Peach graft logging spring 2018


Evaporative cooling is a good possible explanation. Conduction of cooling from the soil doesn’t seem likely unless the graft were close to the soil and the branches involved were of substantial diameter.


@scottfsmith: I did my nectarine grafting to my 3rd leaf trees on the same day that you did. Now I have a few extra scions remaining, so I am wondering what to do with them. One option is to keep them as back ups in case some of my grafts fail, but I am afraid by the time I can conclude which grafts failed (I am guessing that would be mid to late May) it will be too late to graft on the trees. The other option is to try to bench graft the seedlings that I got from you, which are now potted and showing small leaves (~quarter to half inch long), and are under growing lights in my basement at about 67-70 F. What do you think?


I’m no pro. But last year I got some peach and nectarine wood in August from actively growing trees and grafted them to my actively growing peach tree in August. They all took but didn’t grow. This year they are all leading out. I did cleft grafts. Not budding.
Again, this was my one time experience. Not saying it’ll always work.


Ahmad, you can tell whether peach grafts failed pretty quickly, if they are not pushing at least a teeny bit by now they are likely failures. From my first round all the good scionwood is pushing now. None of the iffy wood is. Peaches are much less tolerant in terms of quality of scionwood.

Its a tough call on whether to try some bench grafts. Those roots I gave you the deer munched back in the fall so they are less vigorous than your standard stock. But, I did some bench grafts on them which took. One of them is fading now that I transplanted it outside and I wonder if it is not “running out of gas” in the stock.

If you have any space on the 3rd leaf trees and some varieties are showing no signs of life at all now, I would first add more grafts to them. I often add more bark grafts if there is room on the trunk, and I have gotten takes from this. I am often cutting through the tape and paint from the previous grafts; it works fine. If you want to be experimental you can also do a couple of the bench grafts. If your scionwood is excellent and you don’t try any transplanting til fall you will have reasonable odds I would guess.


Here’s my contribution so far. I grafted 6 Sentinel peach and 5 Green gage today. I know the Green gage sort of don’t count, but they are grafted on peach roots.

I used the Zenport grafting tool. I like it, but more importantly, it gives some standardization for my input.

Here’s a couple of them

I plan to edit this post every day with the following day hi/low, for about a week, if I can remember to do it.

High today was 76F - Monday - Sunny
Low morning 43F - Tuesday
Afternoon high 76F -Tuesday - Sunny
Low morning 44F- Wednesday
Afternoon high 59F - Wednesday - Cloudy/rainy all day
Low morning 38F - Thursday
Afternoon high 70F-Thursday - Sunny
Low morning 42F - Friday
Afternoon high 77F - Friday - Sunny
Low morning 45F - Saturday
Afternoon high 69F - Saturday - Sunny
Low morning 46F - Sunday
Afternoon high 72F -Sunday - Cloudy
Low morning 52F - Monday


Mark, I missed the above but it showed up in the email notification list of your more recent post… There is no problem with warm days as long as the nights are in the 70’s. My recollection of the peach callous graph was that peaches do callous in the 80s, but at a much-reduced rate, so it could also be they are callousing slowly.

I wish I could find that graph, I looked for it in my peach books thinking it may have been in one of them but could not find it. I did find 18-26C as optimal which is 65-79F.


Would these qualify as “pushing a teeny bit”? I did them 12-13 days ago. The growth on the tree is showing a bit of green.


The bottom two look like they are definitely pushing. Not sure about the top one; it looks swelled at least.

The middle one is showing a flower bud it looks like, I usually pick those off as soon as they appear to conserve energy.

My peach grafts are progressing slowly due to all the cool weather, but they have half and inch or so showing now. All the weak wood is not moving though - this was wood from now-dead or weak trees. Weak peach scionwood is much worse than weak apple/pear/plum wood.


Out of twelve grafts that I did on April 12 (8 cots and 4 peaches), only one shows a green bud growing. It looks almost exactly like Bob Vance’s last photo, and it is a cot. The peach scions that I used may not have been very good because they showed swollen buds (almost first pink) when I received them late Jan, and the buds were falling off upon the gentlest touch on the day I grafted. It has been fairly cold here for the past 10 days, so that probably slowed down sprouting.


Yes given all the cold weather I would qualify my comment above about likely failures a bit, you should get more than one to take. In looking at my own peaches since then I noticed how slow they are moving in this cool weather.


Starting to push growth very slowly. These are from 10th.


Awesome! There is something particularly satisfying to me about seeing peach grafts pushing. Apple and pear, of course they will push. Peach, you never are certain until you see it.


Update on my grafts of 14 days ago…

All of the “healthy normal” peach scions are pushing. This is only about 5 scions, not so much going on this year in the peach grafting front.

I had some funky wood from my Arboreum trees (Peche de Vigne and Teton de Venus) which had already leafed out when I got them; I found a few dormant buds at the shoot bases and grafted those on. (I usually do this as a backup in case the tree dies). As of yesterday these are also pushing. They probably took longer because the buds were less ready to go.

I also had wood from my now-dead Rio Oso Gem which I grabbed just as I saw it dying, plus wood from my borer-weakened Red Baron. These are also grafted on weaker deer-munched seedlings. I’m not sure why I did that, I should have put these weaker scions on the stronger stocks. Anyway so far I don’t see any definite movement on any of those. Vigor of both scion and stock is relatively more important with peaches compared to apples pears etc.

Oh, plus a few plums and apricots with 100% pushing now. The easy stuff :grin: My apples I did later and they are just starting to get going.

Of my four planted-out bench-grafted trees, it looks like the two with normal scions may both make it, but they still look a bit ratty so the final news is not quite in yet. On two of them I put weak Red Baron scions and neither of those is moving yet.


Scott -
Do you think the cool, wet weather lately was the cause of the delays?


I also had 100% peach (7/7), apricot (4/4), apples (3/3), plums/pluot (7/7). However, i had 0% success grafting tropical guava 0/8. Seems like guava grafting is difficult for professionals and almost impossible for a rank amateur like myself. Ill keep trying throught out the growing season as guava might need lots of heat to callous.

Back to peaches. It seems that cleft grafting works well with peaches as long as you find a good window of warm weather. The first year i tried peach grafting i only got one take out of 12. I didnt respect the weather and grafted in january when weather was in the mid 50 to mid 60 during the day. This year i waited for a week of 70-82F. It definately made a world of difference.


congratulations! Peach graft I did three weeks ago at temp (40. Sometimes 30) shows no sign of pushing. Not sure if they are still alive. I based scion wood to keep the moisture. Hope it helps.


Yes, I think it slowed things down more than I recall in a standard year. With grafts not moving for two weeks I only remember failures in the end, not successes.


I’m looking at the forecast. There is a 4 day period with highs around 75 to 80 and lows around 60. Should I graft or hold out for warmer weather?


I hope to be finishing up when the weather gets that warm. Any warmer and I would worry about frying the grafts.


That sounds great to me… when the sun is not out there will be perfect callous temps. The optimal range is 65-79F so when its not sunny you will almost always be in that range.

If you do graft please follow up here with details.