Not what I expected

I did some grafting Sunday. Yesterday I found this. Is parafilm supposed to break down like this? In one day?

Should last weeks - grafts I did the first week of May still have plenty of parafilm on them. Don’t know what caused yours to do that.

1 Like

It depends in the quality of parafilm you bought. Good one like Parafilm M does not break down easily even after good stretching.

I’ve been using Parafilm M when grafting for 25 years. But not JUST Parafilm (OK, I tried that once)… here in the hot sunny South, in late June… Yeah, what you got is exactly what I’d expect… it’ll crack right over the graft union.
Other forms of ‘Parafilm’… maybe they’re adequate for that - I tried the Parafilm grafting tape formulation one time, and hated it. Parafilm M is great for sealing in moisture… but has no inherent strength.
I place my grafts, wrap the union and scion, in its entirety - usually with at least two layers of fully-stretched Parafilm M; then, I usually overwrap the graft union with a layer of masking tape, then overwrap that with a #64 rubber band. The rubber bands will typically photodegrade over a few weeks’ time… I almost never need to cut them off. But… I did get a batch of rubber bands from WalMart, a couple of years ago, that degraded and fell off in about 2 days’ time in full sun…
If I feel like I need pressure for a longer period - like for nut tree grafts, I’ll overwrap my rubber band with masking tape, or, later in the season, cover the graft union with aluminum foil, knowing that I’ll need to come back and cut or remove those rubbers, as they’re ‘protected’ from UV radiation and won’t degrade quickly.

It’s been so hot (and dry!) for the past 2-3 weeks here, that I’ve despaired of doing any grafting.

Tipi, is that Type M Parafilm? I know several people prefer it, but so far I’ve been using regular parafilm -didn’t know there was a Parafilm M when I started. My point is that even the cheaper parafilm should hold up better than @Dean 's has.

Might be worth mentioning that some people think Buddy Tape is worth the extra cost. I haven’t tried it.

1 Like


This is what I have been using.

I used to buy cheapo. It did not stretch and tore apart too easily.

1 Like

I’ve had experiences with Parafilm M, dating back to my college days in the chemistry and microbiology labs, back in the 1970s… maybe even earlier in high school laboratories… my memory is getting fuzzier by the day…
Adaptation of that ‘laboratory film’ to grafting pursuits was introduced to me by Fred Blankenship, back around 1995. I’m comfortable with it, and know its strengths and limitations.
Parafilm Grafting Tape, in my hands, was not as easy to use, did not stretch/seal/conform like the Parafilm M I was accustomed to. I’ve never used Buddy Tape… haven’t ever even seen any to compare to.

1 Like

Parafilm M definitely has a ‘shelf-life’… I try to use up a roll within a couple of years of purchase. Older stuff will definitely not perform as well as new…

I have some 500mm(19.5") wide rolls of Parafilm M that I ‘rescued’ when they were being discarded during a storeroom cleanout at the diagnostic lab… had probably been in that hot storeroom for over 20 years. It’s no longer suitable for grafting, as it breaks/tears during stretching… I only use it when I have a large defect - like someone running into a tree with the mower and knocking loose a big chunk of bark, etc. I can replace the chunk, cover with parafilm, and aluminum foil, then overwrap with duct tape. Most times the bark chunk will re-attach, sometimes not, but no sense in not trying.

1 Like

I’m using Parafilm M, which I bought a few months ago. I just looked on the box for a manufacture date but didn’t find one.