Have I doomed this graft by painting over buds?

It’s been a while since I’ve used Doc Farwell’s and I have some of the yellow and the green. I grabbed the one that was most handy.

I watched some grafting videos, probably back in January, which got me wanting to try and add some limbs lower in the tree. My first grafts on this property, to get above deer browse, were way too high.

This apple I did a modified whip and tongue. It could hold it’s own weight, but I put in some staples for good measure. Then put some modeling clay in the seams and covered EVERYTHING with Doc Farwell’s.



I can’t tell from the first photo… Are the cambium layers of the scion and the trunk in contact?

1 Like

Your first photo has an excellent outline of the cambium, the green circle around the cut area. From what I can see, the cambium of your scion doesn’t come anywhere close to the cambium of the area where you removed the bark (although the cambium of the scion can’t be seen). The cambium of the two pieces must be in contact in order to create the union.

1 Like

AndySmith, if you’re referring to the bright green within a millimeter of the outer bark, I believe that is the cork cambium. The vascular cambium, where the bark slips and the graft union unites isn’t that close the surface on a 6" diameter trunk.


Here’s a bark graft video that shows where the bark slips. At this point, you can see where he’s flacked off some loose bark: https://youtu.be/Uf0bc0GlXj0?t=177

Or this inlay on Pecan, also shows the thickness of the bark, and cutting back some of the rough. I should have taken a picture of the exposed cambium seam on the stock in my graft.


i Think your right about the cork cambium @murky

i think AnydSmith has a point to however. You seem to have misalligned the cambium on the stock and scion.

I marked what i think to be the cambium line with the red arrow here.

I think you grafted into the wood. And would be amazed if this graft took.

I have done a few sucsesful (they took and grew)
Side grafts low on tree’s.

They are however easy to brake off/bump. And i am worried about long term crotch angle and bark inclusion.

If you look “sideways” you can see the narrow crotch angle. And the spot where the thick stock bark will have no way to go when the scion and stock thicken due to growth.

a “better” option might be to notch the tree in a number of spots. To force latent buds (also called adventitious buds) to grow new shoots. “setting” them at the correct angle with a clothespin or somthing similair during the growing season and grafting them next dormant season probably gives best long term results.

If also tried these “side” grafts at an angle sideways. (making a 45 degree cut to the horizontal/vertical in relations to the stock stem. (where your current graft is vertical, if you pointed it sideways. more to the horizontal plane.

In hopes to have less or no bark inclusion problems.

Another option could be tho bud it. (chip or T) although budding thick stock has lower sucses / is more of a pain.

They do tend to be easier to set a correct crotch angle on though.

i have not used Doc farwell’s myself (no acces to it)

But i did wrap buds(apple+pear+asian_pear+plum) in 3+ layers of parafilm and slathered on, undiluted interior latex (whith wall paint). The buds all broke trough fine.

If doc farwell is verry elastic and thick it might be a problem. But i’d be a serius product/design flaw if a grafting paint would kill budds. So im 99% sure your fine. At least on the paint side of things. The camium alignment i discused in my post above.

I painted over a bunch of buds with white primer. They leafed out just fine. The paint will split as the buds swell.

I would also be surprised if the grafting compound prevents the buds from growing through it. But I, too, thought that the picture doesn’t look like the cambium is aligned. Maybe it’s just a really bad angle or lighting or something.

In contrast, in the pecan video, it was completely obvious that the graft was lined up with the cambium.

1 Like

if i zoom in on the picture. Im pretty sure i can count year rings. So that would mean we’r well into the juvenile or sapwood of the tree. I think i can even see a few slivers of Heartwood on the picture.

Ginda, the cambium from the host is not shown in the picture. The cut under the scion is deeper into the wood to reach the cambium interface. The idea was to cut that exposed edges of cambium at the same width as the the cambium of the scion, almost the diameter of the scion.

The other exposed area is not cut as deep as the area under the scion, it was just removed to clean up the surface and so that bark wasn’t so thick. The exposed cambium alignment was kind of similar to how it would be for a chip bud. Cutting into the wood past the cambium, with an outline of cambium exposed.

That’s why the cut was vertical, so the patch would be flat, not have to curve around the trunk.

To some extent I was messing around, because I had a window of time just then, and the scions available. I think the odds on this one are better than the peach and pluot I tried on the peach tree :slight_smile: Since its early for peach in our climate, and neither of those scions were in great shape. This apple scion was good, and apples are resilient. At least I know the peach is graft compatible, since its onto itself.

Maybe @oscar will like these better, since they are slipped under the bark and better angle.

