on grafting peaches. My results have been spotty at best. I like splice or W&T. Have had some but limited success with cleft. I really do much better with T budding but that’s a late spring method and usually with green scions.

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I waited for warm weather and bark grafted, I got about 50 percent takes.

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Mrs. G,

Like Fruitnut, my spring grafting successes for peaches have been spotty. I’ve had fairly consistent results late budding peaches w/ green wood at the first of Sept.

The bud grafts overwinter here as “sleepy eyes”. I cut them back to the top of the buds and transplant them to their permanent location in the spring, where most of them seem to successfully grow from the bud grafts.

I’ve had better luck spring grafting peaches on large existing trees, than on new rootstocks. Peaches require higher temps to callus, and by that time in the season, when temps are high, individual seedling peach rootstocks have leafed out and grown so much they may not have the energy required to push growth if they are beheaded and grafted. Mature trees have plenty of energy, and will push later peach grafts. This tactic is only useful for me because I can use the grafted wood grown on mature trees that summer to bud graft young peach rootstocks in the fall, if I am trialing a new variety.

As I reflect on my writing about this, my words seem like they would be hard to understand even for me. I hope you can make some sense of it.

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Continuing the discussion from 2016 Peach Tree Pruning:

Wow, ok. I have top worked an existing seedling peach tree and will not begin to graft until it is warmer. My scion wood has been here in the fridge (seems like months). But it is still good and viable. Peach seems to be finicky but I have excellent wood on which to graft the scion. I will try all methods. Thank you all.

I’m not an advanced grafter but I’ve had much better success with bark grafts than whip, cleft, or budding with peaches\nectarines.

Thank you!

I like to use pencil thick wood and splice water sprout to water sprout or water sprout scion to branch tip. About 75% of my 30-40 peach and nect grafts took last season and the ones that failed were the thinnest wood. Plums were only a bit more successful.

I wait until trees are fully leafed out and keep the scion wood close to freezing in storage and tape the pieces tightly together and cover the scions entirely with a thin type of parafilm.

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I think my failure was because I grafted scionwood on older wood of the existing trees. I remember you said to graft on last year wood (growth from last summer), not old wood. I grafted onto 2-4 years old branches/scaffolds with so little success.

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Good reminder Mamuang! I forgot to mention that.

That was my big mistake.

I watched too many grafting videos of apple and pear stump and assume I could stump graft peaches, too. Wrong.

Hmm, I nearly always do stump grafts and have had good luck with them. Bark graft is my standard choice on big stumps. The main constraint for me is that the temps are in the 70-805F highs for 2-3 days after, also to seal well. With that I usually have good luck.

I got the temp right but I grafted on stumps. So far, very little success. I did almost all bark graft.

I did apple and pears in cooler temp with both cleft and bark. I think almost all worked.

Let me throw out a few more hints for you, @mamuang. Make sure to completely seal the grafts, I use doc farwells. Another thing is you can do two rounds. Say you have a 2" diameter trunk - one day do two opposite each other, then maybe a week or so later on the next good spell of temps do 2 on the other two corners of a square. I will just cut through the parafilm or paint and pop the new ones right in.

Also when I cut the scion I make a “J” cut, start out with a fast taper then level off. It gives more cambium contact that way. And, I barely scrape the bark off the scion edges to help the contact be better - very light with the knife just to get the thin sheaf of bark off for maybe 1mm on the edge. Overall the goal is to make more cambium contact surface.


I’ve also successfully grafted onto older peach wood, but I’ve just found that there is something about succulent new red wood which helps my splice grafts.

I’ve found this especially true for budding. Older peach wood is much harder to successfully bud (chip or T-bud).

Scott and Mark,
I will try all the tips you have suggested. Thank you.

I’m absorbing! :grin:

Thanks Olpea, Scott, Mamuang and many others for this very useful discussion…

I guess I had the stroke of luck here! I grafted 2 Mormon apricot scions onto my Elberta peach last year around the 70-80F that Scott mentioned. The graft locations were on the 2, 3 years old trunk at knee level. Both took, grew about 3" tall then one withered away while the survivor really, really took off. It grew more than 5 feet of material. This spring, I pruned it down to 1 foot to build up the trunk as a scaffold. I think it’ll grow more materials this year.


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I’m exhausted trying to sort it all out!

I had quite a few failures of bark grafts on my peach tree, especially grafting onto older wood. I did much better with W&T grafts onto younger wood. But that may be because my peach tree has sporadic canker, and some of the bark grafts got it. I also noticed that on the bark grafts I had failed to seal all the way down to the very end of the cut in the bark, and I think that’s where the infections started.

I have the same thing - i never have had a peach bud graft work on a shoot that was bigger than large pencil-sized.

There are some secrets of peaches that we don’t know yet…