How soon to graft to seedling rootstock?

hello, I am wondering if I plant some seedling rootstock bought from nursery in early february whether I can go ahead and graft scion wood (to main trunk not branches) this year when bud swelling/breaking starts?

I am planning on apple rootstock (full size) and was also considering doing some plum and cherries as well (if it makes a difference).

I am assuming it would be fine the first year after planting but can’t find anything on net about that.


What about just bench grafting before you plant the rootstock?

I’m getting the rootstock this week but it is not right timing for grafting yet. I guess I could temporarily transplant and then pull them up when the grafting time comes and transplant again? I don’t know. It would be easier to graft on table or bench for sure.

Bench grafting is often done on dormant rootstock, so you can do it now. Don’t plant the rootstock and then dig it up.

I do bench/whip grafts on apples and pears from January up until near bud break with good success. This is much easier to do before planting than having to almost stand on my head to graft low. Bill

OK, thanks for the insight on timing. I didn’t know it could take before bud swelling.

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Last season I started using parafilm to wrap the scion along with the graft cut. Then I used electrical tape to tighten up the graft. If a graft fails most likely another trunk will grow out for a later grafting. Good luck, Bill