Hot Callus Pipe DIY


I know you’re using bareroot so I’ll answer to that. You can group them and stuff them in rubbermaids. I can get 50 of those larger Missouri State pecan/walnut seedlings in a tub.

And depends on the climate of course but you can take them to a garage in a tub. If you’re in zone 4 or 5 you need to make sure the roots don’t freeze like an ice cube would be the only concern I could think of. I don’t like to winterize in my zone 5b garage because it’s really cold in there all winter. You know if you had 5-gallon rooted figs or trees or other I wouldn’t be concerned, but, non-rooted bareroot seedlings aren’t going to be as hardy.

Of course refrigeration would work great. That’s how nurseries hold bareroot seedlings all winter for us.



I guess I can make room in the beer fridge😢 My garage stays pretty cool until late February early March and the it starts to stay on the warm side. Thanks for taking time to answer my questions.


Can this be used for grafting persimmons or peaches? I’ve heard that outside temperatures need to be 70F or higher and rootstock must be well leafed out for persimmon/peach grafts to take. Is that necessary if you are using this approach?


It’s ideal ramv. Exactly what you want to be using for persimmons and peaches.

I should clarify that it’s great for easy stuff or finicky stuff.



Found heating element and cable on ebay with various sizes for sale. I ordered a 4 foot cable to try it out.


That’s a great deal. Same exact unit as mine except you paid 4 bucks less.

I have new information. It hit me today about chip budding. So I asked Tom Wahl at Red Fern Farm:

Is there any chance a chip bud could break before/while callusing?

It depends on the time of year. If you do it in the fall it won’t break. If you do it now, it will break and start growing as it is callusing.

I’ve chipped in a lot of stuff. I’ll have to pay attention now.



One more update since emails bounce bark and forth. I’m quite relieved.

Tom Wahl wrote:

It’s not necessarily a bad thing if buds break and start growing as they are callusing. It usually works out OK.




Hey Dax, how’s the hot callus pipe working out for you? I’m pretty exited to see how it does.


Three days from now is 21-days. Just looking at them right now. Have a few chips that are swollen thru the tape or wax and one pushing from a grafted section of wood.

I’ve unwrapped (one-only) graft twice and just did… it’s the one growing and no visible callus but then again the connection is so perfect on that one that there’s no open areas exposed. I should be looking at other examples.

I’ve looked at 1/2 a dozen of about 90 grafts. First batch come off as I said in three days or stays of course and the next half of the pipe comes off in around 19-days.

I had a few slots I couldn’t use but most I did. 10’ of pipe holds I think 95 grafts at about 1 1/8th apart for each slot.



I can’t wait to build one and try it out this coming winter. Would be nice to order scion wood and graft everything in January-March. Plus hopefully it will help with grafting nuts, I have plenty of room to plant and several buddies with properties that I would like to put some pecan and walnuts on.


I always worry that the answer to my question will be obvious to everyone but me, but here goes. I did several grafts of peachcot, and apricot and put them on the pipe when this thread was started. Now at 2 1/2 weeks, the peachcots have mostly got 1/2 to 2 inches of new growth. My thinking is that the roots need to break dormancy pretty soon or the new growth will run out of “steam”. The scions were fully dormant when collected, and had been held in a refrigerator. My questions are: should I pot these up and warm up the rootstock now? I think they were kept cool enough, certainly as cool a spot as I had without risking freezing. What else might cause the early break of the buds? They have been in an unheated, insulated garage. The apricots are well behind the peachcots, but they have started breaking too. I only unwrapped one graft (so far), and it seems to be tightly “bonded”. Thank you for this thread, I have read and re-read it at least 20 times.


Hi dirtroad, never feel bad about asking a question that you think is dumb. Most of us here are new or not overly experienced so we have the same questions.
If the grafts seem callused and the scion is growing I would carefully get them potted if it were me. But I would definitely wait and see what Dax or one of the other more experienced guys say.

P.S. I ask Dax all kinds of stupid questions and he always has the answer lol.




I would definately start to pot them up. But you dont need to heat the roots. Here in 7a nuseries put their grafted trees right now into cool (unheated) greenhouses (in pots). At the end of may those plants are going outside.



Hi Jim,

Fruit trees take about 2-weeks or 2 1/2 weeks on the pipe. Nut trees which have a harder cambium and bark take 3-weeks. It doesn’t hurt of course to leave anything longer on the pipe.

Yours are healed. Now you need to pot them up and put them into indirect light and move them to direct light (full sun) after a week or more’s time of being acclimated. The growth need to change from white which it is now I assume to a green hue and then put them in full sun.

I’m thinking of greenhouse conditions. So mimic that. Shop lights are good for now but not a strong grow light. You need to graduate them.

Congratulations. You’re a successful hot callus pipe grafter.



Barkslip, thank you very much for your reply! I’m pretty excited about this. Also thanks to Borer and carot for responding. Happy that I found this forum, it’s a fun and informative read.


so i decided to give this a shot… here are a few pictures.

I decided to put a 1" aluminum bar on top of the heat tape, to prevent accidental contact of the plant with the hot tape, which can get fairly hot quickly.


Easy solution to your overheating problem here…


All good ideas, Derek.

I took 38 off the pipe. They look excellent.

You don’t want the heat element turning on and off constantly and I would think a long distance like 10’ would be “off kilter” with constant turning on and turning off.

I’m completely satisfied as is.

Let me know how you do, Derek.




Here is my poor mans hot callusing apparatus. I am hot callusing loquat here.