In my experience plums are only slightly harder to graft than apples and pears. So if your climate is that mild. You could do some dormant grafts of those. If also had good experiences with chip budding plums. And chip budding is very economical with your scion wood. So if your itching that might be a relatively low cost way to spread the risk. (use some buds to chip bud now. save the rest of the scion in the fridge)
All Asian plums and pluots are already pushing buds here. Check your plum trees regularly. As soon as you see buds are enlarging, you’re good to go grafting that tree.
Thanks, I was considering doing some chip budding as my success rate last summer was quite good.
I’m wondering how close to breaking dormancy they need to be? If others in my area (KS) have been grafting pears and apples while dormant, I guess I haven’t been paying attention and am curious about this.
if sucsesfully grafted apples in december. Many months before they brake dormancy. As far as i understood you just need temperatures high enough for callous formation. I think that was around 5 celcius (41 F?) for apples. Lower temperatures lead to slower callousing though. So grafts made in colder weather will take longer to “take” or heal.
You can begin grafting in March normally. Prunus americana rootstocks for plums seem to work best. Callery , bet, Ohxf rootstocks are best for pears. Mm111 are best for apples. Mahaleb work great for cherries but i prefer growing cherries like montmorency or canadian cherries eg. Carmine jewell on their own roots. I skip the mahaleb and ohxf rootstocks most of the time. I’m not saying they dont work but what i use works better for me. Here is an example of March grafts Top working Pears weather permitting you can graft much later as shown here Grafting large Callery and BET pear rootstocks in 2022
I usually wait until April/May to start grafting, when I’m looking for buds to start pushing. This has worked very well, but it would be nice to expand the grafting window a bit.
If I want to start grafting earlier, I would need a window of a certain amount of time above 40 or 50 degrees to allow for callus formation. Yes?
Do you know of a source that maybe has a table showing optimum temperatures and duration for callus formation of common fruit trees?
Penn State mentions that “dormant chip budding can be done in late winter before growth starts”, but no details on dormant grafting temperatures exactly.
Those are essentially the same rootstocks that I use, Clark.
M-111 for apple, although I have a few on M-118 that are doing fine so far.
Plums I have grafted almost all on P. americana that I grow specifically for that purpose.
Pears are on seedling rootstocks or OHxF333, and one on OHxF87.
Romeo and Carmine Jewel are on their own roots …
I’d like to grow Montmorency on its own roots. How can I accomplish this? Could I graft Montmorency to a Mahaleb sucker (I have successfully grafted several cherries to these suckers) and then bury the graft union to induce rooting above the graft?
I have access to adara wood… I have planned to graft that on P. americana, and then sweet cherry onto adara. But have seen some others have had success putting sour cherry onto adara, so maybe I should try that as well. P. americana is a hardy rootstock here as you know, and I feel I’d have more long-term success with that over Mahaleb. I’ve had lots of issues with Mahaleb. I wanted to try Mazzard, but couldn’t find a Monty on Mazzard and it was cost prohibitive for me to buy a huge bundle of Mazzard rootstock to bench graft 2 trees.
Dont know of one right off that states temperatures but the thing is about pears is they can be grafted totally dormant it doesnt matter. Pears on a busy year i have even grafted at the end of February on a warm year. Since Pears are the easiest to graft i would do those first. Apples are second easiest similar to plums. The hardest trees to graft which i would not consider until i see green on the tree is apricot and peach. Mulberries can be tough because you never graft those dormant and timing them perfectly can be hard because sap seems to flood the grafts like grapes. Mulberries are still considered advanced grafting. Consider tbud or chip grafting mulberry or che. In Kansas the sealants melted enough on my grafts some years to prevent them from callusing together. I changed my Grafting method and no longer use toilet seal wax or pruning seal unless im out of everything else. My graft rates are near 100% now. Had no failures last year at all. I count it if they break off as a failure. I consider a break off as grafter failure even if the graft takes it was poorly done. In Kansas our strong winds and birds break many grafts. Adapted my method to use clefts that are stronger and no staking is required. This link shows my current methods Grafting large Callery and BET pear rootstocks in 2022
Thank you Clark. I will look closer at your cleft grafts. The wind and birds are very hard on freshly growing grafts! I’d like to try some late Feb/early March pear grafts this year and see how I do with those.
