Moldy Rootstocks

What is the best way to deal with moldy (jujube) rootstocks? I opened up the first of 5 bags of rootstocks and found that most had at least some mold on them and a few had quite a bit. I can plant this weekend for some of them, but I had planned to wait a bit on others (and travel to friend/family houses to plant). I’m not sure how time-sensitive an issue it is.

Before I opened up the bag and found the mold, I was wondering about the callus temperature and time for jujubes. The mold makes me think I shouldn’t wait to callus (as the mold would grow quicker in warmer temps), but I am still curious if anyone has info on this front.

Hi Bob

I would wash them with dish washing soap and rinse them with 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 water solution then store all the rootstocks in the frig to keep them dormant until your weather allows you to plant them.


What is to callus if these are rootstocks? Or are these cuttings which usually the sender calluses.

Mildew (I assume) is perfectly fine on roots unless it has actually started to eat into the roots (rare; soft rotting regions). No treatment necessary. Soft rotting regions will need be cut away before planting; jujubes do not like wet. If it is other fungus then I would try the treatment suggested by the other poster (whose name i have no access to while editing) as well as removing any soft rotting tissue. While you need to keep roots moist with a wet paper towel or something, you don’t want condensation wet plastic and roots together bad combo for continuing fungus.

Tony, Have you washed rootstocks with that mix before? I was reading online and saw a few suggestions to wash them off with plain water.

FascistNation, it is the bench-grafts that I would like to callus. I’m far from expert in this area, but my understanding is that if you bring the bench-grafted rootstocks to a warmer temp (60-80) for a few days to a few weeks, it can help the rootstock and scion form a connection.

Here’s a GW thread on it.


The ten jujube rootstocks that I got from Roger two years ago a few developed mold. I used a soft tooth brush with dish washing soap to clean off the molds. I rinsed those 3 with the vinegar solution and stored them in the frig for two more weeks to wait for warmer weather to plant them. I did not bench graft them but waited for them to leafed out before I bark grafted them. All ten jujube trees are close to 3 feet now. In addition, I got some stone fruit scions collected back in December from a warmer zone and rinsed them with that vinegar solution and I just check on them and they are still fresh with no mold.


Thanks Tony. I’ll give the vinegar a try on some of the ones I need to hold for longer. For the ones I can plant this weekend, it seems like just rinsing them in water has removed the mold for now.

I’m going to try bench grafting as many as possible. If I get some which don’t take, I can re-graft later, as I’ve got some extra scionwood. For the wood that I really want to take (no extras), I’ll probably graft most of it to a pre-existing tree.

I have not done many bench grafts, but it definitely helps to have the graft union warmer than a cellar. But, you also don’t want to wake the roots up too much, there is nothing for them to push yet.

One idea is put the roots in a cooler and have the graft tops poking out of an insulated blanket and put in a warm room. Keep some ice in the cooler to keep the roots cool.


That’s a good idea Scott. Here’s a pic of my very homemade callus-box :smile:

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Looks great Bob. I hope that will help them callous.


How did the rootstocks you grafted turn out?

Not well- I got no takes on the grafts, though one leafed out for a while. I got a very good take rate grafting jujube onto my most established tree.

Very few of the rootstocks survived. None put on much growth and I’ll be interested to see if any are still alive this spring. I’m not putting any faith in them- I’ve ordered a bunch of grafted trees, some of which are quite large (details in Ordering Jujube and Chinese Hawthorn Trees - #83 by BobVance) . So taking that short-cut trades $$ for the year of time lost.

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to disinfect mold, on another occasion mix 1 part bleach and 9 parts water and wash the infected area