Peach graft logging spring 2018

I don’t believe Ahmad is referring to night time temps, rather a sequence of daytime temps in his range. Understanding that nighttime temps will be cooler. If you wait until nighttime temps are 60-70, it will be far to hot in the daytime.

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That’s why I started with “for highest chance of success”. If the night temperature is in the fifties or even the high forties, grafts can still succeed, but with less percentage of success. It is a continuum, not on and off, so if you have a night or two where it gets to the high fifties it will not be bad, but if you have a week in the low fifties/high forties, then you will have higher failure rate.

I always have a success rate above ninety percent, except in 2023 when I had about 20% of my peach grafts fail, and that’s because I got about a week were night temps dropped to low fifties/high forties shortly after I grafted.

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Yes, I have found that steady temperature (high 60’s to 70’s) over 4-5 continuous days is important for callousing of peaches and nectarines’s grafts.

It is weird that stone fruit like I have had very good success with apricots and cherries grafted in lower temp that peaches and nectarines.

Plums, another stone fruit, is apiece of cake re. grafting comparing to peaches and nectarines.

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Thanks for the detailed list.

I believe I got the temperature right, but the rootstock growth was already quite advanced on my citation rootstock which had been in ground for 3 years. Growth was already pushing a foot, I wonder if I waited too long.

I recall my scions were also quite thin, and I could only manage cleft grafts. I did film the scion and rubber band the grafting point. I never had issues getting thin scions to take on apple, but perhaps doesn’t fly with peach.

I also wonder if peach scions dry out more easily which adds to the challenge. It may be interesting experiment to confirm this. If propensity to desiccate is higher on peach, I might be able to wrap in a moist piece of paper under the film. Maybe it might help enough before mold becomes an issue.

Anyhow, thanks all for the feedback. I’ll attribute my failures this time to grafting too late, not using whip and tongue, and the thin scions.

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In my experience all types of grafts work equally well as long as they are executed correctly, so I doubt it was the cleft grafts. On the other hand the quality of the scions is critical. I had several declining trees I was attempting to propagate and they just would not take in spite of getting everything else right. Lateness is also a factor, I have had bad luck when the growth was as long as you mention.

I do most of the things @Ahmad mentions in his great list; I don’t cover with a bag but I do put aluminum foil on the south side if it gets above 80F with sun. I also don’t top work trees in stages. This spring I topworked two whole trees and by now the scion growth is several feet long.

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I don’t think the night temp matters too much, with the possible exception of freezing.

For example, I did 8 peach/nectarine grafts onto a peach on 4/4/2023. At that point, the high was 46F and the lows were in the 30’s for the first 5 days. There was eventually a night in the 50’s more than a week later. Over the next 2 weeks, there were 2 highs in the 40’s, 4 in the 50’s, 6 in the 60’s, and 2 in the 70’s. All of the grafts did well and most, if not all have fruit today.

Did you keep track of the dates and where the wood came from? More than half the wood I used that time came from you :slight_smile:

Cleft grafts are my favorite and I use them most of the time, unless there is a compelling reason not to (like very thin scion or wanting to replace an entire tree with one graft). All 8 of the grafts mentioned above were cleft grafts.

Very thin scions could be an issue, if it compromises the graft. It can sometimes be easier to do a bark graft onto a large host tree with such wood.

I think that scionwood quality/preservation is one of the main reasons for failure. Some kinds of wood are much more durable (like apple and jujube), but peaches and persimmons seem pretty fragile. I find it helps a lot to store them in parafilm (which I wrap them with when grafting anyway).

I don’t think you would want to include wet paper inside your graft. But, if you seal it in nicely with parafilm (pre-wrap the while thing except the cut part, then parafilm over the union at the end. Another possibility I’ve heard people do is to soak the wood for an hour or so before grafting. I don’t think you’d want to do it for too long, but an hour probably wouldn’t hurt and may help. Though thinking about it, I may be remembering someone’s plan for storing the wood- soak, then wrap it up.

I dug up a bunch of peach seedlings/rootstocks this spring and grafted them over. Most failed, with only 1-2 takes. I guess was was a bit too optimistic after I did one last spring and was 2/2 on it. But, that one may have been a special case, as it was growing into the woodchips on the edge of my driveway and when I pulled it out, almost all the roots came easily from the chips, at which point I potted it up immediately.,

In contrast, I moved a fairly large apple this winter/spring, and then put 14 grafts (6 bark, 8 cleft) on it. All of them appear to have worked.

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@BobVance, your success flies in the face of the conventional wisdom for waiting on 60-70’s F, but that is a great data point–TY. I think I’ll try grafting peach in 50-60’s F next year, which can be achieved probably at least a month sooner while scions are fresher. Perhaps using fresher scions may be better than, awaiting perfect 60-70’s temp.

Re: Thin scions, the only scion that took was a relatively normal sized one. Estimated 0.2 i n. caliper. Other ones that failed were probably 0.1 to 0.15 in. I did hydrate all scions in water for an hour, and and in fact they were waxed and cambium was green, so I believe they were viable, but still failed.

I used to graft later, but am now grafting earlier, along with better preserving the wood, so I’m not sure which is responsible for the better performance. This year on 3/29 I did 3 nectarine grafts (thanks Scott) on a peach tree. All 3 are growing well (the apricot graft I made on the peach at the same time failed). It’s a small sample, but it shows that early grafting can succeed. Temps were mostly in the 50’s and 40’s for the next week. It was 4/9 before it got into the 70’s. It was close, but don’t think temps got below freezing, though I’m not sure it would have mattered. After all, the existing branches would have experienced the same temps.

Aside from fresher wood, another benefit from earlier grafting is that I don’t need to worry about sun protection.

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I’ll try grafting peach at the same time as apples/pears…There’s always next year :slight_smile:

This is 1/8 that appeared to have lived.

Avoid citation rootstock - it’s horrible in east coast. My peach grafting success rate is close to 100%, but I only grafted to peach seedlings and mature peach trees.

I don’t find temperature matters that much. The earliest date I grafted peach this year was 3/12 with 3-4 days of high temperatures in 60s. Actually I think the earlier the better if there’s a band of nice early spring weather.

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Citation is slow for me too with peach, but I okay to live with it. Perhaps upside is lessened borers (?) and dwarfing. I have the citation rootstock at hand because the scion got destroyed by deer and the rootstock suckered. If I had to choose, I’d go with a peach species rootstock instead of Citation. But use what you have :slight_smile:

Also the scion to rootstock combination would matter in the graft, but I’m not sure how much w.r.t. to what I did. It makes logical sense that citation-peach can’t be better than peach-peach, ceteris paribus in grafting.