On the apple I don’t care for the variety above the graft attempt and the canopy starts too high. It is not a well trained or shaped tree by any stretch. If this branch establishes I may relieve the competition above.


oscar, where the camibum of the scion is exposed there is a patch in the host that is cut deeper than the surrounding area.

I was looking for advise on the seal, but folks seem more interested in the graft.

Seems I haven’t explained what I intended to do with the graft, aside from whether I executed it well, or it was a good idea.

Well, it will be fun for me to watch if anything happens. I was in a bit of a hurry, late to lunch, and am accustomed to judging the cambium location on mature trees, by where the bark slips. Usually I do bark grafts, and press in the knive until it stops, then twist to see where it separates, and slide the scion in, slipping as it goes.

edit: This winter I was probably planning to do something more like the following: Прививка на ствол Старого Дерева Летом // Grafting on the trunk of an old tree in summer - YouTube

Seeing as the seal was marketed for grafting, I’d be really shocked if what you did with it is a problem for the graft.

But you asked “is this graft doomed”, and from the photo, it sure looks like it is. But you were there, and no doubt had a better view of the structure of the trunk than is portrayed in your photos.

1 Like

side graft at angle
On those other pictures, you’f done exactly what i meanth to explain in my post. Side graft at an angle sidways. Im still concernd about long term bark inclusion. Although theyd first have to grow thick for that to become a problem.

Just linke Ginda.
i think you have doomed the graft. But not by painting it. More by the cambium alignment.

Grafting thick/old stock
If done some chip budding on ~4+ year old stock this year.
the bark is really thick. And suddenly after you cut off half a mm more sliver of wood, your into sapwood and your cambium is an inch apart in witdh. I ended up placing 2 chips side by side a lot. Since 1 chip in the middle would not reach either side of the exposed cambium.

look close enough and circles are just flat lines.
the larger the circle compared to the “flat” line your grafting knife cuts. The more the interface between flat line and circle become the same. (if you zoom in far enough a circle looks like a flat line)
This is why getting a good camium alignment is harder when chip budding thick stock with thin scions.

The red arrow is where i think the bark will slip.
It is somtimes hard to see/judge on a picture. Although in this case im 99% sure i can see year-rings. year-rings is at least sapwood and thus past the cambium into the wood.

the video link. was also posted in this topic

i voiced my concerns about long term bark inclusion there to.

as a novelty small side branche. it seems oky. If your cutting the stock after the graft took it’s also fine. (cutting just above graft)

as a way to get long term sucsesful framwork side branches i have serious doubts.

Maybe im over critical. But i consider it more a novelty than a “usefull” thing.
Just like the youtube video’s of people jamming cuttings in an orange. Keeping it warm so the stick leafs out from stored moisture and resourches.
Post the video/picture showing the “proof” it “worked”. Getting millions of views from their
“10 revolutionary new ways to make plants, that will change the furture of humankind and the planet forever”
But then never post the follow up from a few days later, when alll the leafs wilt and die.

That’s just wild, thanks Murky!

I was going from memory yesterday. For reference, in yellow below is where I’m hoping for cambial contact. And the diameter of the “trunk” is only about 3.5". It isn’t the main trunk:

Does the cambium touch at the top or what?

It’s always hard to judge.

But i think the cambium on the stock is roughly below the blue line. And the cambium on the scion is roughly under the yellow line.

I could be mistaken though. And it could just be all bark and scion thats visible on the photo.

There could also be some cambial contact where the purple and blue lines intersect. Although thats just a pure gamble. since i can’t see how far the scion was cut on the photo.

Yep, I figured that’s where you meant with your arrow. That is very shallow for a 3.5" branch. The picture is deceiving. I think the thickness from your blue line to the outside of the rough bark is on the order of 1mm. I tried to judge where the slip layer was be prying with my knife as I shaved deeper.

I gave this about 10 seconds of thought before I started cutting, and just started shaving down looking at the color, but mostly for the slip zone. Normally, when looking for slipping, I’m doing a bark graft, and I’ve had decapitated that trunk, so is easy to peel back the bark and very obvious where it slips.

If I went too deep, it would be the red outline would be my 2nd guess, and the splice cut on the scion does cross that in the area you showed.
deleted: will update later, posted too quickly
The area I was aiming for looked somethign like the orange

Was the contact point sticky and wet? That’s a good sign when it’s hard to see.

I’m confident I made cambium content between the scion and the face of the wood from which the slipping bark was pulled back. The scion isn’t getting much light though, and so far I’ve been reluctant to prune out the branches above, because I’m more interested in getting that fruit ,than I am vested in this graft taking off.

But the scion is still alive, and growing similarly to adventitious bud nearby on the trunk (meaning not much).