I have had decent success with apricots and peaches later in the spring as well. It is hard though as you say… they need those warmer temps, I shoot for 70 - 85ish if I’m remembering correctly. But SO many times we have a couple of warm days and then sky rocket up in the 90s. ugh. it is challenging.
I only attempted to graft mulberry one year and was unsuccessful due to the sap you mentioned. I may try the tbud or chip grafting… my neighbors have a native mulberry that is by far superior in size and flavor to any I have growing, and it is the one I attempted to graft onto one of mine several years ago. There are so many other fruits I prefer over mulberry, so that one will be at the bottom of my ‘to do’ grafting list.
Compare my old method and my new methods if you get a chance they are similar but different.
Both the topic starter and I are in Zone 9B. It’s common here to graft apples starting in January, since our winter is pretty warm. I doubt it’s possible in areas where temps drop below freezing significantly.
It is doable. I grafted potted peach this way last year.
Thank you so much for mentioning this. I have been planting out Euro plums for the last couple of weeks which is in a different area than my Japanese/hybrid/Plumcot section. I hadn’t looked carefully at them for over a week. I was a little stunned to see that Shiro, Black Ice, & Black Amber plum buds were swelling and looking like they might pop at any time. It also looked like I had several sweet cherries,and a nectarine with buds starting to swell.
That’s a bit to soon, as we often get freezing temps in February, (but rarely in March). I hope they don’t get hit with a cold snap any time soon or it will wipe out a lot of my early varieties chances of fruiting this year.
What temperatures do you think is optimal for peaches and cherries?
As others noted, grafting success depends. Walnut, pecan, and hickory have very specific requirements to collect and store scionwood. For my area, that means the last week of January through the 2nd week of February for collecting. Storing requires refrigeration at an even temperature between 34 and 38 degrees F.
You can start grafting all plum trees with swelled buds if you expect day temps above 10 C in the next couple of weeks. That will be enough for grafts to callus. Grafts should not be affected even if night temps drop slightly below 0 C. If you can move your potted trees into a location with a relatively stable temperature around 15 C, this will be even better for graft healing.
i vaguely remember some numbers. But don’t know what source i remember them from. So take it more as a estimate than a reliable number.
I remember apple/pear plum being able to callus wel at lower temperatures than most other things. I think i remember callus formation (and thus graft healing) slowed down to almost 0 around 5 Celsius. And at 0 Celsius or lower (water freezes at 0 Celsius) could damage callus depending on the state it is in. Once the callous has differentiated it is more frost hardy. (thus if you grafted in fall, and the graft healed it can withstand the winter (within reason ofc, might be slightly less frost hardy then nearby wood)
don’t hold me to these numbers they can be off!
long story short though is, that at lower temperatures graft healing can be really slow. If your scion can stay healthy for a long time in those circumstances the graft can still be successful.
I would not graft if temperatures are below 5 Celsius or a freeze is coming.
I would start grafting only the apples, pears, EU plums (don’t know about asian plums and nashi pears)
I am pretty sure hawthorn, quince and medlar also fit in the low temp grafting tolerance row of Apples, pears and EU plums but have no real world experience grafting those in cold weather. (have grafted them early spring)
I don’t know the exact temp range.
If only grafted peach/cherry a handful of times (compared to roughly a 1000 grafts of apple, pear, asian pear, medlar, quince and plums)
And all of those cherry/peach grafts where at high temperatures (when the rootstock was actively growing/pushing buds. And where chip bud grafts.
If i was interested in dormant cherry grafting id look up a bunch of video’s from ken
for peach i have no idea. But if done those only at higher (summer) temps
I have successfully grafted cherry in late January (couple of days after getting scions at a local CRFG exchange). This is in California with a very mild winter.
Did you graft dormant scionwood on fully dormant rootstock, or was the rootstock visibly coming out of dormancy when you grafted?